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A guide to reducing delays in conveyancing

One of the most popular questions conveyancers are asked is ‘how long will it take?’, but just as individual circumstances can vary greatly, so can the time taken by your conveyancer.

The average time it takes to purchase a home is six to eight weeks from the date the contract pack is received by the buyer's conveyancer, but it can be less or much longer depending on the circumstances surrounding the purchase. So how can you help to reduce delays when dealing with conveyancing?


It’s often underestimated how long it can take to get a mortgage finalised. Mortgage offers are not the same thing as being pre-approved by the lender and unfortunately many mistake it as such. Only when a full valuation of the property has been carried out will the process be finalised. 
  • If you choose a house that is not part of a chain (i.e. the buyers/sellers aren’t waiting on another property) this will significantly speed up the process. 
  • When having a survey of your house carried out, upgrade to the homebuyers report (typically around £400) as this includes a valuation report and will mean that you don’t have to wait for your mortgage lender to do one separately. 
  • By securing your mortgage early in the transaction it will speed up the whole conveyancing process. Make sure you clearly state the timescale you’re working with to your mortgage provider to try and minimise delays. 
Good communications

One of the main delays in conveyancing is a lack of a communication between parties. This can be between the seller, you, the estate agent, your solicitor, the surveyor, the mortgage provider or any other parties involved. The easiest ways to ensure good communications are:
  • Make sure they all have each other’s contact details so that appointments can be made and kept e.g. the surveyor and the seller/estate agent, and so that communication lines remain open. 
  • Keep in touch with your agent and anyone involved in the process to ensure that you know what is happening. 
Conveyancing specialists

If you hire a lawyer who is not a conveyancing specialist then you not only risk slowing down the process, but you also risk collapsing it altogether. Get in touch with First4Lawyers and we will make sure you're using a trustworthy and fully qualified conveyancer. 


You're bound to have a lot going on during the conveyancing process, but it is so important to keep on top of paperwork, to keep things moving. Any delays in signatures from you could slow down the process considerably. Make sure you promptly complete and return any paperwork to your conveyancer. 

Ask your conveyancing solicitor

In most cases of avoidable delays your solicitor can inform you of ways to get around the issues. For example, if your local council is renowned for taking a long time to return the results of property searches, your solicitor may recommend alternatives such as indemnity insurance or a personal search. 

Our solicitors work on a No Move, No Fee basis, so you can rest assured that we will not delay the process unless it is absolutely necessary. We want you to move in quickly as much as you do! We can’t always predict what will go wrong, but we are here to advise you and make sure the process is back on its feet again as soon as possible, if it does.

Note: First4Lawyers offers this information as guidance, not advice. Before taking any action, you should seek professional assistance tailored to your personal circumstances and not rely on First4Lawyers’ information alone.
* All details and pricing are correct at time of last update. First4Lawyers and their partners are not tax advisors and we recommend you seek appropriate independent financial advice before making any decisions that relate to tax and property.

 Last updated: November 2017