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Timescale & Chains | When Will Completion Be

Following Covid, and with demand outstripping available conveyancers, there was a huge strain on the profession. Many excellent conveyancers left due to the stressful nature of being on the coal face.

Average Timescale

It is fair to say that Conveyancing is now averaging at around 6 months. To understand why it takes this long you must appreciate that there are many steps involved. Conveyancing is a legal process designed to protect sellers, buyers and lenders. It ensures no title defects will affect property value and there will be no issues on re-sale or re-mortgage. Conveyancers are highly trained and regulated legal professionals. Their role is to protect you and not to hinder you.

Steps Involved

The many steps involved are explored in other articles on this blog. In these I discuss what occurs during a purchase, a sale, and a remortgage. These articles clarify what all parties need to work through to achieve completion. A lot goes on behind the scenes. Mortgages, Searches, Valuations, Surveys and Enquiries all need to be processed and reported upon.

Long Chains

The speed of a matter depends upon the circumstances of each party and the more parties in the chain the longer it will take. There will be more parties to organise in a long chain and everyone must be ready at the same time. Therefore reaching completion may take longer than average. It is impossible to accurately predict a completion date at the outset as there are too many variables.

Complex Matters

It is likely that the Conveyancing process will take longer if you are part of a long chain of buyers and sellers, or the property is Leasehold, Shared Ownership or Probate is awaited.


Your Conveyancer will aim to complete your matter as soon as possible but they are dependent on the co-operation and assistance of all parties throughout the chain.

Agreeing Dates

Completion dates agreed at the outset by sellers and buyers cannot be guaranteed by the Conveyancers and the legal process may NOT synchronise with the same. Disappointment often ensues.

Estate Agents & Chain Checking

There can be several people involved in a chain of sales and purchases and this may delay matters. Conveyancers are NOT generally aware of how many parties are in the chain and you should discuss the chain length with the Estate Agents and update your Conveyancer accordingly.

When your Conveyancer prepares your file to exchange, and or complete, they are reliant on the assistance and co-operation of all parties to achieve it. The ability to exchange and complete is dependent upon others being ready when you are. If others are not ready the entire chain is stalled.

This is why your Conveyancer cannot give you a completion date from day one. There are too many parties involved, too many steps to process and too many variables that could result in delays. They are not being difficult they simply cannot give any guarantee as to timescale.

See Below Re Conveyancing After Covid:

Current Timescales Discussed:

Conveyancing timescales



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