Conveyancing Advice Part 3: Setting a timescale for completion

As part of our commitment to provide expert advice in legal matters for concerned customers, we’re providing advice on the often-complex matter of conveyancing.

In the previous entries, we’ve discussed specifics of the buyer’s responsibility to provide proof of funds, and the conveyancer’s role as a whole. In this, the third part of our Conveyancing Advice series, we are focusing on the time element the sale from the perspective of the seller, giving an estimate of how long each stage takes.

Please note that these timescales will be estimates only; in spite of their best efforts, conveyancers are unable to control the pace of work of other parties in the transaction, such as the buyer’s solicitors, banks, estate agents, etc.

Conveyancing advice series

Part 1: Providing proof of funds
Part 2: What does a conveyancer do?
Part 3: Setting a timescale for completion
Part 4: Exchange of contracts between buyers and sellers

How long will it take?

The first question that we are often asked as conveyancers by clients as soon as we are instructed is “When will we be ready to complete?” This is always a difficult question to answer as timescales are dependent on so many different factors.

A good conveyancer will ask such clients whether they have any timescales in mind for completion, and the reason for wanting to complete in the desired timeframe. This way, they may ascertain whether the timescales are realistic and achievable, so that they are able to manage expectations right at the onset.

In matters where it is imperative that completion takes place at a certain time due to, for example, relocation of clients or school terms, it is important to enlist a conveyancer that endeavours to prioritise your matter and meet your expectations to the best of their ability.

Client care pack

When a seller’s conveyancer is instructed in a sale transaction, the first step (once they have issued a quote and it has been accepted by the client) is to issue a client care documentation pack which will consist of terms and conditions, property information forms, etc.

This documentation is then to be signed, completed and returned so that the conveyancer may commence work on the transaction. This way, as soon as a sale is agreed the conveyancer can start the proceedings and issue the draft contract package to the buyer’s solicitors. This is usually done within five working days.

Initial enquiries and Searches

Upon receipt of the draft contract package, the buyer’s solicitors should then review the title documentation in a timely fashion and revert to the seller’s conveyancer with their initial enquiries and also, if applicable, apply for their Searches. We find initial enquiries are usually raised within one to two weeks of issuing the draft contract package. The Seller’s conveyancer’s job is to then deal with the enquiries they are able to answer based on the information held on file, reverting to their clients for responses to the points they are unable to answer.

A good conveyancer will aim to deal with enquiries within one to two weeks of receipt, but this stage also depends on how quickly clients are able to respond to the enquiries.

Signing of the contract

Once all enquiries are satisfied and the buyer’s solicitors are in receipt of searches (and mortgage offer if applicable) and no further enquiries are necessary, the Seller’s conveyancer can then arrange for the contract documentation to be signed, in readiness for exchange of contracts and completion. It is also necessary prior to this point to contact your mortgage lender if there is a mortgage on the account and obtain a redemption statement.

If all parties have acted promptly and there are no delays in the buyers receiving search results or mortgage offers and there are no defects in the title, we estimate that completion should take place within six to eight weeks of the draft contract being issued. But of course, if your transaction is part of a chain or a leasehold property then the transaction will take longer to complete; look for more on that from Astle Paterson in the future!

Get expert conveyancing advice

At Astle Paterson, we always act with our client’s best interests at heart, making sure we understand their needs and communicating with them every step of the way. We even offer a fixed-price conveyancing quote to offer extra peace of mind.

Get a quote now

Contact our Conveyancing team to learn more about our services and book an appointment.

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