How Long Does Conveyancing Take In Scotland?

If you’re buying a house in Scotland, you might be struggling to find a clear-cut answer to how long you can expect to wait for the conveyancing process to get the keys to your new home into your pocket.

Getting started

The clock starts ticking as soon as your offer is accepted. Your conveyancer and the seller start discussions about the missives, which should include important issues like the date of entry when money should be paid and the keys handed over. When everything is agreed, and the contract is finished, this is known as the conclusion of missives. In an ideal world, the process should take four to eight weeks, but as you’d expect, there are plenty of issues which can rear their heads to slow this down.

Why does it take so long?

Even though Scotland’s system is well regarded and has a reputation for being a safer system than its English neighbours, there’s still not a fixed timescale for the conclusion of missives. This is simply because every person’s home buying experience is unique, and no two homes will ever go through exactly the same process, as much as the system would like it to be a one size fits all scenario! There are all sorts of things which can crop up during the process, such as delays in paperwork going between conveyancers, points of disagreement when drawing up the contract (such as items to be left by the seller), and problems thrown up by the searches which even the property seller didn’t know about.

External factors at play

While much of the work to be done to conclude the missives is now computerised, there are still some elements (and some organisations) who insist on posting out physical documentation, meaning that you’re at the mercy of the courier company.

Outside of your conveyancer’s control remain key players like your mortgage provider, if you’re taking out a mortgage. In order to satisfy their own checks, a mortgage provider can take weeks, rather than days, to issue their paperwork to your solicitor. Conveyancers are also at the mercy of corporations like the local council, who will insist on allowing 10 working days to answer any questions put to them.

It can feel like the whole conveyancing process is going at a snail’s pace, and that you’ve been waiting forever to get those keys, but your conveyancer will be busily working behind the scenes, ensuring that each step of the process is going as smoothly as possible.

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