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How long does conveyancing take?

Friday August 18, 2023

Purchasing or selling a property is a significant milestone in anyone’s life, but the process can often seem daunting, especially when it comes to the legal intricacies involved. Conveyancing, the legal process of transferring property ownership, plays a pivotal role in ensuring a smooth transition. 

One of the most common questions we encounter at CWC Solicitors is, “How long does the conveyancing process take?” In this blog post, we’ll break down the various stages of conveyancing and provide insights into the factors that influence the timeline.

Understanding the Conveyancing Process

Conveyancing involves several stages, each requiring careful attention to detail and legal expertise. While the specific timeline can vary depending on various factors, here’s a general overview of the process:

Pre-Contract Stage – 1-3 Weeks:

The process begins with engaging a solicitor or conveyancer who will guide you through the legal requirements. The sellers will then need to provide the necessary property information, including title deeds, boundaries, and fixtures before a draft contract can be drawn up. The buyer’s solicitor will review the draft contract and raise any queries or concerns.

Contractual Stage – 4-6 Weeks:

It is at this stage that all searches and checks take place. Local authority, environmental, and other relevant searches are conducted to uncover any potential issues affecting the property. The buyer’s solicitor may raise additional queries based on search results and review property information provided by the seller.

Exchange of Contracts – 6-8 Weeks:

Once all queries are addressed, both parties sign and exchange contracts. At this point, the transaction becomes legally binding and a deposit is usually paid by the buyer to the seller’s solicitor.

Pre-Completion Stage – 1-2 Weeks:

Here, the buyer’s solicitor ensures that mortgage arrangements are in place, and all necessary funds are ready for completion. A final statement of costs is then prepared, including fees, taxes, and disbursements.

Completion – Same Day:

On the agreed completion date, the property ownership is officially transferred, and the keys are handed over to the buyer. The buyer’s solicitor will send the balance of the purchase price to the seller’s solicitor.

Post-Completion Stage – 1-2 Weeks:

Once the sale is complete, the buyer’s solicitor will ensure that Stamp Duty Land Tax is paid to the HMRC and the property is registered under the new owner’s name at the Land Registry.

Factors Affecting the Timeline

While the above timeline provides a general guideline, several factors can influence the duration of the conveyancing process. A chain of transactions involving multiple properties can lead to delays if any party in the chain encounters issues, or delays in obtaining mortgage approval can extend the process.

Similarly, checks may reveal unexpected issues that require additional time to address or complex transactions involving unusual properties, legal disputes or a unique set of circumstances can also extend the process.

As a result, prompt communication between all parties involved, including solicitors, estate agents, and mortgage lenders, is essential.

Conveyancing with Curtis Whiteford Crocker Solicitors 

At Curtis Whiteford Crocker Solicitors, our team is well-rehearsed in all aspects of conveyancing. While the average timeline for conveyancing is around 8-12 weeks, we work diligently to streamline the process and minimise any potential delays, all the while keeping you informed and empowered throughout the journey. Get in touch with us today for all your conveyancing needs.

Conveyancing, the legal process of transferring property ownership, plays a pivotal role in ensuring a smooth transition in your property sale.