How long will my property purchase take?
Every property purchase is unique, with a huge number of factors able to impact how long it will take until you are the legal owner, and can move into your new home. We have all heard of a property chain. Well, things are much simpler if you’re not part of a chain. In a straightforward purchase, where you’re not selling a home at the same time, and your seller isn’t relying on buying elsewhere for the move to happen, our conveyancing solicitors, on average, will make sure you are in your new home, within 6-8 weeks.
As our solicitors never take work on that we cannot handle, or do not have the capacity for, our solicitors will have you moving well ahead of the national average of 15 weeks, once your offer to purchase your new property has been accepted by the seller.
The Post Office have a rather useful ‘rate of sale’ tool, that allows sellers and buyers to get a rough estimate of how long an average property transaction is taking. Have a look, here, and have a read of the guide our local conveyancing solicitors have prepared for you, below.
How long should my purchase take?
MG Legal, Property Law Solicitors in Lancashire were surprised to find that the national average timescale for conveyancing is between 9-10 weeks. Conveyancing for a simple purchase can usually take just four to six weeks but more complicated transactions do take longer.
Here’s a rough estimate of conveyancing timescales to help you estimate your future transaction: -
Freehold Purchase 6-8 weeks
Leasehold Purchase 10-12 weeks
It is important to remember that no conveyancer can accurately give you a timescale for a property transaction. Each individual case is different and there can be so many factors to consider that could delay the process.
What can delay the conveyancing process?
Delays in getting a mortgage offer:
Anyone buying with a mortgage will need an official offer to proceed with the purchase, a full mortgage application can only be completed once the buyers have found a property to buy. So, if someone in the chain has only just joined and they are buying a mortgage this could delay the whole chain.
Usually a full Survey needs to be carried out on the property. In the midst of this COVID-19 pandemic no surveys are being carried out, so you can guarantee that there will be an influx of surveys as soon as the Country is up and running again, this will inevitably lead to delays. Even before COVID-19 delays with Surveys occurred as the Seller needs to be available at a time that the Surveyor can visit on occasion this availability can take weeks if the Seller needs to request time off work to be at home for the Surveyor.
Survey reveals issues:
The survey may reveal issues that could affect the property value meaning the purchase is renegotiated or further investigation is required by builders or building inspectors. This could not only cause a delay but lead to someone within the chain withdrawing.
Delay in Search Results:
Often Searches are addressed to the Local Authority. Each Local Authority has different time scales that they work to. If the Local Authority is slow in responding your Searches could be delayed for weeks.
Seller has to find another home:
You the Buyer are ready to exchange contracts and hand over the money but your Seller hasn’t even started looking for their alternative accommodation never mind started the legal process.
Waiting on a Chain:
Sounds like a bad song title! A property chain is when a buyer has found their property that they wish to buy but they need to sell their current property first to get the money needed to buy the property they want to buy. This creates a chain of sales, each sale requiring another sale to complete before the chain can proceed.
General other-side delays:
Even if you have a good property Solicitor or conveyancer and you have completed all the forms, that does mean that your seller has completed all of their forms, nor does it mean that their Solicitor will be quick at acting on important enquiries or replies to enquiries.
How can I speed up my sale or purchase?
If we’re honest there is not a lot that can be done to avoid delays; MG Legal’s property solicitors are extremely pro-active. That said, there are one or two things that can be done to make the transaction smoother:
1. Fill out all of the forms, such as the contract pack, out correctly ensuring that there is nothing that could be misunderstood or misconstrued.
2. Don’t set unrealistic dates, it is unlikely that you will complete within two weeks, if you set a two week deadline, you will likely be disappointed if not a lot has happened in the space of time.
3. Try to email rather than call for an update – that way the response can be forwarded on to the Estate Agents so everyone in the chain can be updated.
4. If a document is sent to you for you to sign, post it back rather than emailing. Your property Solicitor probably requires your wet ink signature.
Of course it helps if you have a decent conveyancer handling your case. A good, local (our solicitors are based in Preston, Garstang and Lancaster, and thoroughly dislike huge conveyor-belt property ‘lawyers’ online) property law Solicitor will do all they can to make sure the transaction completes quickly without delays. Contact MG Legal now via email@example.com or call 01995 602 129