How Long Does Conveyancing Take?
The conveyancing process takes between 8 and 12 weeks on average to complete from when the offer is accepted to completion day.
The time is dependent on various factors including whether you are buying or selling, and if you’re part of a property chain. Leasehold properties may also take longer to process as well due to the extra paperwork involved. This means that the conveyancing solicitor you choose is one of the most important decisions.
From conveyancing with no chain to why it can take so long, this guide covers everything you need to know.
The table below breaks down the conveyancing process into its most basic steps, highlighting how long each stage takes.
|Stages of the Conveyancing Process||Approximate Time Taken|
|Arranging a mortgage||4 weeks|
|Conveyancing searches||2-6 weeks|
|Exchanging contracts to completion||1-2 weeks|
|Average time for the conveyancing process||8-12 weeks|
Why Does Conveyancing Take So Long?
Each step of the process must be completed correctly to avoid further delay. What may appear as a simple task can actually be more complicated and essential to the process.
To help save time, you should instruct your conveyancer to begin the process once your offer has been accepted or you’ve accepted an offer from a buyer.
Reasons conveyancing can take so long:
- Length of property chain - If you’re part of a property chain, the conveyancing process will take longer. If another transaction in the sale is experiencing delays, then this will slow down your process.
- Bad survey results - Your property survey could return adverse results which will bring things to a halt. It’ll take extra time to see if you can negotiate your offer, get further expert advice or pull out of the purchase.
- Mortgage offer delay - If you’re still waiting for your mortgage offer to be issued, this can delay the conveyancing process. The same will apply if your mortgage offer has expired.
- Delay in conveyancing search results - Your conveyancer will have to order property searches from the relevant authorities. Depending on how busy the local authority is, the searches could take anywhere between a few days and a few weeks to be completed.
How Long Does Conveyancing Take With No Chain?
Conveyancing with no property chain is quicker and can take 8 weeks from the point the sale is agreed.
Delays will come from other transactions in the property chain which is not a concern in this instance.
A negative survey report, delay in searches or legal issues with the property can also hold up the process.
How Long Do Conveyancing Searches Take?
Conveyancing searches take 2-6 weeks to complete.
This timeline will vary, depending on the type of search requested and how many you require. It will also depend on how busy your local authority is.
The conveyancing searches include:
- Local authority search
- Environmental search
- Drainage and water search
The environmental and drainage and water searches will usually take between 5–10 days to complete.
Still curious? Click here to learn about conveyancing searches
How Long After Searches to Exchange?
Exchanging contracts usually happens in week 8 of the conveyancing process. However, this will vary depending on your situation.
You must have the results from the conveyancing searches and agree on a completion date before exchanging contracts.
To speed up the process, make sure you have everything in place. Avoid property chains if possible, as you'll have to wait for the first transaction in the chain to exchange before you can.
Still curious? Click here to learn about how long after searches to exchange
How Long Between Exchange and Completion?
The time between the exchange and completion date will vary depending on the type of transaction, the personal circumstances of the parties involved and the size of the chain. The chosen date will be agreed upon by the buyer's and seller's solicitors.
It's rare to exchange and complete on the same day. But it's possible if you're not in a property chain and the property you are buying is with vacant possession.
How Long Does Conveyancing Take When Buying a House?
On average, a straightforward house purchase with no chain will take 8-12 weeks to be completed.
Conveyancing when buying a house usually takes longer as there are more stages. The conveyancing process for buying will begin once your offer has been accepted.
Your conveyancer will need to arrange conveyancing searches which can take up to a few weeks. You will also need to arrange a survey and mortgage offer - both of which will take time to apply for, receive and review.
The contract paperwork provided by the seller’s conveyancer will then need to be reviewed. A set of Pre-Contract Enquiries will be submitted for the seller’s conveyancer to answer.
Only once these requirements have been met can you move to the exchange of contracts.
How Long Does Conveyancing Take When Selling a House?
It takes 8-12 weeks for a straightforward sale to be completed.
If you have a cash buyer, there is no property chain and the transaction is much quicker. This means it could take 6-10 weeks for completion to be achieved.
The conveyancing process for selling a house can take less time than when buying as there are fewer stages to follow.
The main stage for the seller's conveyancer is to put together the draft contract paperwork and then answer any Pre-Contract Enquiries. If this stage can be undertaken quickly, then it will help with the speed of the transaction.