How Long Does Conveyancing Take? - Buying

One of the most common queries when anyone begins the process of buying or selling a property is "how long does conveyancing take?".

There are many factors involved in the conveyancing process which make the length of time it will take difficult to estimate.

In general, we tend to advise any potential client that the average time is about 12 weeks, (give or take a few weeks) for a relatively straightforward transaction.

However there may be delays in cases where a lengthy chain is involved, or the property is subject to probate. Delays in the mortgage application process can also have a knock-on effect on the time a transaction may take. 

Below are the basic steps involved in conveyancing when buying a property: 

  1. Instruct a solicitor. Your estate agent should be able to recommend a firm however, a good source if you’re looking for a solicitor in your area would be the ‘find a solicitor’ tool on The Law Society website.
  2. Once you have your chosen firm you will need to provide ID, proof of address along with proof of funds/mortgage offer.
  3. Your solicitor will open a file, carry out ID checks and will send you a letter of instruction. Once you receive this, sign as return as soon as possible to enable your solicitor to begin carrying out work on your behalf.
  4. The contract pack will be received from the seller's solicitor at which point your solicitor will apply for searches.
  5. The contract pack will be checked, and your solicitor will raise any necessary enquiries. They will provide you with copies of the Property Information Form and Fixtures and Fittings Form for you to check.
  6. Once replies to enquiries and search results are received your solicitor may raise additional enquiries as they see fit.
  7. If you are funding your purchase with a mortgage, your mortgage offer should be received and reviewed for any specific conditions.
  8. Your solicitor will prepare a report on title and will send this to you along with the contract and transfer deed for signature.
  9. Your signed paperwork and deposit funds should be provided to your solicitor and your solicitor will check whether your seller and the rest of the chain (should there be one) is ready to exchange contracts.
  10. Exchange of contracts will take place. At this point the transaction and completion date become legally binding
  11. The transfer deed is sent to the seller's solicitor for signature by the seller.
  12. Your solicitor will request your mortgage advance and any balance of funds due from you to complete.
  13. Pre-completion searches will be made at the Land Registry.
  14. Completion will take place and you can now collect the keys to your new home.
  15. Registration and stamping of the property will be dealt with after completion.