Conveyancing is not generally considered as one of the most exciting parts of buying or selling a house – however, it is absolutely essential. A solicitor/conveyancer ensures that all appropriate checks about the property, and the other party in general, have been carried out.
Unfortunately, the conveyancing process is not the quickest – and this causes some people to ask, ‘why does conveyancing take so long?’. In the blog below, we have endeavoured to answer this question in-detail, so you know everything you need to about the conveyancing process.
What is Conveyancing?
Conveyancing is carried out by a licensed conveyancer or solicitor, and it involves the transfer of a property from one person to another.
While it is possible to complete much of the paperwork involved in this process yourself, this is not recommended, as making sure everything is done properly is extremely difficult without prior experience. Also, if something goes wrong, you run the risk of losing the property and forfeiting your deposit.
On the other hand, if you enlist the expertise of a solicitor, any mistakes made will be covered by their professional indemnity insurance.
Is there a difference between a conveyancer and a solicitor?
Many, but not all, solicitors are able to carry out conveyancing as part of their work. Some solicitors specialise in conveyancing and property law, and in particular, areas such as land, bridging, auctions, commercial and residential.
There is also a specialist job role called a ‘conveyancer’. These individuals only do conveyancing and are accepted by most lenders. They will typically have passed various qualifications and will be licensed by a regulatory body in some way.
A licensed conveyancer and a conveyancing solicitor fulfil essentially the same role, however a conveyancing solicitor is also trained in legal services, whereas a conveyancer is not.
How long does conveyancing take?
In the UK, the conveyancing process usually takes 8 – 12 weeks, however there are things which can affect this. Whether the buyer or seller is in a property chain – and how long this chain is – is a significant factor.
It is up to the buyer whether they want to proceed without searches. They don’t have to do it, although they are putting themselves at risk by not knowing everything possible about the property. So, if the buyer refuses to issue a request for searches, the conveyancing process can sometimes take slightly less than 8 weeks.
Finally, some conveyancers can have very long backlogs of clients and cases, which means it will take longer for them to work for you. It is worth checking how quickly a conveyancer can act for you before you hire them, as this can impact how long it takes before the conveyancing process begins.
Why Does Conveyancing Take So Long?
Conveyancing takes so long because of all the important procedures involved in the process. It is an essential part of the house-selling process, and like all important things, it takes time.
Some of the tasks your solicitor will carry out for you in the conveyancing process include:
- Preparing and clarifying legal documents
- Researching about the property and the certificate of title (such as checking for easements, the type of title, and any other information that needs addressing)
- Calculating the adjustments of rates and taxes
- Taking care of the settlement on your behalf
Your conveyancer will represent your interests with the vendor or your agent and will complete all legal documents required.
Furthermore, gathering the relevant information to facilitate a property sale, from several different sources, takes several weeks. You cannot always rely on the promptness of the organisation or body that your solicitor needs to hear back from – and this can cause variation in the time taken.
In the process of completing searches, your solicitor will carry out a variety of investigations into various matters that can affect the property. These include:
- Local authority searches – checking matters such as planning and highways
- Water and drainage – to determine who supplies, owns and maintains the water and drainage supplies
- Environmental searches – covers matters such as pollution, subsidence and contaminated land
- Chancel searches – to check for chancel liability
Conveyancers will also carry out a bankruptcy search on the buyers. If there has been a bankruptcy, then this isn’t an issue if your lender is aware of it.
It is always a good idea to enter the conveyancing process with a clear idea of how long it usually takes. This will enable you to determine whether your solicitor is taking an unusually long amount of time – and follow-up on any points that you want clarification or updates about.
Avoid conveyancing costs with WeBuyAnyHome
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With us, you won’t have to go through the typically drawn-out legal processes, as we appoint you a solicitor from our independent panel who are skilled in dealing with quick property sales. You also will not have to pay for this conveyancing support – we will pay for you.
Want to read more about the house selling process? See our property selling checklist for a clear guide on everything you should do when selling your house.
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