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Why is The Conveyancing Timeline Taking so Long

You aren’t imagining it; property sales progressions are taking longer! In the past, the average house sale would be completed within 12-16 weeks. Nowadays, you’d be very lucky to complete by week 16, with most sales taking more than 4 months to complete.

Why is this happening?

The biggest problem is the shortage of properties, lots of sellers just can’t find a property to move into. Meaning that the chain stagnates whilst the seller takes a long time to find a property.
Another big problem is that solicitors are overburdened. The average conveyancer/ solicitor has between 80 – 100 sales progressions on the go at one time. With those numbers, it’s not hard to see why sales aren’t being completed quickly.
Last, but not least, is the backlog of local area searches. Solicitors are reporting delays of up to 6 months on some searches. Why? Councils have been paired back over the past decade due to budgetary cuts, plus Covid and working from home have amplified the problems.

What can you do to minimize delays?

As a seller, you can do quite a few things to help speed up the process. First, instruct your solicitor the moment you want to put your house on the market. There can be a 3 – 6 week lag between the agent’s start date and the solicitor’s start date, the earlier you start the process, the better. Second, agree targets with your solicitor and make them stick to them. Third (and this is a big one), get all your paperwork together especially if you have a leasehold property or deal with a property management company. Management companies drag their feet when agents or solicitors ask for information, they are much quicker to respond to owners – use this to your advantage! Solicitors focus on the winners, so the more you can do in advance the more likely they will push your sale through.

Hope this helps. If you have any questions about the conveyancing process, please get in touch at kellie at! Thanks.