How long does conveyancing take in England?

Conveyancing is the process undertaken when you buy a property. It covers the legal processes, registration of the property with the Land Registry and council searches. It also includes checks that the vendors are legally entitled to sell the property, as well as navigating the mortgage lenders.

It can be very simple and it can be complex, but how long does conveyancing take in England?

The average length of time

If everything goes smoothly, and it’s a simple property transaction, most conveyancing processes can take between six to eight weeks. Conveyancers are keen to move the process along, but there are a number of factors that hold things up.

Not completing the buyer paperwork

This is within your ability to speed up. Everything you get from the solicitor, ensure you check, sign and return as quickly as possible. This will help keep the sale moving along.

Delay in mortgage offer

When you get a mortgage offer in principle, this is not a full mortgage offer, and this work is completed during the sale process.

The mortgage lender will want to undertake an evaluation, and potentially depending on the property, a full structural survey which can delay the process further.

Being in a chain

Being part of a chain of buyers and sellers can cause significant delays, particularly if it’s a long chain.

Everyone in the chain has to have all their processes completed and then exchange and complete at around the same time. This can leave you waiting even though all processes on your property sale have been completed whilst someone further up or down the chain completes theirs.

When you make an offer, it’s well worth checking whether there’s a chain and factoring this in.

Delay in getting documentation and responses from seller

If your conveyancer needs responses or information from the seller and they are slow to give this, this is another factor in slowing down the sale.

It’s worth keeping in close contact with the seller’s estate agents who will be keen to move the sale on and getting in touch at any potential sticking points to ask them to chase the vendor. Any good estate agency will be happy to do this, and this can help speed up the process.

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