Advanced search

To think that 15 weeks for completion is ridiculous when neither party is in a chain?

(29 Posts)
greenapplesplatter Mon 06-Nov-17 08:41:25

My DGran is buying a ground floor flat. It was 15 weeks ago last Friday when she had her offer accepted.

The flat is empty, the owner had it as part of a portfolio but is now selling as he comes to retirement age. My Gran owns her house that she lives in now but hasn't marketed it as yet. She is buying the flat in cash so it's not like she's waiting for a mortgage. She took her bank statements to the solicitors several weeks ago presumably to prove she had the funds available.

Every time we speak to the solicitors or estate agents they say they are waiting for some searches to come back.

It just seems a ridiculous amount of time when there is no chain. I'm sure they used to say that completion took 6-8 weeks??

I can't remember or last move but I'm sure it didn't take as long as this & both sides had ongoing chains.

If anybody has moved recently can you tell me how long you waited please?

listsandbudgets Mon 06-Nov-17 08:47:59

we have bought twice without a chain. First time took 6 weeks. Sexind time was 12 weeks mainly because solicitors on other side were dreadful and seemed to have problems understanding the law. They wanted us to accept paperwork relating to another property the sellers recently sold at one point on the basis of good faith!!

If it takes a while so be it. Our problem was that the previous owners had a charge secured on the property and were being a pain about discharging it. Best your gran gets everything right at this stage than finds herself in a legal mess in 8 weeks time

RavingRoo Mon 06-Nov-17 08:51:01

It took us 20 weeks without a chain

LazyDailyMailJournos Mon 06-Nov-17 08:51:09

We're still waiting - been at this since the start of June!!

We are in a chain though, but a short one. If it's a leasehold property then it always takes longer because there is additional legal work to do. However if it is searches that are holding it up then it's worth finding out exactly what has been requested. Ours (for the place we are buying) came back in 10 days, but I do know of some people who have waited 10-12 weeks - it depends on the local authority you are applying to and how busy they are. It also depends on whether you have requested any specialist searches, as these can take longer. One thing worth checking is to establish when they were sent. If the solicitor has only recently sent the request then this could explain why you are still waiting!

I know you aren't in a 'chain' directly but you're welcome to join us on the support thread over in Property, if you wish!

Boffin90 Mon 06-Nov-17 08:56:09

Keep gently nudging solicitors.
I hope it gets sorted soon. It’s a stressful process even without a chain.

RocketPockets Mon 06-Nov-17 09:08:51

We were waiting months to complete when we had no chain, we were renting and the flat was empty. At one point we were told we would be done within the month so gave notice on our rented flat and it took a further month and a half so had to move our belongings into storage and move into a friends spare room. It was awful but we got there eventually and have learnt or lesson to look around for solicitors rather than using the first recommendation!

Oddmanout Mon 06-Nov-17 09:14:55

Conveyancing solicitor here - we generally say 8-10 weeks but 14 weeks is not uncommon, more if the enquiries are complex. Leaseholds are always more complex as the Lease needs to be reviewed and enquiries raised if necessary (covenants/restrictions complied with etc), also a management pack is required from the landlord/management company at the seller's expense and management companies rarely turn these around quickly. There are often additional documents required from this pack and queries to be raised also. These can be service charge/ground rent arrears, or upcoming works which your gran may have to contribute towards if she is the owner. These are known as section 20 works so watch out for this in the solicitor's report.

The lack of a chain doesn't affect the number of enquiries that need to be raised, but it should mean the replies are received quicker. I say should. Sometimes buyers sit on the enquiries, or they take their time paying the management company for the pack (packs aren't released until payment is received by the mngmt co).

Search turnaround times depend upon the area - some areas take about 2 weeks for the local (this is almost always the last in) but some places can take up to 6 weeks. This is because there are usually 1 or 2 people in the local authority dealing with the search requests and there is no possibility to expedite.

That being said, as your Gran is a cash buyer she can take a view on the enquiries and/or searches as there is no lender to satisfy. Her solicitor will advise against it but it is her choice. Personally I'd say a few extra weeks to make sure everything is up to scratch is worth it, but if your gran wants to move quicker she does have the option.

Sorry that ended up being longer than I intended, but I hope it helps!

Elledouble Mon 06-Nov-17 09:15:22

Haha. It took us 7 months to complete on our house and we weren’t in a chain. We did have a baby in the middle of that so to be fair we didn’t chase it as much as we could have.

Angrybird345 Mon 06-Nov-17 09:16:24

Contact the council and ask them how long searches are taking. They may be able to tell you when searches were applied for.

Witchend Mon 06-Nov-17 09:22:42

We bought the house we were currently renting and living in. It took us about 4months, and would have been as simple as any sale.

IndianaMoleWoman Mon 06-Nov-17 09:22:52

We accepted an offer on our house, from first time buyers with a mortgage offer in place and no onward chain, 12 weeks ago. Everyone involved is dealing with things promptly but there was an issue with our road not being adopted by the council yet. The council are so, so slow to deal with things. Plus, despite it being the year 2017 and shops no longer accepting cheques, all the little expenses and certificates needed seem to involve sending a cheque in the post. Which then needs to clear. The whole system is ludicrous!

IreneDunne Mon 06-Nov-17 09:24:42

6 months and counting here. No chain, no leases, no apparent issue of any kind. Just some serious dragging of feet.

