The process of conveyancing can take a surprisingly long time; while in most cases, the conveyancing for the purchase of a home takes around six to eight weeks, it can sometimes take much longer than this. It’s usually not possible for conveyancing solicitors to give clients an accurate timescale at the start of a transaction, which means that many clients are left wondering: ‘why does conveyancing take so long?’

What happens during conveyancing?

First, it’s important to understand just how much is going on during these weeks of conveyancing. Some of it, you’ll already be well aware of: you’ll have filled in your own client paperwork and your conveyancer must check and file that before requesting contracts from the seller, which can take another week to come back. A local authority search must also be requested, which will bring back information about both the property and its surrounding area which may affect the sale: this can often take up to three weeks, or longer at peak times. Enquiries must then be made about the results of this search. In addition to all of this, the conveyancing period also includes time spent arranging mortgage details and drafting transfer deeds.

Unexpected delays

Six to eight weeks is often a ‘best case scenario’; there are many sticking points which can lead to unexpected delays, dragging the conveyancy period out much longer. Here are just a few causes of delays:

– A long chain. If you’re buying a property with a long chain, you’re relying on many other people’s mortgages and moving dates, as well as hoping that they all return their own paperwork to their solicitors in good time.
– Local search delays. If you’re buying a house during peak times, such as in the summer, your local search might even take five weeks to be returned.
– Unexpected paperwork. If the property seller has had building work done, the relevant paperwork will need to be found. If the buyer is getting financial help from parents or relatives, paperwork may need to be completed.

To ensure the fastest conveyancing period possible, make sure your paperwork is up to date and you let your conveyancing solicitor know of any information which may be relevant to the transfer as soon as possible.




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