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SAM Conveyancing's 5 Tips For Fast Conveyancing

Fast Conveyancing

(Last Updated: 11/04/2024)
14 min read
Key Takeaways
  • Certain transactions, like auctions or new builds, have a set time frame. For standard purchases, you can expect this to take at least 8 weeks, even more for leasehold properties.
  • Buying in a property chain can delay your transaction. The seller may also contribute to the delays if they delay answers to your solicitor's enquiries.
  • You can fast-track your conveyancing by instructing your solicitor early on, as well as booking your mortgage valuation, property survey and searches as soon as possible.

With your offer accepted, the goal for most buyers is to find quick conveyancing solicitors to handle the legal work to get you through to completion - we list below our top 5 tips for making completion happen quicker.

There are some purchases which must completed within a set time frame, which include:

  • an Auction Property requiring a 28-day or less completion (you exchange once you win at auction);
  • a New Build requiring a 28 day or less exchange of contracts;
  • a Repossessed Property requiring a 28 day or less exchange of contracts

For the above transactions, the exchange of contracts must be completed within a set number of days, normally 28 days from receipt of contracts.

How fast can conveyancing be done?

Conveyancing Solicitors are required by the Solicitors Regulatory Authority (SRA) to inform their clients of the estimated time it'll take to complete the purchase. The conveyancing process time frames range, depending on the type of transaction:

  • Freehold properties take from 8 to 10 weeks;
  • Leaseholds are stated to take longer due to their complexities.

Read more - How long does it take to buy a house?

Can you fast track conveyancing?

You can fast-track certain steps in the conveyancing process, such as conveyancing searches. Ensuring you get your mortgage offer in advance and instructing your licensed conveyance or solicitor early on will also help speed up the process.

In some cases, you can also fast track the land registration application when registering your property. This is usually done when you're putting another transaction at risk.

Can conveyancing be done in 2 weeks?

In rare cases, this can be achievable, but 2 weeks is generally an unrealistic timeframe. The conveyancing process will usually take at least 8 weeks, from the moment you get your offer accepted and instruct a solicitor to completion day.

Not rushing things like a property survey or getting the conveyancing search results will ensure you don't find any unpleasant surprises post completion. An experienced conveyancing solicitor will manage your property transaction so that you get the best service with the best time frame.

How do you choose the quickest conveyancing solicitors?

  • Capacity - find out if the solicitor has the capacity to focus on your property transaction. Solicitors who are too busy won't be able to be proactive in pushing your transaction forward.
  • Experience - it can take years to understand the law fully and to have knowledge of solutions to overcome legal issues that arise. Less experienced conveyancing solicitors may not have the number of years needed to have the practical understanding of how to quickly overcome challenges and even to understand if it is, in fact, a challenge at all.
  • Online Conveyancing - quick conveyancing solicitors should use the fastest means of communication to work, i.e. emails and telephone. If communication is purely by post, the process is clearly going to take far longer.
  • Mortgage panel membership - smaller solicitors have been excluded from being able to work with some lenders. You should look to work with law firms that have 4 or more principles (partners). You don't want to lose time changing solicitors because they can't act for your chosen mortgage lender.

If you are fully committed to buying a home, you can instruct your conveyancing solicitor before you've had an offer accepted. You'll have forms to fill in and return to your solicitor to get them up and running anyway. If you've already instructed, this tells a vendor that you're organised and ready to proceed - this might swing things in your favour when it comes to deciding whose offer to accept.

5 Tips for Fast Conveyancing

  • 1Understand the chain
  • One of the greatest influences on the time it can take to complete your conveyancing is the length of your chain - the more people involved, the slower a property transaction will be. You must find out if the person you are buying from is buying as well or if they are only selling to you. If they are at the top of the chain, then your purchase can go faster; however, the challenge is if they are buying on.

    With an onward purchase, you'll need to understand if they have found a property or still looking, then find out if the people they are buying from are also buying on. Find out more about different types of conveyancing chains.

  • 2Get your mortgage offer
  • Cash property buyers can complete faster than anyone getting a mortgage because of the logistics of the mortgage application process and the additional legal requirements of the mortgage lender. Find out more about getting a mortgage offer quickly.

    If you are getting a mortgage, you must:

    • Get your mortgage in principle;
    • Order your mortgage valuation (at busy times, it can take up to 2 weeks after instruction to get the bank's surveyor into the property)
    • Get your mortgage offer

    The conveyancing process from start to finish can take anywhere from 3 weeks to 6 weeks, so make sure you start the process ASAP. If you've got your mortgage in principle, you can maximise your time by booking your lender's valuation straight after you've had your offer on a property accepted. The sooner you can get your mortgage offer, the more quickly your solicitor can act.

