How Long Does the Conveyancing Process Take?

It can be a daunting moment looking ahead to the conveyancing process and the many tasks that must be completed before completing a house sale. That is especially true considering the frequency of delays. There are many factors that may influence how long conveyancing will take, but it is helpful to have a general idea what to expect at each stage.

Broadly speaking, the average length of time to travel through the conveyancing process is considered to be between eight and twelve weeks, but it may go as high as 16 or more. Where you fall in that average will depend on the type of sale and the status of both buyer and seller.

Times based on status

The quickest and potentially easiest form of sale is cash, rather than a mortgage, with the buyer and seller the only two people involved. In other words, no waiting on other sales in a house-buying chain. These cash, no-chain sales could exchange contracts in as little as four to eight weeks.

If there is still no chain, but the buyer does have to secure a mortgage, then you could still be done in four weeks, but it could go on as many as ten. Once there is a chain, then a cash purchase is likely to take ten weeks as minimum, and possibly as many as twelve weeks, and you are looking at at least the same for a chain purchase with a mortgage.

Length of individual stages

This overall time scale can be broken down into stages. For instance, for the seller to have a contract drafted and sent to the buyer after accepting an offer, first they must find and instruct as solicitor. For conveyancing in Rugby, this may involve a firm such as Sam Conveyancing. Then documents have to be collected and forms signed. This may take as much as two weeks.

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A leasehold property presents an even longer and more complicated process as the seller attempts to acquire all relevant management information. You may be able to do this in two weeks as well, but there is a possible six-week upper length of time.

Sellers are not the only ones with complicated procedures to navigate. A buyer is likely to have to wait between two and six weeks just to ensure mortgage approval. Then you need around three to four weeks for surveys and another two to three for searches, which may create delays if they uncover unexpected problems.

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Take control and minimise delays

Both sides can take steps to try and minimise delays 

though some factors will always be out of your hands. Ensuring your solicitor is retained as soon as possible, and provided with all information and documents they need, is an important first step. If you need to obtain leasehold information, then ensure you apply to your management agent or landlord as early as possible.

For buyers, asking for a decision in principle can speed up the mortgage process. Arranging finances as early as possible is clearly vital. Do not delay when it comes to beginning the survey and search process, as you cannot know if issues will be uncovered or how long they will take to resolve. An experienced and knowledgeable solicitor is important at all stages.

There is no guarantee that you will be able to complete your conveyancing process within the average timespan. There are, however, steps you can take to try and help it along. Be aware of every stage of the process and what it entails, and as much as possible prepare in advance to avoid unnecessary delays.

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