How long does conveyancing take? How long is a piece of string? The average time betweenagreeing sale and completion is 6 -10 weeks, however there are a variety ofpotential delays along the way. Let’s discuss a few: ChainsA “chain” is where the purchase of a property is dependenton the sale of an existing property. At the start of the chain will be a first-timebuyer and at the end someone only selling.
Everyone in between will have a saleand a purchase. As a result, there are lots of transactions to co-ordinate. Oneparty cannot exchange until everyone is ready. Inevitably this causes delays.
Mortgages If buying with a mortgage, after the lenders valuation hastaken place and they are satisfied as to all other matters in connection withyour mortgage application your lender will issue a mortgage offer. Your lenderwill send a copy to you and your solicitor together with a list of instructionswhich your solicitor will have to comply with. Many mortgages state the bank must be given seven workingdays to release funds. This means seven working days between exchange andcompletion. If you’re in a chain you must wait for the slowest party! Search delays There are 4 core searches that will need to be ordered.These are Water and Drainage, Environmental, Chancel check and Local Authority.We will discuss what each of these mean later in the blog.
At this point it is just worth noting that these can be a cause of delay. TheWater, Environmental and Chancel tend to come back within a few days. This isnot a hard and fast rule, but if you’re lucky they will not take too long. Local Authority searches tend to take more time. This isbecause the searches, as you may have guessed, are carried out by the localauthority who have varying backlogs and efficiency. If your unlucky, these cantake up to three weeks- it’s a bit of a lottery. Once the initial searches are received back, in some casesfurther searches are required. Yes, that means more delays, but it’s betterthan spending your savings on a defective property! Housing/management companies and management packs A housing company is a legal entity which owns real estate,consisting of one or more residential buildings.
These are usually onlyrelevant when purchasing leasehold properties. As with Local Authoritysearches, certain housing companies are more efficient than others. Somecompanies have huge backlogs and can take weeks to provide a management pack,while others will take a matter of days. Before exchanging contracts, you will need to obtain amanagement pack from the housing company. The pack contains crucial informationabout the property and can influence your decision whether to go ahead with thepurchase or not.
The management pack will be read in conjunction with thelease. Important things your conveyancer will look out for: Service charges- The pack contains info on the servicecharge for the property. We will look out for increases over a period, anyunusual expenses, or whether there are any arrears.
These can be settled oncompletion. Major works- Are there any upcoming major works, and howmuch will you as tenant have to pay. Examples of works could be roof repairs orlifts refurbishment.
All tenants will be obligated to pay a contribution onrequest. Deed of covenant- By entering into a deed of covenant, thenew tenant enters an agreement with the landlord to observe all provisions ofthe lease. Legal defects A common phrase you will hear in conveyancing is “we’rewaiting for the other side”. This means we have everything in order but cannotproceed until the other side have replied/supplied/ responded to something. Inan ideal world emails would be replied to instantly, documents signed andreturned within a day and phone calls answered. In the busy world ofconveyancing sometimes this is not the case. Sometimes the other party involved will not be able to signdocuments as quickly as you would like.
The solicitor may be from a small firmand have a huge workload slowing things down. The fact is when the other side is beingunresponsive all you can do is hassle or “chase” them to provide what’s needed.