How long does it take for a search to come back?
During the conveyancing process, various searches must be undertaken prior to the property purchase being completed. Your solicitor will need to conduct these necessary searches so that they can uncover any hidden issues which you should be aware of before taking ownership of your new home. Searches are also a requirement for lenders, who will want to ensure that there is nothing which could potentially influence the value of a property before offering you a mortgage. Of course, there are a number of factors which influence how long it takes for a search to come back. In this article, we will be summarising how long it takes for the results of a search to come back to you.
What is the average time that it takes for a search?
The typical time between conveyancing searches and exchange of contracts is usually between 3 to 8 weeks. The main factor which influences how long this process lasts is the Local Authority search, which takes the longest regardless of your location in the country.
What happens after a search?
After the searches have been undertaken, time is essential for the buyer’s conveyancer to scrutinize the details of each search and thereafter forward a detailed report. This allows potential issues which may be areas of concern for the buyer to be highlighted including:
- Potential flood risks near the property, as well as mitigatory measures which have been implemented
- Evidence of subsidence, landslips, historic landfills, mines, and other hazardous uses
- Local compulsory purchase orders or enforcement notices
- Recent planning applications which have been agreed or that are in motion
- Infrastructure work which must be undertaken by the local council which has the potential to affect the property
- Drainage and/or water supply issues
- Previous /ongoing boundary disputes
In the case that such issues emerge, the conveyancer must then have a conversation with the buyer which will subsequently increase the length of time until the exchange fate.
It is important to explain to the buyer what it will mean to go ahead with the sale so that they have a clear understanding of any risks involved in the process. Thereafter, the buyer may legally pull out of the sale or renegotiate the price at this point.
It is difficult to provide a precise timescale for conveyancing searches as the length of time that they last depend largely upon your solicitor, the location of the property and searches which are essential to undertake, as well as how long external bodies take to produce the essential information. This largely depends upon the council as some respond very rapidly whilst others could take weeks.
How to speed up the time for a search?
The best advice we can give you for how to speed up the length of time it takes for searches to take place is to keep in regular contact with your solicitor so that they can put in all relevant requests. This also allows them to chase up your requests if there are any delays.
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