Why Do Conveyancing Transactions Take So Long To Complete

Conveyancing transactions on average should take between 4 to 6 weeks for a straight forward freehold sale or purchase. A straight forward leasehold sale or purchase will usually take a little longer due to the additional issues, which require the attention of your conveyancing solicitor, however on average these would take between 6 to 8 weeks.

One of the most frustrating parts of buying or selling a property is how long the transaction can sometimes take. Even a straightforward freehold sale or purchase with no chain, can take what seems like months and this will often lead to a nightmare transaction and stress for all parties.

There are a number of reasons why this happens, and I will look at each in turn.

1. Poor Communication: – This can stem from any of the parties to the conveyancing transaction, i.e. estate agents, mortgage brokers, lenders or even the buyer or seller themselves. Especially when there is a chain involved, if all parties do not communicate and keep each other in the loop then there will always be one party playing catch up, which can cause all sorts of delays.

2 Funding Problems: – with a reduction in mortgages being granted at the moment, this can cause delays in conveyancing transactions regardless of whether there is a chain involved. This can be problems obtaining a mortgage where a buyer has steamed in and placed an offer without the same being finalised and this can also be related to costs and deposit monies.

3. Synchronising a Sale & Purchase: – it is often the case, that a seller will find their dream home before any offers have been made on their current home. This will stem to the purchase transaction starting ahead of the sale. If this happens, you will usually find that those throughout the chain are in a similar position and may be either behind or in front of them. If this happens, it can be difficult to synchronise all transactions and get them at a similar point.

4. Search Delays & Surveys: – With conveyancing picking up, it is likely that there will be more people instructing local searches from local authorities. This can lead to a back log and delays on this end will transfer to other areas of the conveyancing transaction. A survey may also cause delays with regards to access being arranged and reports being prepared analysed and works carried out where required.

5. Other breaks in the Chain: – Even with a small chain, any problem in any part of the chain will cause delays to your particular transaction. For example if a sale or purchase falls through it will be as if you are back to square one. Any of the problems discussed above can contribute to this either if your solicitor has done everything they can to get things through – it may be out of their hands.

In most cases, there is little can be done to speed things up as in most cases it is normally through no fault of your solicitors but instead due to delays elsewhere in the chain.

There are a few things that can be done to speed up the process and make the transaction a little less stressful, these include: sufficient communication; funds being in place as early as possible; all documents being made available at the earliest opportunity and simple communication throughout the chain.

Usually the estate agents are the easiest way to chase things up and their skills at this should be used more often.