What are the most common property chain delays?

Delays in the conveyancing process are not uncommon, especially if the sale or purchase is part of a chain of transactions. Occasionally, there will be no chain – for example, if a first-time buyer is buying a property from the executors of a deceased owner. However, many sellers are buying a property themselves, and many buyers are selling an existing property. These interlinked transactions are known as a chain. The chain needs to be linked up, a seemingly impossible task that conveyancers are adept at managing.

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It can seem difficult to find out everything you need to know about conveyancing, but there is plenty of information to help you understand the process. To find out literally everything you need to know about conveyancing, read up as soon as you can. The more you know at the outset about your role in the conveyancing process, the more likely you are to be able to act to avoid some of the most common delays.

Moving at different speeds

It only takes one person in a chain to delay returning paperwork or take too long to provide their conveyancer with the funds they need to start searches for the whole chain to be delayed. You can help by responding promptly to your conveyancer when they contact you. Try to have all the paperwork connected with a property you are selling ready for your conveyancer ,and return any forms to them as soon as possible.

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Property searches

Searches are essential when you are buying a property. The amount of time taken to return search results varies between public bodies. A key cause of delay is the search with the local authority. Some local authorities return searches very promptly, but others can take up to a month. Your chain could easily cover properties in numerous local authority areas, making such delays very common.


Anyone buying a property with a mortgage needs to have a formal mortgage offer before they can go ahead. The time taken varies between mortgage lenders. Once the conveyancer has undertaken all necessary searches, received replies to enquirers from the seller’s solicitor and reviewed the deeds, they will need to report to the buyer’s mortgage company. Delays can be triggered at this point, with some mortgage providers taking much longer to turn around the necessary approvals.

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