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Residential Property

Conveyancing Timescales

What is the average conveyancing timescale?

The average timescale for a conveyancing transaction is between 8-12 weeks. Conveyancing for a straightforward sale or purchase can take just 6-8 weeks. A more complicated transaction can take much longer to complete, particularly where there is a chain involved.

Leasehold conveyancing invariably takes much longer as we are dependent on receipt of information from third parties such as management companies and the Landlord/Freeholder who are under no specific time limit to provide the information requested of them.

Freehold transactions are generally quicker than leasehold transactions.

These timescales are for guidance only as each transaction is different and there are many factors to consider that could delay the process. No conveyancer can accurately give you a timescale for a conveyancing transaction and the above is simply a guide to help you.

What factors can impact conveyancing timescales?

The conveyancing process has various factors which can impact timescales. Some of these are set out below.

  • Delays in receiving a mortgage offer

Anyone buying with a mortgage will need to receive an official mortgage offer to continue with the purchase. A full mortgage application can only be made once buyer have found a property to buy. Lenders will need to undertake a property valuation before confirming the Mortgage Offer. The Solicitor / Conveyancer also needs to receive their copy of the offer before they are able to report to you on it. They are unable to report on the offer sent to the borrower/buyer as the offer for a solicitor usually contains other information and documents they need to consider.

Do not assume your solicitor is in receipt of their copy of the mortgage offer until you receive yours when you are buying.

  • Mortgage Valuations

Some lenders undertake desktop or drive-by valuations which do not involve a visit to the property. Other lenders will require a property visit. Each lender is different but where a property visit is required, this is usually arranged between the estate agent and the seller.

  • Survey Delays

If the buyer decides to have a survey, time is needed to accomodate the visit and preparation of the property survey can take up to a week to prepare and issue to the buyer.

  • Survey Results Reveal Issues

The survey may reveal issues that require further enquiries or investigation. This can involve a buyer seeking other specialists reporrs, opinions, or work estimates. The time taken to arrange these can have an impact on the transaction timescale. Should the survey reveal major issues, this could result in a renegotiation of the agreed price and in some circumstances result in a buyer withdrawing.

  • Delay in Obtaining Search Results

There are various searches that are needed in relation to a purchase. Sometimes these search results come back quickly, within a few days, and sometimes they are delayed for weeks. It all depends on how quickly the local authority responds.

  • Seller Looking for Another Home

Sometimes the seller might need to find a new home before selling their current one. The buyer might be ready to proceed, but the seller isn’t ready to sell until their new home is ready to complete.

  • General Delays by Other Side

Where we have acted efficeintly, sometimes, some parties in the chain are not as efficient. This can take time and result in delays.

  • Chain of Transactions

A chain of transaction is only as good as the weakest link. The longer the chain, invariably the more difficulty there is to manage all transactions throughout the chain and ensure all transactions are proceeding at a similar pace. This can sometimes lead to the chain being ‘broken’ by one party in the chain agreeing to move into temporary accomodation or complete their sale without their purchase.

Selling Only

When you are selling a property, you are often the ‘top’ or ‘end’ of the chain. Nowithstanding the timescale guideline above, it is not recommended to begin discussing dates until we are in receipt of confirmation that the buyer has received their mortgage offer, where they are obtaining a mortgage to fund the purchase.

Buying Only

When you are buying a property but not selling, you are often the ‘bottom’ or start of the chain. Sometimes you can be ready to proceed but are waiting on parties further up the chain of transactions, who all have to deal with the above matters in the same way as you.

Patience and Communication

Matters can become stressful and fraught. This can sometimes be caused by unrealistic expectations, parties making threats, setting deadlines and many other reasons. Some parties will have work commitments, others may have family commitments amongst many other pressures. It is very difficult to align all parties’ requirements, especially in chains.

We strongly recommend that matters are not agreed directly with the other sellers or buyers without checking with your conveyancer first.

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