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How long does conveyancing take?

July 22, 2021

How long does conveyancing take?

Conveyancing is a legal process that transfers the ownership of a property from one person to another. You cannot buy or sell a home without going through the conveyancing process. But how long does conveyancing take in the UK? Is coronavirus impacting the time conveyancing takes? Are there alternative ways to avoid dealing with the whole conveyancing process?

The Conveyancing Process

When you make an offer for a property or accept an offer for your property, the conveyancing process starts. 

 

It carries on until the day of completion when keys for the property are exchanged.

 

As a rule of thumb, the conveyancing process can take between 8 and 16 weeks, however, this depends on the complexities of the house sale and how reliant it is on other transactions if the property is in a chain. 

 

Other factors that have extended the window of time it takes to complete the conveyancing process has been Coronavirus and the Stamp Duty Land Tax holiday.

Coronavirus and the Stamp Duty Land Tax Holiday

covid

The government’s introduction of the Stamp Duty Land Tax holiday (SDLT) in July 2020, in response to the housing market standstill during the first lockdown due to coronavirus, resulted in buyer and seller demand. 

 

The extension of the stamp duty holiday until the end of September 2021 has fueled the appetite further for buyers to take advantage of this tax relief.

 

However, this surge of activity within the property market has placed a strain on conveyancing firms, which have been under significant pressure to progress transactions ahead of the SDLT ending. 

 

The extension to the deadline to complete the conveyancing process has offered a much-needed reprieve but ultimately it does not address the bottleneck of sales that conveyancers will have to manage before the end of September.

 

The Stages of the Conveyancing Process

 

Pre-contract work – approximately 2 weeks

 

Once your offer for a property is accepted you will need to appoint a conveyancing solicitor as soon as possible. Generally, they will charge a fixed fee based on the purchase price of the property but it is worth shopping around.

offer accepted

Your conveyancing solicitor will then obtain and review legal documents in order to provide you with legal advice on your purchase. They will speak to the seller’s solicitor for the draft contract and start local searches. Local searches should take 10 days however many local authorities are missing this deadline due to the high demand.

 

During this time you will want to conduct a survey of the property to get an independent report of the condition of the home you want to buy. Again the usual timing of booking a surveyor within a day or two is taking longer due to high demand.

 

Draft contract – approximately 2-10 weeks

 

Your conveyancing solicitor will be working on your draft contract. This means bringing together all the necessary information from the land registry, the seller and the seller’s conveyancer. Searches and surveys returned at this time can also raise issues that need to be resolved. Hence the draft contact phase of the conveyancing process can take anywhere from a very straightforward 2 weeks to 10 weeks.

contract

Exchange of contracts to completion – approximately 1-2 weeks

 

Once your mortgage offer is in place, your pre-contract enquiries have been answered, and the survey and searches have been sorted out – you are ready to exchange contracts! At this point, the completion date should be set. It is usually one week between exchange and completion but it can be whatever date works for both parties and any chain involved.

 

What delays conveyancing?

 

There are a lot of different factors that can delay the conveyancing process. These can be as simple as the time it takes for buyers, sellers and their legal representatives to respond to enquiries however following are some other common reasons:

 

  • Building Survey highlighting problems
  • Buyer’s mortgage application
  • Property searches delayed as local authority slow to respond
  • Problems with the property title
  • Missing information from the seller
  • Property chains
  • A probate sale

delay

How do I avoid conveyancing delays? [H3]

Preparation and instructing a conveyancing solicitor as soon as possible! If you are selling a property, making sure the estate agent is on board with the process is vital. Most agents earn a fee after an offer on a property is accepted, so it is in their interests to make sure the sale goes through. Regular communication with your solicitor and the estate agent is key to check in on how the process is going.

 

Cash House Buyers – The Alternative 

 

If the process of selling your home leaves you cold and you want to avoid dealing with estate agents, conveyancing solicitors and surveyors, then selling to a cash house buyer could be the solution you’re looking for. 

 

Not only will you save money on estate agent and solicitor fees, but you will bypass the conveyancing process and the long time it’s taking as Halo House Buyers will take care of all of this for you. 

 

You will have peace of mind knowing that your property will be sold and you can get on with your next house purchase or access to your cash.

 

Halo House Buyers don’t have to rely on acquiring finance through a mortgage. 

 

They have the cash and are good to go. Being in this position they can take the property off your hands in a matter of weeks, maybe even a week! They have specialist solicitors and conveyancers on hand to make the whole process fast and hassle-free. 

 

So, if you want to sell your property fast without incurring estate agent, survey and solicitor fees, consider selling your property fast with Halo House Buyers. Contact us today for a no-obligation cash offer for your property. 

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