Buying and/or selling a home can often be stressful, not least because there are sometimes unexpected delays in the conveyancing process. You are reliant on many other people working together to keep your conveyancing process timely. The question is what can you personally do to speed up proceedings?
Happily, there are certainly actions you can take to help ensure that any delays in the project aren’t down to your actions. What follows looks at areas you should know about in order to help the process along yourself.
1 – Understand the chain
The more people involved in the chain will cause a slower transaction. You must be aware if the person you are buying from is buying a property in turn, or if they are just selling to you. If they are at the top of the chain then this will make the process quicker. However, it will be a challenge if they are buying on – you will need to find out if they’ve found a property or are looking for one. You will then need to find out if people they are buying from are buying on.
2 – Organise your mortgage
Cash buyers can complete faster than anyone else because of the logistics of the mortgage application process. If you are getting a mortgage you must;
- Get your mortgage in principle
- Order your mortgage valuation
- Get your mortgage offer
This process can take anywhere from 3 -6 weeks. If your Mortgage is in principle then you will be able to book your lender’s valuation straight after the offer for the property is accepted.
3 – Is the seller ready to go?
All conveyancing transactions follow the same path – legal work can only start for the buyer once the seller has returned the property forms and the solicitor has issued the contracts. For the fastest starts, if you are a seller, you should return these items of paperwork to your solicitor as soon as you can:
- Property information form
- Leasehold information form
- Fixtures and Fittings form
- Original title deeds
- Invoices and guarantees
- Boiler maintenance certificates and installation documents
- Electrical certificates
- Planning permission and building control sign-offs.
4 – Don’t hold off ordering property searches and survey if you’re buying
Instead of doing each stage one by one you may have to begin with all of the key stages;
- Order mortgage valuation
- Order your property searches
- Order your building survey
(In some cases, you should complete these stages one by one e.g. If you are concerned the property is undervalued or if you have concern the property has defects as you won’t want to order property searches or order a mortgage valuation).
5 – Choose your conveyancing solicitor wisely
Regardless of which solicitor you choose to use, they are all only in control of their work so they won’t be able to guarantee you a fast conveyancing transaction. Your solicitor will be able to chase whoever is in the chain but they will not be able to overly influence their actions.
When looking for a solicitor needing a fast completion keep in mind –
- Capacity (If they are swamped with work and won’t be able to focus on your transaction).
- Experience (Less experienced conveyancing solicitors may not have the understanding of how to quickly overcome challenges – all of the conveyancing solicitors should use the fastest mode of communication – emails and telephone).
- Mortgage panel membership (Look to work with law firms that have 4 or more principles, you do not want to lose time changing solicitors. If you’re fully committed to buying the property you will be able to instruct your conveyancing solicitor before you’ve had an offer accepted. This will tell a vendor that you are organised and willing to proceed and you will just have to fill out some forms and return them to your solicitor).
By Marcus Simpson