How Long Does Conveyancing Take?
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How Long Does Conveyancing Take?

If you’re buying or selling a property, you will need to go through conveyancing. On average, in the UK conveyancing takes between 8 to 12 weeks. However, there are a number of things that can affect how quickly or slowly conveyancing can take.

In this guide, we explain what conveyancing is and what a buyer or seller can do to help the process be completed quickly.

What is Conveyancing?

Conveyancing is the legal process of transferring a property from one person to another. A solicitor or licensed conveyancer will be required to undertake this on behalf of the buyer and seller. They will prepare the legal documents, conduct property searches, and make sure all the information is correct. They will ensure the property sale goes through legally and correctly.

The conveyancing process starts when an offer is made on the property and finishes when the sale is complete and the keys are handed to the new buyer.

What Parts of Conveyancing Take the Longest as a Seller?

For a seller, the longest part of conveyancing will usually be getting the draft contract drawn up and sent to the relevant parties. As a seller, you will first have to find and instruct a solicitor. In order for them to draw up the contract, you will need to complete a number of property forms and find various documents with information about your property. They will also need to undertake identity checks to verify you are who you say you are. Organising the draft contract can take as long as two weeks from you accepting the buyer’s offer.

If you’re selling a leasehold property, this can add extra time to your conveyancing. You will need to obtain a number of documents and information from the property managing agent to pass on to the buyer. This can take as long as two to six weeks, with delays being caused if the managing agent or freeholder is slow to respond and pass on the relevant information.

What Parts of Conveyancing Take the Longest as a Buyer?

For a buyer, there can be a number of things that can extend the conveyancing process. As a buyer, you will need to have a property survey and various searches conducted by your solicitor. These can take between two to four weeks to complete. The searches will include a local authority search, an environmental search, and a water and drainage search. Others may be needed depending on where the property is. The local authority search can be the one that causes the most delays, especially if they are currently facing a high workload.

You will also need to get approval for a mortgage, which can take anywhere between two to six weeks. Delays can be caused by problems arising from the property search, or if there are conditions of the mortgage that you are unable to meet.

What Can a Seller Do to Speed Up Conveyancing?

As a seller, you can help to speed up the process by instructing a solicitor as soon as you accept an offer from a buyer. You could find it helpful to make sure you have found the relevant paperwork that you will need to sell the house even before you have a buyer. This way, you know you will have the right information to hand as soon as you need it. You should also aim to fill out the property forms for your solicitor as quickly as possible, so they can start their process sooner.

If you’re selling a leasehold property, you should also make sure to collect the relevant documents early on in the sales process. You should ask your managing agent or freeholder for a leasehold information pack as soon as you accept an offer from a buyer.

What Can a Buyer Do to Speed Up Conveyancing?

As a buyer, you can ensure that your finances are in order so there is no delay with the mortgage application. You can also ask your lender for a ‘Decision in Principle’ or ‘Agreement in Principle’, which means they will be able to confirm how much they will be able to lend you. This can help to speed up the mortgage application.

There’s not much you can do to speed up the searches, except to instruct your solicitor to undertake the searches and property survey as soon as your offer is accepted. Be proactive and make sure to keep in contact with your solicitor to make sure the process is underway.

How Long Does Conveyancing Take with No Chain?

Conveyancing can be quicker if the property sale has no chain. With a property chain, each sale is dependent on another sale going through – so if there are delays with one sale, this will have an impact on every other property sale in the chain. This can really cause delays if a buyer pulls out of a sale and the seller has to find a new buyer.

If your sale is not part of a chain, for example, if you have a cash buyer, you can avoid these delays caused by other property sales. However, you may still have to deal with the setbacks regarding property surveys and searches, as well as delays with solicitors.


If you’re looking to sell your house fast, SOLD.CO.UK can sell your property in as little as 30 days. We have a network of pre-approved, chain-free cash buyers who we advertise your property to first. If they don’t respond in time, we then market your home on the big property selling websites like Rightmove and Zoopla. Our expert team then works to make sure the sales and conveyancing process runs quickly and efficiently, so you can complete your sale fast. We’ll even sell your house for free, with no hidden charges.

Contact us today to speak to our friendly team about how we can secure you a fast house sale.

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