    Can fast conveyancing ever be cheap?

    Cheap, Fast and Quality - Which are you prepared to give up?
    • Cheap and Fast - it can often lead to poor quality conveyancing services and errors during the transaction. By paying less, you are restricting the time the solicitor can spend on your file as they'll likely take on more clients to make their books balance.
    • Cheap and Quality - often slow because the conveyancing solicitor will need to spend more time on a conveyancing transaction to offer quality service.
    • Fast and Quality - this is what you really need; however, if the transaction is fast and delivered to a high quality, the cost will be much higher.

    We have fast conveyancing solicitors on our panel, who are constantly trying to give you the best chance at achieving all three, i.e. cheap, quick conveyancing which doesn't stint on quality - call 0333 344 3234 (local call charges apply) or contact us to find out more about our fast track conveyancing solicitors.

  • 3Is the seller ready?
  • All conveyancing transactions follow the same path (as we explain here - Guide to Buying a Home). The legal process for the buyer can only start once the seller has returned their property forms and their solicitor has issued contracts. Buyers often get frustrated when it takes weeks for the seller to return their paperwork to the solicitor.

    For a fast conveyancing process, sellers should return all their paperwork to their solicitors as quickly as possible (which is why sellers should instruct their solicitor as soon as they start marketing their property). These are the documents the sellers should get back to their solicitor:

    • TA6 Property Information Form
    • TA7 Leasehold Information Form (if leasehold)
    • TA10 Fixtures & Fittings Form
    • Original title deeds
    • Invoices and guarantees for any work completed on the property (such as FENSA for double glazing or NHBC/Zurich Insurance for properties under 10 years old)
    • Boiler maintenance certificates and installation documents
    • Electrical certificates, warranties and any other documents
    • Planning permissions and building control sign-offs

    Sellers often struggle to provide satisfactory documentation for their property, and this can delay the process. Finding where the holes are early on gives the seller time to fill in the gaps.

    Quick Conveyancing Tip

    If you are buying a leasehold property, then you should request the seller buy their management information pack from their Freeholder/Managing Agent at the point your offer is accepted. It can take weeks for this information to be compiled, and the information contained in it is essential and can often raise additional enquiries your solicitor needs to satisfy.

    • 4Don't hold off ordering property searches and survey

    When looking for a fast completion, you may have to forgo the comfort of ticking stages off one by one and instead start the ball rolling on all key stages:

    • Instruct your solicitor;
    • Order your mortgage valuation;
    • Order your property searches (local authority searches can take up to 4 weeks to come back); and
    • Order your building survey

    There are occasions where you should complete each of the above, one by one. For example, if you are concerned the property is undervalued, then you wouldn't want to spend money on property searches and a survey before you find out if the mortgage lender will give you a mortgage offer. Equally, you wouldn't want to do property searches or order a mortgage valuation if you have concerns the property has defects and is in need of a building survey.

    • 5Choose your conveyancing solicitor wisely

    Finding a fast conveyancing solicitor can be tough; do you choose solicitors who do online conveyancing or go for the one referred by the estate agent? The key thing to understand is that regardless of which solicitor you use, none can guarantee a quick conveyancing transaction because they are only in control of their work.

    Although your solicitor can chase, they can't overly influence the actions of the seller, seller's solicitor, mortgage lender, local council for searches or your property surveyor, let alone the other people in your chain outside of your sale and purchase.

    Do you need speedy conveyancing?

    We provide fast online conveyancing and fast conveyancing quotes. Fill in the form below or call us on 0333 344 3234 (local call charges apply).

    Frequently Asked Questions
    Andrew Boast of Sam Conveyancing
    Written by:
    Andrew started his career in 2000 working within conveyancing solicitor firms and grew hands-on knowledge of a wide variety of conveyancing challenges and solutions. After helping in excess of 50,000 clients in his career, he uses all this experience within his article writing for SAM, mainstream media and his self published book How to Buy a House Without Killing Anyone.
    Caragh Bailey, Digital Marketing Manager
    Reviewed by:

    Caragh is an excellent writer in her own right as well as an accomplished copy editor for both fiction and non-fiction books, news articles and editorials. She has written extensively for SAM for a variety of conveyancing, survey and mortgage related articles.

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