Gradually losing the will.

wasonthelist Mon 06-Nov-17 09:25:50

Yanbu the house buying process in England is fucking insane, but it won’t change because it is a closed shop run by insiders

dratsea Mon 06-Nov-17 09:38:19

We waited nearly 8 months, cash buyers and it still fell through on day of completion. We were persuaded that it would speed things up exchanging and completing on same day. We even had the van arranged. But as <we have faffed around for so long> it was so long since the offer the price is now... But I do see that it is now on Rightmove for somewhat less than we had already transferred to our client account at the solicitor, and well less than the £1000 we spent on the architect to have plans ready for completion. Big lesson there, do not make it clear you really will be buying until exchange. The house we did buy, searches were less than two weeks apart from ?water/drains, that took a lot of chasing up and took 5 weeks.

Gumbo Mon 06-Nov-17 09:39:38

15 weeks in that situation is completely ridiculous and implies laziness/general inactivity from one or both sides.

We bought a house from a builder a few years ago who gave us a massive incentive (circa £40k) if we could complete by the financial year end - which gave us 4 weeks and 2 days to do so! And our own buyer (no chain) would therefor have to do likewise. I spent vast amounts of time on the phone chasing things and/or making things happen myself that the solicitors could/should be doing - but it worked, and we completed in time!

It can be done if people are prepared to pull their finger out... but sadly the general dragging of feet means that it normally takes far longer than it should.

peachgreen Mon 06-Nov-17 10:42:51

We had our offer accepted in JUNE - no chain - we only moved in three weeks ago. And it wasn’t our solicitor holding things up as he’s a trusted relative and was doing everything he could! It’s bonkers.

BriechonCheese Mon 06-Nov-17 10:46:38

Where we live now there are a lot of people buying and selling before the uncertainty of Brexit. I wonder if that could be putting pressure on searches?

Oliversmumsarmy Mon 06-Nov-17 10:51:21

Sold my last house to a buyer with a mortgage from offer to moving in took 3 weeks.

A couple of years ago I bought a flat it took 26weeks. The amount of paperwork, proof of this that and the other has gone up and up.
It takes longer and longer and half way through the paperwork you had gone out of your way to be notarised is past its date and you have to start again

Oliversmumsarmy Mon 06-Nov-17 10:52:48

Didn't searches used to be done online.

Another thing that has gone backwards

ElsieMc Mon 06-Nov-17 11:07:37

It took us five months because we bought from the C of E. If we raised any enquiries, they seemed to have a meeting to discuss the answer and it was only where was the septic tank located. We couldn't see it because the huge garden was overgrown with brambles. Bought in December moved in end of May.

We live in a market town where some legal firms seem stuck in the 1950s. I worked in conveyancing for a few years and when ringing a partner about a long delay, he told me he would not be client led. What?

When I sold my late dms house, I sold to a buy to let buyer and when I got the papers through from the prompt estate agent, I rang them to tell them they had made a mistake about completion. It was Wednesday and completion was listed as the next Friday. They were right. I rang my frankly alarmed solicitors, one of whom was the executor who was on holiday so could not sign. It was agreed another partner would sign the contract/Transfer. They did it though.

The system is incredibly stressful. We want to downsize and want to market in the Spring. We have it in our minds that it will take at least 12 months do so and I bet we are not far wrong.

MagicTapeDispenser Mon 06-Nov-17 11:27:41

It took us exactly 12 weeks from offer to completion earlier this year and we were 4th in a chain of 5.

Depending on where you are in the country, searches can take anything from 3 weeks to 2 months. Some of the searches in our chain took 7 weeks to come through.

Hope it’s sorted soon.

Downtheroadfirstonleft Mon 06-Nov-17 21:32:43

7 months and counting and we're cash buyers. Was a chain of 2, but this has grown. Currently v v tempted to pull out.

Stinkbomb Mon 06-Nov-17 21:47:39

Took me 6 weeks the last 3 times with no chain, from acceptance to completion - 2 of which had mortgages too. All for me/ us to live in, not buy to let. I’ve found you just really need to keep on at your solicitor to keep it moving.

LostInTheTunnelOfGoats Mon 06-Nov-17 21:49:26

Oh fuck, hello my sisters.

We had our offer accepted in May. No chain and the house is bloody well empty. The owner was apparently desperate to sell, but he's not done much to prove it, though it wasn't all his fault. From what we gather, family members have suddenly come back in the picture and pressed him to mess about with the agreed price, that sort of thing.

We've been pushing and pushing from our end, and our solicitors have been great. His are lazy sods though. We've been given a December completion date, but I'm prepared for it to end up being later.

My nerves are in absolute tatters. Completely shredded. People told me it would be stressful and I didn't understand why until we started the process ourselves. This is our first house, it's been a long time coming and if it falls through it will be really, really hard to get over it. That sounds so silly because it's only a house blah blah blah, but months of time, money, effort, hope.... And the house is a state, so even when we get in the work will be just beginning.

When we had our offer accepted we thought great, we'll be in during the summer and have loads of time to get moved in....famous last words

It's weirdly reassuring to see it has taken a long time for other people too...we began to feel like the whole thing was a bit cursed at one point

Chipsahoy Mon 06-Nov-17 21:49:52

Who is the local authority? West Dorset for example are taking 12 weeks..
Others take just a few days.

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now »

Already registered? Log in with: