Buying A House – Hold Ups And How To Avoid Them

If you are buying or selling a property, ideally your transaction will go without a hitch and you will be in your new home in no time. Thet is certainly our plan for you! However, conveyancing is a process which relies on many different people and is therefore fragile. There are a few things you can prepare for, to be on the safe side. We have compiled a list of the most common problems that homebuyers encounter during the conveyancing process and how to avoid them where possible. For hassle free conveyancing quotes compare all your local professionals in under a minute with our simple to use comparison tool

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What Can Go Wrong When Buying A House?

  • Not Instructing Solicitor ASAP

When you buy or sell a property you should instruct a conveyancing solicitor as soon as an offer has been accepted. Conveyancing solicitors carry out the legal process involved in the property transfer. This should be done once an offer has been accepted. By doin g this, we can get the ball rolling as soon as possible. 


Conveyancing often takes time as there is complicated paperwork to be completed and reliance on outside parties to respond quickly. We will be sending out for searches, dealing with the paperwork between all parties, liaising with your buyer/seller’s solicitor and your mortgage lender, as well as many other important tasks. 

  • Seller Accepts A Higher Offer

This is known as ‘gazumping’ and is a nightmare for the people who miss out. And whilst it is frustrating, until contracts are exchanged, the property transaction is not legally binding which means the seller is allowed to accept a higher offer from another buyer. What can you do? Well you can match the new buyer’s offer, attempt to negotiate a price somewhere in between, or drop out of the sale altogether. Depending on how far down the conveyancing process you are, the seller may be willing to accept your slightly lower offer as you may be able to complete faster as the conveyancing process is already under way.

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  • Conflict Between Buyer And Seller

When offers have been accepted, both sets of conveyancing solicitors start the legal process by exchanging a series of letters (missives) to agree terms. These terms include the price, date of entry, and fixtures and fittings amongst many other things. Occasionally, one or more of the conditions will not be agreed on. If this happens, we will negotiate on your behalf and discuss what you are prepared to compromise on (or not).

  • Paperwork Issues

Incomplete paperwork is a common obstacle in the conveyancing process. When completing a property transaction, especially one in which a mortgage is involved, there are numerous documents that need to be signed by both buyers and sellers, some of which need to be witnessed. Organising this can sometimes cause delays so to ensure that you don’t hold up the conveyancing process, make sure you are available to sign contracts, and return documents as quickly as possible. We will keep on top of all paperwork issues and let you know as soon as we need your signature.

  • Time To Complete Mortgage Valuations And Surveys

Mortgage valuations don’t take long to complete (usually around 15-20 mins) and are a necessity. Unfortunately, it can take a while for your lender to arrange one. Other, more in-depth surveys that you might need or choose to have can also hold up the process. When a valuation and survey have been carried out, there is also the time it takes to write up their findings to take into consideration. To avoid delays, start looking into surveys as soon as an offer is accepted.

  • Problems With The Property

If your survey highlights a problem with the property, whether you are buying or selling, this is likely to cause delays to the conveyancing process. The extent of the problem must be fully examined, and decisions will have to be made about any work that needs to be carried out, specifically who is going to organise it and pay. We will advise you on the results of the survey and its implications. It might be necessary to renegotiate the price with the other party.

  • Breaks In The Chain

Many delays in the conveyancing process result from the actions of other people. The longer the chain is, the more complex everything becomes. Whilst this is something you cannot control, you should remain aware. We will monitor the chain closely and inform you straight away if a problem occurs as breakdown in chains can be costly and very upsetting. 

  • Mortgage Offer Expiring

Mortgage offers will normally last between three and six months. If the Conveyancing Process goes smoothly, this should be plenty of time, but if there are significant delays, you may have to apply for a new mortgage offer.

There may be circumstances when this is unavoidable, due to delays caused elsewhere in the system. However, instructing a Conveyancing Expert with plenty of experience and a sound track record will make this less likely to happen.

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