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Want A New Home Before Christmas? Act Now!

Delays in conveyancing for a number of reasons are causing havoc in the property sector with predictions indicating that buyers need to act now if they wish to be in their new home by Christmas.

“As estate agents, we are being advised to encourage clients looking to move before Christmas to get the ball rolling now with purchases, in order to avoid disappointment. Delays during conveyancing are common and it’s unfortunate that this is the part of the process where buyers are likely to experience issues,” explains Kate Patrick, Head of Estate Agency at H&H Land & Estates.

“Fortunately, the current Eden District Council turnaround is 17 working days according Property Searches Direct, less than in many areas. It is important to factor in the weekends and Bank Holidays as non-working days, and of course, there will always be possible and unavoidable delays sending off paperwork etc, all which will have an impact on timings. However, there are ways that you can minimise the chance of problems occurring, and deal with any issues that do arise efficiently to prevent them from escalating, which includes building relationships with those providing the professional services.”

Conveyancing is the branch of the law specifically relating to the legal side of purchasing a new property. It is the transfer of ownership of the property and begins once an offer has been accepted on a property. Included in the conveyancing process are ID checks, required searches on the property, such as environmental and drainage searches, surveys, mortgage checks, stamp duties, arranging exchange of contract and completion dates and, finally, registering change of ownership with the land registry.

Kate gives further details and advice:

“From a vendor’s perspective, one of the most common delays is paperwork issues. Missing and incomplete paperwork is a very common obstacle for conveyancers, and whilst you don’t have control over the other parties involved, you can make sure that you have all the necessary documents ready to go prior to the conveyancing process beginning. The type of documentation required will include:

  • Planning consents – this is especially important if you are purchasing a listed building, as you could end up being liable if unauthorised changes have been made.
  • Access rights – have the necessary access rights been retained or created? This can be difficult to resolve once the contract has been signed.

“From a purchaser’s perspective, before contracts can be exchanged, buyers may be asked to provide information on the following:

  • Proof of funds – this includes proof of mortgage offer and evidence of any other funds that will be used to purchase the property.
  • Proof of identity and address – two forms of ID will be required as evidence of who you are and where you currently reside.

“For sellers, it is important that your chosen agent has a close relationship with local conveyancers and solicitors as this can really help speed up the process,” adds Kate.

“Across all of our offices, we work closely with local conveyancers and solicitors on a daily basis, and as a result we have an established relationship, which means that if any issues or problems crop up, they can be actioned and dealt with as quickly as possible.”

When viewing a property, it is worth taking note of all the questions you would like to ask. This can spur sellers on to making sure they have all the relevant paperwork approved prior to an offer even being accepted.

Kate concludes: “It is important that everyone does their bit in a timely and efficient manner to reduce the risk of delays, however, I can’t reiterate enough that proper preparation and organisation from both the buyer and seller is the key to unlocking the door, and to fast-tracking the conveyancing process.”

For any further information about the local property market or selling your home right now, please contact Kate on 07793 528609 or click here to find your local office