What is Conveyancing & How Long Does it Take To Complete?
Conveyancing refers to the legal process undertaken which transfers ownership of a property from one person to another. The time that it takes to do this is influenced by a number of factors.
We're often asked how long the process takes and whether it can be sped up, so we have highlighted some of the factors that influence the process, the most common delays you might face and how you can seek to speed everything up so you can move home faster.
Perhaps you have a tight deadline and need to complete as quickly as possible, or maybe you just want to get out of an unsuitable property or area and get on with living life as fast as you can.
Whatever your motivation for wanting to speed up the conveyancing process, it's good to understand what delays you are most likely to encounter along the way so you can potentially avoid them.
How Long Does Conveyancing Take?
Conveyancing for the purchase of a property will generally take from 6 to 10 weeks. However, in some cases it can be quicker, whilst in others, it can take significantly longer.
Some of the instances that can result in a delay to completion of the conveyancing process include:
· Leasehold properties
· Delays or problems with obtaining a formal mortgage offer
· Large chains and issues or delays happening further along the chain
· Missing documentation such as deeds
· Delays in the clearing of funds
· The purchase of a new-build property that isn't ready to move into yet
· Problems revealed following surveys
You might be thinking that a 6 to 10 week timeline sounds a bit vague, but it's almost impossible to predict how long the process will definitively take from the outset for any individual client.
There are so many variables that come into play that even the most efficient conveyancer cannot say with certainty how long the process will take, hence the general 6-10 weeks estimate which generally serves as a good guideline.
What Does A Conveyancer Do?
Your conveyancing solicitor will be able to fulfill a range of duties for you, which includes:
· Obtaining and reporting on the mortgage offer for the buyer (purchase)
· Requesting the payment of the mortgage advance from the buyer’s lender (purchase)
· Request redemption figure on a current mortgage (sale)
· Conducting and reporting on searches about a property and its surrounding area
· Drafting the Contract pack or obtaining a contract pack from the seller’s solicitor.
· Exchanging Contracts
· Preparing a full legal report on title (purchase)
· Arranging potential completion dates with both parties
· Raising legal enquiries with the sellers solicitor (purchase) or replying to legal enquiries (sale)
· Transferring the balance of the purchase price to the seller’s solicitor (purchase)
· Transferring the signed transfer deeds to the solicitor on completion (sale )
· Dealing with HM Revenue & Customs to pay Stamp Duty Land Tax (purchase)
· Dealing with the transfer of ownership and Land Registry (purchase)
· Preparing and forwarding the completion statement and transfer deeds
Is It Possible To Fast Track Your Conveyancing?
To complete the conveyancing process there are many steps that need to be completed, many of which are dependent on the previous step being completed in a timely manner.
A delay in one area can quickly have a knock-on effect, however, there are some things you can do to help speed up the process and it is entirely possible to fast track the conveyancing process.
These tips can help you get through the conveyancing process faster:
· Stay in regular contact with your agent and your buyer/seller to ensure no small issues pop up to delay the process
· You could consider asking your lender to provide you with a full home buyer's survey instead of a valuation report which can save both time and money
· Favouring a buyer/seller with no chain can help speed up the process
· Look for firms that hold a CQS (Conveyancing Quality Scheme) certificate as this indicates exceptional service, which is likely to be speedy and efficient