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In a perfect world, the process of buying and selling properties is smooth and easy: Complete some paperwork, exchange money, and you will have your new home in no time. While this situation is possible in real life, it does not happen all the time.

Conveyancing, or the legal transferring of property from one person to another, is a delicate process. It requires different stages of contract exchanges and involves several phases of legal and administrative work.

This meticulous process is also prone to problems that can cause delays. For anyone who is about to face this step when selling or purchasing a home, here is your guide of what to avoid and a few possible solutions.

Problem 1: Late instructions to your conveyancing solicitor

Once your offer has been accepted, the first immediate thing you should do is inform your conveyancing solicitor so they can start the legal process. Time is crucial when buying or selling a property, so this will be a problem if you have no solicitor in mind yet.

To avoid this inconvenience, make sure to get several conveyancing quotes in advance. That way, when the time comes that you need their help, you can immediately contact one and proceed with the next steps.

It is best to have several quotes on-hand so that you can compare their fees versus the level of services offered. By having all their information, you can decide which service to hire. Also, make sure to have their details ready, so you can hand them over to the real estate agent when needed.

Problem 2: The seller accepts another higher offer

A seller might take on a higher offer even though they have already accepted yours. It is what some people call “gazumping.” While it is a frustrating situation for home buyers, it is not illegal unless contracts were already exchanged.

When stuck in this situation, here are the things you can do:

  • Choose to match the new buyer’s offer

  • Try to negotiate a price in between

  • Drop out of the sale

If you want to win the property, you will have the advantage if you are already in the conveyancing process. There is a chance that the seller will accept your slightly lower offer if you can complete the conveyancing process faster.

Problem 3: Many disagreements between the buyer and seller

Here is how the conveyancing process happens: It is a back-and-forth exchange of legal letters (missives) between a buyer and seller until they reach an agreed set of terms. The terms include the price, date of entry, and the fixtures and fittings. If one party does not agree with a specific condition, they need to negotiate until they find a compromise.

Working with a conveyancing solicitor with excellent negotiation skills will help you come up with the best terms possible for your case.

Problem 4: Missing documents that cause delays

Plenty of documents are involved in the conveyance process, especially when a mortgage is involved. These documents come from both the buyer and seller. One missing document can immediately cause a delay and will affect the entire process.

To avoid this problem, make sure that everything is organised. From your end, try your best to make yourself available when there are contracts and return documents that need to be signed and addressed immediately.

Problem 5: Long mortgage valuation and survey

Mortgage valuation only takes around fifteen to twenty minutes to finish. However, setting up that meeting usually takes a while. Apart from that, there is an in-depth survey that you need to undergo.

After finishing with the valuation and survey, your lender will still need time to put everything into writing. All these stages should be carefully considered in your conveyancing timeline.

Since this aspect is not something you can control, the best thing you can do to fast-track the process is to start looking into surveys as soon as your offer gets accepted.

Problem 6: Problems with the property

The survey process is when you will discover whether the property in question has problems. This information will definitely cause delays in the conveyancing process. When in this situation, you need to understand the extent of the problem first. Then, you need to decide and determine the steps you need to take to address or rectify the situation.

Your conveyancing solicitor should advise you on the results of the survey and its implications. Expect to go through a fair bit of negotiation again with the other party.

Problem 7: Delays in funding

A delay in mortgage approval can result in more delays. To address this, your conveyancing solicitor will most likely use CHAPS (Clearing House Automated Payment System), which comes with an additional charge. Other options include transferring money or writing a check, but these can also slow down the process.

Problem 8: Expired mortgage

Mortgage approval also has a timeline. The offer usually lasts only between three to six months. If this offer expires and the conveyancing process is not yet complete, you need to apply for a new mortgage, and that means repeating the whole process.

To avoid this, make sure to discuss and arrive at an agreement with your conveyancing solicitor. Strategise how you can make the timing efficient and take note of your deliverables.

Problem 9: Delays in local authority searches

Part of the conveyancing solicitor’s job is to ask for local authority searches. That means seeking help from the local authorities to learn more information about your property. The task involves checking the properties’ flooding and mining records, planning permission, water supply, and external bodies.

Some local authorities will finish the task in a matter of days, while others might take weeks. To have an idea of what this process will involve, make sure that you look into the disbursements of each conveyancing fee quotation to see how your solicitor charges for them.

Problem 10: Lack of planning permission or building regulations

The property owner needs to present all their planning permissions and building regulations, regardless of whether a mortgage is involved. These serve as proof to assure that the property was correctly built and that it meets all the required standards and regulations. There should also be proof that the approval was appropriately obtained.


Like any other process, conveyancing also has its imperfections. Working with a well-prepared and knowledgeable conveyancing solicitor can make the process easier and smoother for you. Your solicitor should monitor the process closely and inform you if any problems arise. They also know how costly problems in the process can be, which is why they should be equipped to minimise any delays.

Find the best value conveyancing service by comparing several conveyancing quotes online. Conveyancing Calculator provides you with instant online residential conveyancing quotations with our trusted and accurate conveyancing fees calculator. Start calculating and comparing conveyancing prices now.


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