The Conveyancing Process: How Long Does It Take?

May 30, 2022
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When it comes to buying or selling property, you want the transaction to be as smooth and trouble-free as possible. If it’s your home, you want it to go through quickly and easily so you can get on with life in your new house, while if you’re selling the property, the quicker it moves onto the next stage the sooner you can get your money out of it. The question everyone has, though, is how long does conveyancing take? Here’s a look at what happens when you put your property on the market, from offers and appraisals to paperwork and property conveyancing solicitors near chester. 


Signing the Contract

One of your first questions once you’ve agreed on a price and terms with a buyer is likely to be, ‘When can I move in?’. In most cases, you can expect to sign a contract within 10 days or so after an offer has been accepted. You’ll then need to give your conveyancer at least four weeks to process everything. But there are other considerations as well.  For example, if you have a mortgage already in place, it will take some time for that lender to transfer over any funds from your old home into your new one. So when all is said and done, you should plan on waiting at least six weeks before moving into your new home.


Solicitors File their Case

When you instruct a solicitor to act on your behalf, they are legally required to pass their instructions onto another lawyer within 24 hours. This is called ‘filtering down’ and it is crucial that your solicitor does it in order for everything to run smoothly. During filtering down, which can take up to seven days, your file will be passed from one conveyancer to another until it reaches you.


Mortgage Approval and Deed Poll

These processes can be done relatively quickly, as long as you have all of your paperwork and financial details ready. Once it has been approved by your mortgage provider, a Deed Poll is drawn up to change your name on title (the legal ownership). The Deed Poll is then used in conjunction with a transfer form to officially hand over ownership. This part of the process only takes about one week from start to finish.


Exchange of Contracts

Now that a buyer has made an offer and it’s been accepted, and once a deposit has been exchanged hands, there is an exchange of contracts. This is usually followed by solicitor’s searches, valuations, surveys and more before you’re ready to move on to Completion. With so many tasks to be done – most of which need to be done by you – it can feel like conveyancing takes ages, but it doesn’t have to take too long.



Your conveyancer should be able to give you a firm completion date, but in reality most will only be able to estimate how long it will take. If they are too precise they may be proven wrong by circumstances beyond their control. For example, if there are any delays from your solicitor (the other professional in on your conveyancing transaction) or any lender requirements that need to be completed before completion can take place, your property deal might run over your deadline. So always ask for a best estimate, not a rigid date.



When your solicitor has completed all of their paperwork, they will hand over your new home or property to you. You may need to pay a small fee for taking over ownership at this point (known as stamp duty). Your solicitor should let you know when and where to meet, who you’ll be meeting and what documentation you’ll need.

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