The sale and purchase of a property from start to finish can be a lengthy process. If you’re in a chain you can find yourself with even bigger delays which can become frustrating. Yet, understanding the process and ways in which you can ensure you’re on top of your property move can help you remain one step ahead.

According to Quick Move Now a quarter of transactions fell through between an offer being accepted and completion in 2019 with conveyancing delays being one of the reasons the property move didn’t complete. So what can you do to help keep your transaction moving?

One of the biggest misconceptions is when you should appoint your conveyancer. Often vendors are of the understanding that you cannot appoint your conveyancer until you’ve accepted an offer on your property. However, appointing your conveyancer earlier in the process can save significant time.

As a buyer, once you have a mortgage in principle and you’re actively looking at properties you should be deciding who you want to act for you at this stage. This means you can instruct your conveyancer the moment your offer is accepted. Likewise, as a seller, as soon as your property is on the market again you should think about appointing your property solicitor.

You may do your own research, have a conveyancer recommended by friends or family, or your estate agent may act as a referral for a conveying firm. Whatever your selection process it may help to get in touch with whoever you have in mind, before appointing them, to run any question you may have past them, for example:

  • What does their current workload look like?
  • If you need to complete by a certain date does it sound realistic and are there any potential threats that could derail your goal completion date?
  • If the person managing your transaction has any annual leave planned, who would manage your case in their absence?
  • What is their preferred method of communication and do they have an online tracker portal for you to access for regular updates?

Once your transaction is underway remember to respond to queries and return paperwork as quickly as possible. While the legal terminology may make you feel out of your comfort zone setting aside the time to go through it and responding quickly will ensure any delays aren’t because you’re holding things up.

Be prepared, if you need to call your conveyancer have all of your questions written down so that you don’t forget anything and have to make follow up calls.

But remember, even if you stay on top of everything delays are sometimes unavoidable and out of your control. If you’re in a chain you will only move as quickly as the slowest person in your chain. Likewise, when your conveyancer orders the Local Authority searches these can sometimes take a while to come back. In this instance it’s a good idea to ask your conveyancer what are the likely turnaround times so you don’t ask for an update until this time has lapsed.

If the COVID-19 pandemic has taught us anything it’s that remaining flexible is also key to a smooth transition. With the threat of a person contracting the virus or having to self-isolate buyers and sellers should be actively aware that if this happens they will need to remain flexible and consider a new completion date that suits all parties.

If you’re looking to move onto the property ladder or indeed up the ladder get your free instant conveyancing quote from Enact today.

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