Look for the CQS Mark of Quality to Help Your Conveyancing Run Smoothly
- AuthorEmma Gilroy
The pandemic and its lockdowns have put great strain on the residential property market and this has led to understandable delays and backlogs from all parties in the transactions from lenders to search providers to law firms. A straightforward transaction with no complications will generally take between 10-12 weeks to complete. However, during the Covid-19 pandemic we recommend that you anticipate it taking between 14 -16 weeks.
Buying a new home is an exciting experience, but it is not without its stresses.
The conveyancing process can be prone to issues and delays. Many of these delays are beyond the control of your conveyancer or estate agent, as they may be caused further down the property chain. However, there are things that can be done to help make the process run as smoothly as possible and, crucially, to keep the communication channels working effectively.
It is important to have the best team of professionals on hand to guide you through the whole process, so it is sensible, whether you are a buyer or a seller, to look for legal practitioners who are accredited under the Law Society’s Conveyancing Quality Scheme (CQS) – a recognised quality standard for residential conveyancing practices.
JCP Solicitors is proud to be accredited under the scheme, which requires practices to comply with the new Conveyancing Protocol, the Client Service Charter, and to undertake mandatory training to ensure the highest levels of knowledge and service for their clients.
This mark of quality gives everyone peace of mind – consumers, lenders, insurers and regulators - since it shows the integrity of the key conveyancing staff, and the firm's adherence to good practice management standards and procedures.
However, no matter how expert your conveyancing team is, delays cannot always be avoided. Common issues that arise are:
- Lack of planning permission - Conveyancers have to ensure that all necessary planning permissions and building regulations approvals have been obtained when it comes to building or making changes to a property. Your conveyancer will either look for the original planning permission that was granted to evidence the property complies with planning laws, or otherwise may look at whether an indemnity policy to cover the issue will be more appropriate. This can take time.
- Legal documents not being signed or returned promptly – It is important for all parties to make themselves available to sign documents and to return them speedily.
- Parties not instructing solicitors promptly when a house is put on the market or when an offer is made - If you are selling your home, let your estate agent know at the outset who your property solicitor is. Choosing a conveyancing firm, preferably one that is accredited, early in your search will help to avoid delays.
- The parties in the chain have different time scales – This is often at the root of conveyancing delays, as not all parties will be in a position to move forward in their transaction as quickly as others. This could be due to a delay with search results, a mortgage offer being made available or even because parties in the chain are out of the country on business or holiday!
- Time spent getting a management pack for leasehold properties - With leasehold properties, the solicitor has to obtain the memorandum and articles of association of the management company, as well as its accounts and various details about the management of the estate, so, if the property you are buying or selling is a leasehold property, let your solicitor know immediately.
- Slow responses from other conveyancers in the chain - Delays in any part of the chain have a knock-on effect. This can be due to clients not responding to their conveyancers queries promptly, so be as communicative and as prompt when it comes to returning documents as you can. Equally, delays can be due to a conveyancer undertaking other practice areas and not just specialising in conveyancing. If a solicitor is away from the office for a couple of mornings every week due to other commitments, this can contribute towards delays.
- Mortgage valuation and survey delays - It can take time for your mortgage provider to arrange valuations and surveys and for the surveyor to write up their findings. Start the process as soon as your offer has been accepted
- Incorrect information on mortgage application forms – check the information that your IFA inputs carefully to try to avoid costly mistakes.
- Slow transfer of funds to solicitors - The transfer system used to send sums above £10,000 is quite speedy, but if you opt to transfer via cheque or to shift monies over a series of days, this will slow the process down.
- Title deeds cannot be found – Title deeds show the chain of ownership of a property, but if the property in question is not registered at H M Land Registry, you will need to apply for First Registration, which does take time – sometimes up to 2 months .
Property transactions are complex, but the reward of your dream home makes it all worthwhile. Employing quality accredited solicitors gives you the peace of mind that you are getting the best advice for your investment into your largest asset, with the greatest chance of things going smoothly. It pays to get the highest quality professional help you can – don’t settle for anything less.
For expert conveyancing advice across South and West Wales please contact us.
JCP Solicitors is also Lexcel Accredited – a management standard awarded to practices that meet the highest management and customer care standards.
For property advice, please contact our specialist Residential Conveyancing Solicitors in:
- Swansea: 01792 773773
- Cardiff: 02920 225472
- Carmarthen: 01267 234022
- Caerphilly: 02920 860628
- Cowbridge: 01446 771742
- Haverfordwest: 01437 764723
- Fishguard: 01348 873671
- Pontypridd: 01443 408455
Or request a quote for your conveyancing here.