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How Long Does Conveyancing Take?

Martha Lott
Written by Martha Lott
20th May 2019 (Last updated on Thursday 28th November 2019)

The conveyancing process can take anywhere between 8 and 12 weeks. The time that it takes to complete your conveyancing case will depend on whether you’re part of a property chain, if you are buying or selling and the conveyancing solicitor you choose to go with.

Compare My Move have put together this guide, covering everything you need to know about how long conveyancing takes. From conveyancing with no chain to why conveyancing can take so long, this guide will cover everything.

This article will cover the following points

Why Does Conveyancing Take So Long? How Long Does Conveyancing Take With No Chain? How Long Do Conveyancing Searches Take? How Long After Searches to Exchange? How Long Between Exchange and Completion? How Long Does Conveyancing Take When Buying a House? How Long Does Conveyancing Take When Selling a House? Save on Your Conveyancing with Compare My Move

Why Does Conveyancing Take So Long?

The conveyancing process usually takes between 8 and 12 weeks but will vary. Depending on your situation, your case can take much longer than 8-12 weeks.

Conveyancing can take a long time for many reasons. Each step of the process must be completed correctly to avoid even further delay.

To avoid a delay in your conveyancing case, you should instruct your conveyancer to begin the conveyancing process once your offer has been accepted or you’ve accepted an offer from a buyer.

Reasons conveyancing can take a long time:

Property chain - If you’re part of a property chain, the conveyancing process will take longer than if you’re not. If another transaction in the sale is experiencing delays, then this will slow down your conveyancing process too.

Bad survey results - Your property survey could return bad 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 everything else is in place and you’re still waiting for your mortgage offer to be accepted, this can delay the conveyancing process. The same will apply if your mortgage offer has expired too. Mortgage offers will usually last between 3 and 6 months.

Delay in conveyancing search results - Your conveyancer will have to order searches with your local authority to highlight any problems in the area. Depending on how active your 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 shouldn’t take longer than 8 weeks. Many delays in the usual conveyancing process will come from other transactions in a property chain. If you’re lucky enough to not be part of a property chain, your conveyancing process will be much shorter.

Although you won’t experience the delays that come with being in a property chain, conveyancing with no chain will still come with some setbacks. You’re still at risk of negative survey results as well as a delay in receiving search results.

If you’re a first-time buyer, you won’t have a house to sell and therefore won’t be part of a property chain.

How Long Do Conveyancing Searches Take?

Conveyancing searches can take anywhere between a few days to even a few weeks to be carried out and the results to be returned. Conveyancing searches are made up of local authority searches, environmental searches and drainage and water searches.

The time it takes for the searches to be complete will depend on how many and the type of searches you require.

Your local authority will be responsible for carrying out the searches. The time the conveyancing searches take to be completed will depend on how active your local authority is. Some local authorities will take longer than others so there isn’t a definite time-frame for conveyancing searches.

Although conveyancing searches can take a while, they are essential in finding important information about the property and the area around it. It’ll be worth the wait if you discover any negative information that would only crop up once you’ve moved in.

How Long After Searches to Exchange?

Exchanging contracts usually happens in week 8 of the conveyancing process but can be earlier or later 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 of exchanging contracts, you should 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.

How Long Between Exchange and Completion?

Completion day can happen anywhere between 7 and 28 days after exchanging contracts. The time between exchange and completion will vary depending on the type of sale or purchase. Completion day normally happens 2 weeks after exchanging contracts.

It's rare to exchange and complete at the same time. But it's possible if you're a cash buyer and not in a property chain as you won’t be waiting on other transactions.  

The maximum time between exchange and completion should be around the month mark.

How Long Does Conveyancing Take When Buying a House?

Conveyancing when buying a house will take longer. The conveyancing process for buying will begin once your offer has been accepted. Your conveyancer will get to work on putting together documents and querying concerns with the seller’s conveyancer.

You will also need to have conveyancing searches carried out on the house you’re going to buy. It can take up to a few weeks to get the results back from the searches, depending on your local authority.

You’ll then have to wait for the search results and set a date for completion before you can exchange contracts. Completion day will happen between 7 and 28 days after exchanging contracts.

How Long Does Conveyancing Take When Selling a House?

Conveyancing when selling a house will take less time than when you’re buying as you won’t need local authority searches. You won’t have to wait for the results from the local authority searches, making the conveyancing process quicker.

Your conveyancer will begin drafting the contracts by the third week, followed shortly by exchanging contracts and then completion day. Exchanging contracts usually happens in week 8 and completion day can happen anywhere from 7-28 days after this.

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