How long does conveyancing take?
On the average, a first time home buyer can expect their purchase to be completed within six to 12 weeks, barring any complex issues surrounding the transaction. It takes this long because there are legal and administrative tasks that need to be carried out as soon as the buyer's offer is accepted by the seller.
If you're buying a home for the first time, you should know that the conveyancing process makes up most of the transaction timeline. This is where the ownership of the property you're buying is legally transferred from the original owner to you. While a 6-12 week turnaround time is ideal, conveyancing solicitors cannot guarantee an exact completion date. Everything will depend on the circumstances surrounding the property and the transaction itself.
While conveyancers often take the flak for the delays, you may want to think it over again as they could just be working hard to meet your expectations. With the Law Society's Conveyancing Quality Scheme, you can be guaranteed that your chosen solicitor will do everything they can to speed up the process for you while maintaining the highest standards of compliance and quality.
ut what really drags the conveyancing process? Here are a few of them.
Getting a Mortgage Approval
As a buyer, it's crucial that you find the best mortgage deal and arrange your application ahead of time. This way, you'll have a mortgage in principle before you make an offer to purchase your dream house.
Access to the Property During Survey and Valuation
Because mortgage lenders would require valuation to find out how much they would approve on your mortgage application, the surveyor will need access to the property and sometimes, the seller is just hard to reach and can be uncooperative. The good news is that as of late 2014, there are a number of mortgage lenders who use automated valuations to ease the delays.
Besides valuation, a structural survey may also be needed especially if you're buying a previously owned home. And when the results are in, you'll find a few issues with it that you will have to prompt the seller to do repair and maintenance work, or renegotiate your offer to a lower price.
Chain of Transactions
Your seller could be looking at another property to buy as they sell this one to you. Or you could be selling your own property to buy this one. Having this happen at the same time will take longer as each will have its own conveyancing process to go through.
The property's title may have registry problems or pending financial and legal issues at the time you're buying it, so you can expect some more delays.
Your pre-contract questions about the property may also take long to be addressed by the seller and their conveyancer.
Documents from outside organisations, such as property search and planning consent paperwork, may also take a while.
How Do You Prevent These Delays?
Conveyancers will work their hardest to meet your expected completion timeline. For instance, if they're aware that there are tasks that could pose delay risks, they should be quick to offer an alternative.
This is why property buyers and sellers are strongly encouraged to get the paperwork ready and instruct a conveyancing solicitor ahead of time. This gives them a good headstart on the process.