Speeding Up the Conveyancing Process
18 July 2022
Unfortunately, buying a home isn’t a simple case of transferring money and collecting the keys – there’s a large amount of legal work that also needs to be completed.
More often than not, it’s the legal work that can slow down your move, therefore, knowing how you can speed up the conveyancing process could mean you receive the keys to your dream home a lot sooner.
What is the conveyancing process?
Conveyancing is the legal process that sees the transfer of a property from one owner to another. It may sound simple enough, but the work involved with conveyancing can be substantial and complicated, meaning it can result in delays.
Do I need a conveyancer when selling a house?
When selling your home, you’re required to have a licensed conveyancer or solicitor to do the legal work on your side of the transaction.
What does a conveyancer do?
Your conveyancer will undertake a large amount of administrative and legal work to make your property sale and/or purchase legally watertight.
When buying a property, your conveyancer should:
- Confirm their role by sending you their fixed fee costs and terms of business
- Contact the seller’s solicitor to receive the contract pack
- Highlight any queries about the contract pack with the seller’s solicitor
- Complete all necessary searches
- Obtain a copy of your mortgage offer
- Present all results of searches and the contract pack to you
- Arrange when your deposit will be paid
- Formally exchange contracts with the seller’s solicitor
- Create a draft transfer deed and completion statement
- Apply to your mortgage lender for release of funds
- Send all purchase funds to the seller’s solicitor
- Register the property in your name at the Land Registry
How long does conveyancing take?
The conveyancing process starts when you instruct your solicitor or conveyancer and ends when your property purchase or sale is complete.
On average, the process usually takes around 8 to 12 weeks but can take longer. If you’re buying a property with no chain and everything is straightforward, the process can be faster.
How to speed up the conveyancing process
Conveyancing can take much longer than 8 to 12 weeks for some buyers and sellers. Therefore, there are steps you can take to speed up the conveyancing phase and get your hands on the keys to your new home faster.
1. Instruct a conveyancer and lender as quickly as possible
Planning ahead can help you get in your new home quicker.
Before you begin searching for a property you should:
- Get an agreement in principle from your chosen lender
- Appoint a conveyancer as soon as your offer is accepted and ensure they are on your lender’s approved panel
2. Sort out documentation early
If you are selling a property, ensure you have all your documentation to hand as soon as you put your home on the market.
Your buyer’s conveyancer will also require:
- An up-to-date Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)
- Planning permission and building regulations approval for any work you have had done
- Building warranties or an NHBC certificate if you bought your home as a new build
3. Complete everything quickly and efficiently
Once you have appointed your conveyancer, request that they send out their initial documentation to you right away.
You’ll need to send back proof of identification and a host of other documents, so do this as fast as you can to keep the process moving.
You should also contact the seller’s estate agent and provide your conveyancer’s details to them, as well as your own agent if you are selling.
You should always check with your conveyancer that they have everything they need to proceed and raise any queries with them right away.
4. If issues arise, don’t delay
The conveyancing process can throw up issues with your new property.
These issues may include:
- Problems with your survey results
- Concerns raised by searches
You should seek further advice if anything is a major concern, but always take decisive action so it does not create a big delay.
5. Communication is key
Once you have appointed a conveyancer, outline your preferred method of communication to them.
For example, if you prefer email to phone calls due to work commitments, let them know this.
Scan and email documentation to your solicitor wherever possible, rather than relying on post.
Finally, if your conveyancer appears to be dragging their heels, don’t be scared to chase them. You could also bring in your estate agent here, as conveyancing delays can often be solved by making use of a proactive agent.