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How long will my conveyancing take?

This is the question that many sellers and buyers will ask at the outset of their transaction, and one which the answer cannot usually be predicted.

It’s not the same for each transaction, but here are some of the most common factors which can influence the time scale.

The chain

The property chain is simply a group of home buyers and seller who are connected through the sale and/or purchase of a property. There is always somebody at the bottom of the chain and somebody at the top, however, there could also be a number of people in the middle – and you can be anywhere in the chain. It is very possible that each of these people will be starting their transaction on a different date, meaning that not all of the transactions will be ready at the same time.

Draft contracts

When acting on a purchase we cannot begin any legal work, such as raising enquiries or requesting searches, until the draft contracts have been received from the seller’s solicitors. It is the same on a sale transaction whereby the buyers’ solicitors cannot begin their legal work until they are provided with a draft contract pack. Therefore, it is essential that you return initial documents as soon as possible, at the outset of the transaction.

Freehold v leasehold

Freehold sales and purchases are often quicker than leasehold ones. If you are buying/selling a leasehold property, information/a leasehold information pack will need to be obtained from the Landlord/managing agents. This often incurs a fee, and a pack will not be provided until the fee is paid. Managing agents are renowned for giving timescales such as 10 working days from receipt of payment to provide the pack.


If you are obtaining a mortgage, it is compulsory that searches are carried out and there is no set time scale in which these can be returned. Searches need to be paid for upfront, and while some may take one week, others could take up to six weeks. Some purchasers choose not to pay for searches until their mortgage survey has been carried out and they know that the mortgage will be approved.


If you are obtaining a mortgage, a valuation will need to be carried out by the lender and each lender may have different time scales in processing this. They may also have different requirements in respect of information required from the purchasers in the form of pay slips, proof of earnings etc. Depending on how quickly this information is provided can influence how quickly the mortgage offer is issued. Each lender also has specific/different timescales on notice to be given for drawing down the mortgage loan amount. The average is usually five working days.

Conveyancing overview

The time in which your conveyancing transaction can take is realistically between 12-16 weeks, but this is dependent on many factors and only a few of which are detailed above. Therefore, the question of how long it will take can only be responded to with an average or estimated timescale. However, you can rest assured that the residential conveyancing team at Napthens will progress your transaction as quickly as possible to ensure you can quickly make your new house, a home.

how long will buying a house take