Guide to timescales

Below is a guide to likely conveyancing timescales and what is involved

How long will my house purchase or sale take?

How long it will take from your offer being accepted until you can move into your house or sell it house depends on a number of factors. The average process takes between six to eight weeks, assuming the sale or purchase is an ordinary residential transaction.

It can be quicker or slower, depending on who is involved in the chain. For example, if you are a first-time buyer (or are selling to a first-time buyer) or you’re buying a new-build property with a mortgage in principle, it could take 14 weeks or more. However, if you are buying a leasehold property that requires an extension of the lease, this can take significantly longer, between three and six months. In a situation like this, additional charges would apply.

Stages of the buying process

The precise stages involved in buying a residential property vary according to the circumstances but these are the key stages that are likely to apply:

  • Taking your instructions, then sending you formal terms of engagement with a request for identification documents and finance information, to comply with Money Laundering Regulations
  • Receiving your identification documents and finance information, checking them and then contacting the seller’s and lender’s solicitors, if needed
  • Receiving contract documentation from the seller’s solicitors
  • Carrying out searches
  • Reviewing the contract documentation and search results
  • Getting any further planning documentation, if required
  • Making any necessary enquiries with seller’s solicitor
  • If you are buying with a mortgage: reviewing the mortgage offer and reporting the terms of the offer to you
  • Once replies to all enquiries and all search results are received and are satisfactory, reporting to you on all aspects of the purchase and sending you the relevant documents to sign, together with a draft completion statement showing the approximate amount required from you to complete the purchase
  • Agreeing completion date (i.e. the date from which you own the property)
  • Receiving deposit money from you (usually 10% of the purchase price)
  • Exchanging contracts for completion on the agreed completion date and notifying you when this has happened
  • Arranging collection of all money needed from the lender and you for completion
  • Completing purchase on the agreed completion date
  • Dealing with payment of Stamp Duty Land Tax (or, as applicable, Land Transaction Tax)
  • Dealing with the application to register the purchase and any mortgage with the Land Registry
  • Once registration has been completed, writing to you and the mortgage lender to confirming this has happened.

Stages of the sale process

The precise stages involved in the sale of a residential property vary according to circumstances: these are the key stages that are likely to apply:

  • Taking your instructions, then sending you formal terms of engagement with a request for identification documents in order to comply with Money Laundering Regulations
  • Sending you property forms to complete relating to the property you are selling
  • Receiving your identification documents, checking them and then contacting your lender’s solicitors if needed
  • Getting title documents to the property you are selling
  • Preparing a contract pack and sending it to the buyer’s solicitor
  • Receiving enquiries from the buyer’s solicitor and talking you through them
  • Sending you all the documents you need to sign
  • Agreeing a completion date (i.e. the date from which you will not own the property)
  • Exchanging contracts and notifying you when this has happened
  • Getting a redemption statement from your mortgage lender
  • Producing a completion statement showing the sale proceeds and any deductions, such as repayment of your mortgage, estate agent’s fees and our costs
  • Completing the purchase, which includes giving the keys to the buyers, sending your mortgage lender the redemption money and giving you the net proceeds of sale

How long will my mortgage or remortgage take?

How long it will take from your (new) lender agreeing to issue a mortgage offer until you can complete it will depend on a number of factors. The average process takes between four to six weeks.

It can be quicker or slower, depending on the lender’s requirements or if the sale is more complex. For example, if your lender requires property searches, it could take more than six weeks depending on how quickly the searches can be done.

Stages of the mortgage or remortgage process

The precise stages involved in the mortgage or remortgage of a residential property vary according to the circumstances but these are the key stages that are likely to apply:

  • Taking your instructions, then sending you formal terms of engagement with a request for identification documents and finance information, in order to comply with Money Laundering Regulations
  • Receiving your identification documents and finance information, checking them and then contacting the (new) lender’s solicitors, if needed
  • Receiving and considering (new) mortgage documents
  • Carrying out searches
  • Reviewing the title to your property and the search results
  • Reporting the terms of mortgage offer to you and arranging for you to sign the mortgage document
  • Agreeing a completion date
  • If you are remortgaging, contacting your existing lender for a redemption statement
  • Reporting to your (new) lender
  • Producing a completion statement and arranging collection of all the money from your (new) lender
  • Completing the mortgage or remortgage and arranging to transfer the money to redeem your existing mortgage
  • Sending you the mortgage money minus, the redemption money to discharge your existing mortgage, where applicable, and with our costs deducted
  • Dealing with the application to register the new mortgage and, where applicable, discharge of the existing mortgage at the Land Registry
  • Once registration has been completed, writing to you and your lender to confirm this
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Our Experts

Amanda Hibbard

Amanda Hibbard

Property Law Partner

Email: ahibbard@lyonsdavidson.co.uk

Direct Dial: 0117 904 5854


Marcia Lopes

Residential Property Legal Executive

Email: mlopes@lyonsdavidson.co.uk

Direct Dial: 0117 904 9226


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