Common Problems In Conveyancing And How To Fix Them

Common reasons for delays and how to avoid them

If you are going through the process of buying or selling property, with any luck, the process will be plain-sailing and you will complete the transaction in a timely manner with few hold ups or set-backs. However, this is not always the case. In order to help you understand the problems that can be encountered throughout the conveyancing process, we have put together a list of the most common reasons for delays, along with advice on how to avoid them where possible.

1. Not instructing solicitor as soon as an offer is accepted

Whether you are buying or selling, as soon as an offer is agreed on a property, the estate agent requires your conveyance solicitor’s details. It is therefore important to have a conveyancing solicitor ready to go. The best way to make sure you are ready is to gather several conveyancing quotes in advance. Getting online conveyance quotes is a quick and easy way of doing this. This way, you will have time to make a decision on who to use and be prepared with the details of a conveyancing solicitor as soon as you have chosen your new home.

2. The buyer and seller can’t agree

When an offer has been accepted on a property, the conveyancing on both sides begins making it legally binding by a series of exchanged letters (missives) until all terms are agreed. The terms will include the price paid, date of entry, along with fixtures and fittings. Sometimes, one or more of the conditions can’t be agreed on. In this case, your conveyancing solicitor will negotiate in collaboration with yourself. You must decide what you are prepared to compromise on and what you are not. Your conveyance solicitors must identify the best negotiating position and decide how to improve your negotiating position.

3. Paperwork issues

Missing and incomplete paperwork is a common obstacle in the conveyancing process. Conveyance solicitors deal with numerous documents which need to be signed by both buyers and sellers. Arranging this can sometimes cause delays. To keep the conveyancing process in motion, be as available as possible to sign contracts, and always return documents as quickly as possible.

4. Time taken to complete mortgage valuation and surveys

Whilst mortgage valuations don’t take that long to complete (usually around 15-20 mins), it can take a while for your lender to arrange one being carried out. Any further, more in-depth surveys that you may wish to have can also cause delays. Once a valuation and survey have been carried out, there is also the time it takes to write up their findings. To avoid delays, and if you do wish to have a surveyor carry out a structural survey, you should start looking into this as soon as you’ve had an offer accepted.

5. There is a problem with the property

If a survey detects a problem with the property you are buying or selling, this could cause delays to the conveyancing process. The extent of the problem must be fully investigated, and decisions will have to be made about who will organise and pay for any work that needs to be carried out to rectify the problem. Your conveyancing solicitor will advise you on the survey and its implications, and if necessary, renegotiate price the offer with the other side.

6. Funding delays

Sometimes there can be a delay with the lender’s approval on mortgages, which can cause a knock on effect. When it comes to collecting and transferring money at the point of completion of a property your conveyance solicitor is likely to use CHAPS (Clearing House Automated Payment System), which comes with a charge. Some people therefore decide to transfer the money over several or write a cheque which will slow the process. Always maintain regular communication with the lender and your conveyancing solicitor to keep everyone aware of what is going on.

7. Mortgage offer expiring

When you have been approved for a mortgage, the offer usually last between 3 and 6 months. If it expires before all necessary legalities have been carried out, a new mortgage will have to be applied for. When you are examining your conveyancing quotes, consider time frames and discuss the matter with your chosen conveyancing solicitor.

8. Local authority searches

Your conveyancing Solicitor will order local authority searches. These are made to find out as much information about your property as possible and include the checking flooding and mining records, future planning permission and projects. In addition to this, inquiries may have to be made to the water supplies and other external bodies depending on your particular purchase/sale. While some local authorities return the searches within a matter of days, others can take up to eight weeks. Always examine your breakdown of conveyancing fees. Searches are often listed under disbursements.

9. Lack of planning permission/ building regulations

When a mortgage is being used to buy a property, conveyancing solicitors have a duty to collect and examine all necessary planning permissions and building regulations. They need to see proof that approval has been obtained in respect of adding to, changing or adapting a property. Even when no lender is involved, they have a duty to the purchaser to make sure that any changes made to a property were carried out correctly and meet the necessary standards and regulations.

10. Others in the chain

Many potential delays in the conveyancing process will result from other parties in the chain. This is not something that you have control of, but must be aware of. Your conveyancing solicitor should be monitoring the chain and let you know as soon as possible if a problem occurs. Breaks in chains can be costly. When examining your online conveyancing quotes, check with each solicitor whether this will affect the conveyancing fees you will owe.

Your conveyancing solicitor is duty-bound to minimise delays and interruptions to your property transaction. When choosing a conveyance solicitor, always get several conveyancing quotes (this can be done online) and discuss conveyancing fees before you commit.

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