How long do property searches take?
Property or conveyancing searches are an essential part of the buy/sale process and can take anywhere around 2 weeks or more.
In this article, we’ll explain what they are, how they work, and which one you’ll need before sealing the deal.
Let’s dive in.
Conveyancing searches, commonly known as property searches, are enquiries that seek to identify potential risks with the property you’re planning to buy.
These searches are carried out by the conveyancer before the exchange of contracts and completion, and they reveal all the information a buyer needs to determine whether to move forward with the purchase.
The three main searches done when buying a house are:
Local authority searches are broken down into two parts: a Local Land Charges certificate (LLCI) search and a CON29 questionnaire.
The LLCI search will tell you whether your property is:
The Con29 looks at:
Local authority searches are often a legal requirement. If you’re taking out a mortgage to buy a property, the mortgage lender will require you to complete certain searches before they approve the mortgage loan.
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These searches can identify issues such as land contamination, former and current industrial uses, the presence of toxic substances, risk of flooding or landslip, and whether the house might require underpinning.
A water and drainage search will tell you whether the property is connected to a public water supply, if it is close to public sewers and water mains and whether it has a public sewer running within its boundaries.
Additional searches are generally optional, but your mortgage broker may recommend them for a better deal, depending on the location of the property. They include:
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Property searches are conducted at the start of the conveyancing process and can take anything between 2-8 weeks to complete.
Most searches can be carried out online and take between 1-10 days, the Local Authority Search can take up to six weeks if the Local Authority has too many projects on their hands.
The main factors affecting the length of the search are staffing levels and demand, as well as whether the search results are returned electronically via e-mail or by post.
The conveyancing process timeline in the UK will also depend on your solicitor, the location of your property, and the number of searches that you need to complete.
Depending on the results of the searches for property, there are cases when the solicitor will have to make further enquiries which can slow down the entire process.
The entire conveyancing process consists of different stages, including:
Property searches are a good idea for every buyer that wants to know what they’re getting into before they commit to a purchase. These searches reveal crucial information about the area they’re buying into and can make or break any plans the buyer might have for the property in question.
For that reason, property searches are often mandatory, especially if you’re buying a house with a mortgage. They usually take around 2 weeks but can last longer depending on the number and type of searches required.
Property searches typically take around two weeks to be completed, but some can take longer.
Depending on the local authority staffing levels, season demand levels, as well as whether the results are sent electronically or by post, land searches can take anywhere from 48 hours to up to 6 weeks.
Once the solicitor receives the results of the searches, they’ll discuss the findings with the buyer. If the buyer is satisfied with the findings, they’ll proceed with signing and exchanging contracts.
Property searches are usually done in two weeks, but they can take up to 6 weeks if the Local Authority is overloaded.
My name is Marija, and I'm a financial writer at DontDisappointMe. Although finance might not be everyone's cup of tea, my 10+ years of working in one of the biggest banks in my country, and my interest in extensive research on everything finance/investment-related, have made me somewhat of an expert in the field (if I do say so myself). No longer having the passion to work in a corporate setting, I decided that I couldn't let all of this knowledge go to waste so I started writing. And, here I am! Today I try to share my knowledge with my audience in the hopes of making this topic as simple and interesting as possible. In my leisure time, I like spending time with my family and travelling to new locations.