This is difficult to predict because your transaction will proceed at the pace of the slowest transaction in any conveyancing chain.
An average for a purchase is usually about 4 months. At times when there are incentives, such as Stamp Duty Land Tax breaks, that time is likely to increase substantially.
Examples of why timescales may change are:
- Delay in receiving the contract papers
- Delay in receiving your mortgage offer if this applies
- Delay in receiving proper replies to additional enquiries
- Delay in receiving sufficient funds to complete the transaction
- Delay on the part of the seller for similar reasons relating to their related purchase
- Delay in receiving search results due to Local Authorities and Search providers being understaffed
- Exceptionally busy housing market resulting in solicitors taking more time to deal with each transaction.
Typical Key Stages with timescales (as far as we can give them)
During the first 4 weeks after we receive your instructions to act:
- Dealing with the formalities to prove your identity and address, receiving your instructions to act and any payment on account requested from you
- Sending a questionnaire to you to obtain background information and your personal details and receiving that back from you.
- Hearing from the Estate Agents with details of the seller
- Writing to the seller’s solicitors to inform them of our involvement and to obtain complete details relating to their client.
- Receiving the draft contract and related paperwork from the seller and considering the same
- Arranging appropriate searches including of the Local Authority records relating to the property, information from the Water Authority, Information relating to ground stability, planning and environmental contamination.
On average during the following 4 to 8 weeks
- Awaiting the results of searches
- Reading the search results
- Preparing additional enquiries to be sent to the seller’s solicitors arising from the paperwork.
- Preparing the Land Registry document (TR1 or TP1) to transfer ownership to you in draft. Sending that to the seller’s solicitors for approval or amendment.
- Hearing from the seller’s solicitors with replies to additional enquiries.
- Preparing a report on the title to the property and sending the same to you.
- Arranging for you to sign the draft contract
- Preparing the paperwork required to inform HM Revenue and Customs of the Stamp Duty Land Tax. Arranging for you to sign the same
- If you are having a mortgage, advising you of the terms of the mortgage. Preparing the mortgage deed. Arranging for you to sign the mortgage deed.
- Obtaining details of the insurance for the property
- Obtaining evidence of source of funds from you and from any third party
- Receiving deposit monies from you
- On average over the next 2 to 4 weeks
- Arranging to exchange contracts with the solicitors to enter a binding agreement.
- Carrying out pre-completion searches
- Obtaining any mortgage advance in time for completion
- Preparing a completion statement to advise you of the sums required for completion
- Receiving remaining deposit from you.
- Making arrangements to send the purchase monies to the buyer’s solicitors on completion.
- On completion sending the purchase monies to the seller’s solicitors
- Reporting the transaction to HM Revenue and Customs and paying any Stamp Duty Land Tax
- Receiving the deeds in from the sellers. Checking the same.
- On receiving confirmation that any mortgages have been repaid, applying to the Land Registry to register you as the owner of the property
- Advising you on completion of registration. Forwarding deeds to you.
- Making arrangements to close your file
For leasehold property –
- Preparing notice of assignment of the lease and informing the landlord of the purchase. Paying their fees on your behalf
- Forwarding any deed of covenant required by them.
- Obtaining any consent required by them before your name can be registered at the Land Registry
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