How quickly should a conveyancer do the legal work on a property sale/purchase?

16 Apr 2015

Conveyancers should be prompt, never 'quick'. Quick suggests errors, and errors can cost you dearly.

But how prompt? This depends on many factors, some of which include:

– how comprehensive the contract package sent to a buyer's solicitor is. Buyer's lawyers can spend most of their time just chasing for missing documents than they do in actually reviewing them once properly supplied.

– how prompt either conveyancer is, and that depends on:

  • the price you paid them, as the lower the price, the less attention you can expect
  • the seniority of your conveyancer, as junior conveyancers will of course not be as decisive, accurate or knowledgeable

– the dynamism of the conveyancer

– the speed with which conveyancing searches are returned

– whether any mistakes/defects are uncovered, which were not spotted by the seller’s last conveyancer, or created by the seller which your conveyancer now has to help the selling lawyer solve.

If, as in the days of HIPS (home information packs) or currently with auction sale packs (though even they are hit and miss as to their quality) a complete legal pack was offered up, then a conveyancer should be able to carry out his role within hours. But the above factors will inevitably stretch this out into weeks.

That said, if push came to shove, conveyancers should be dynamic enough to work together to enable you to commit to a sale/purchase within hours…