Conveyancing wait times have hit a record high of 59 days, up 26% from 2020 as higher demand and the lack of knowledge of the buying process has likely continued to fuel the worst wait times on record. Research from The Law Society reveals that over a third of home-movers have limited knowledge when it comes to conveyancing, while one in four homebuyers are willing to pay more for a faster conveyancing experience due to lengthy delays. With last year’s stamp duty rush boosting the housing market, the backlog of conveyancing is likely still causing significant delays – and is set to be worsened by a busy March period of property listings.

With this in mind, property expert and CEO of iPlace Global, Simon Bath, highlights the importance of understanding the entire conveyancing process to ensure that you’re cutting delay times.

Simon says “Homeowners and prospective home-buyers must take the time to understand what the conveyancing process entails. Make sure you have all the documents you need and get a better understanding of the process before you proceed. These are the requirements (below) that will ultimately help you save from overpaying by thousands, and prevent any delays that may occur.”

1. Make sure you have money on account

You might think that after hiring a conveyancer, you can sit back and let them handle the rest of the process – this is what causes severe delays amongst home-movers right at the start of the process, many whom aren’t even aware of the delays until a few weeks in. After choosing your conveyancer, you must put money on account as they won’t start their work until you have paid upfront. You must be proactive about this as you won’t be chased up, and without money on account, your conveyancer will not begin the process. On average, you need to put around £400 on your account to start with.

2. Proof of ID

Similar to many other legal processes, you’ll need to provide proof of ID and address before you begin the conveyancing process. It sounds simple enough, but you’d be surprised by how many people miss this step. You can provide either a passport or driving license, and your proof of address can be a bank statement, utility bill or council tax bill from up to three months ago. Don’t forget that it must be an original, not copied, and that you can do this in person or online.

3. Check and provide your source of funds

Conveyancers require proof of funds such as a bank statement or a principle mortgage offer. If you’re purchasing a property on your own, this would be sufficient enough. However, with average house prices and the demand for homes sky-rocketing, the property market is seeing a rise in popularity of funding from the Bank of Mum and Dad (BoMaD) – according to figures, one in four housing transactions are funded by the BoMaD. Given this, you will need a written statement from them to confirm that they are assisting with financing your home. Sometimes it can take a few working days for banks to send statements, so make sure you begin this step as early as possible to avoid any delays to what is already a long-winded process.

4. Begin the process and remain proactive

The conveyancing process can take up to 16 weeks; in between this time, you must remain proactive by making sure you’re on top of your costs and required documents. Make sure that you read all the associated correspondence from your conveyancer – be as communicative as possible, as things can often slip under the radar, leading to longer delays.

Property concierge platform, Moveable, offers a full guide on the conveyancing process, to ensure that you’re up to date all throughout the entirety of the process. For instance, you can set up alerts that remind you of upcoming payments and required documents.

5. Apply for buildings insurance

One of the key, yet most-forgotten factors of purchasing a property is applying for buildings insurance – and it’s a condition of your mortgage that needs to be completed before you take ownership of the house. Make sure that your selected policy covers the time between the exchange of contracts and completion, as this period can sometimes take one to two weeks – depending on whether there is money on account to cover additional costs for the conveyancing service.

Moveable, a product of iPlace Global, makes the complicated process of moving homes that much easier. With the ability to compare services and prices of providers all over the UK, the service ensures that home-buyers and movers have the adequate knowledge when it comes to conveyancing – and other essential steps in the process.

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Daniel Peacock

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