How can you avoid delays in conveyancing?

19 Sep 2018

Natalie Barham - Conveyancing Solicitor

With improvements in technology and electronic communication the conveyancing process should be getting faster. This is true for many parts of the process with time delays in obtaining information from the Land Registry and (most) Local Authorities being drastically reduced. Despite this the average conveyance does not seem to be getting quicker.  In many instances it is slower.

Natalie Barham, Partner at Gard & Co. Solicitors has dealt with a number of house purchases recently where everything was ready to complete the transaction but it was delayed because a mortgage offer was not yet in place.

“This seems to be a recurring theme,” said Natalie. “I have a few conveyances that are effectively on hold because a buyer somewhere in the chain does not have their mortgage finalised. The delay is not only frustrating for clients, it can lead to a chain collapsing.”

Why does the mortgage approval take so long?

One of the main reasons the lending process is taking longer is a tightening of regulations with stricter rules making obtaining a mortgage tougher and Money Laundering legislation requiring more rigorous security and identity checks.

There are many other elements of the lending process that could cause a delay:

  • A lender may have issued a decision in principle, based on basic information provided by the buyer, but subsequently refused a full application when fuller financial details were disclosed.
  • Mistakes may have been made on the application form meaning the application is either rejected or held up whilst corrections are made.
  • The lender may require further information from the buyer.
  • The survey report may be delayed or may reveal problems that need remedying.
  • Planning or buildings regulations anomalies may need investigation.

What can you do to speed up the process?

Natalie had this advice, “Whilst some parts of the process are beyond a buyer’s  control they can reduce possible delays by dealing with every part of the mortgage application process as quickly and thoroughly as possible.”

Natalie put forward a five point plan for dealing with the mortgage application:

  1. Make your mortgage application as soon as possible. Every day lost at one end of the transaction is a day longer to wait at the other.
  2. When making the application be very careful. Make sure you fill in the form completely, answering all questions accurately and providing full details, without errors. Double check to avoid the form being returned to you.
  3. If further questions are raised by your lender or they require additional documentation deal with it as quickly as possible.
  4. Keep in regular contact with your lender and request updates on progress.
  5. Keep your solicitor up to date and inform them of any issues so that they can manage the expectations of the seller and any other parties in the property transaction chain.


Natalie specialises in all forms of residential conveyancing and can be contacted at Gard& Co. Solicitors on 01752 668246 or or via