Pam mae prynu tŷ yn cymryd gymaint o amser?

Last updated: 19/04/2023

Finding a home that’s right for you, and having your offer accepted feels amazing. But what comes next can feel frustrating, as you wait to get your hands on keys to your new home. The process from offer to completion can easily take up to six months, especially if you’re in a chain. So what can slow up the process? And can you do anything to speed things along? 

The conveyancing process

Two types of legal professionals, solicitors and conveyancers, are part of the home-buying process. They look after the property searches for your new home as well as negotiating the exchange and completion dates for the chain, and transferring the ownership of your new home to you. 

But the conveyancing process can be long, and if you’re not in regular communication with your solicitor or conveyancer you might be left wondering why it’s all taking so long. Common issues, like problems with paperwork, a disagreement between a buyer and a seller, or complications with the property itself, can drag this stage out further. 

How to speed things up:

Choose a good conveyancer, based on reviews or recommendations from family or friends. Make sure you have all the right documents signed and organised, and fill out information on forms promptly and accurately.


Delays in the chain

The conveyancing process (the legal transfer of home ownership from the seller to the buyer) can only move as fast as the slowest link in the chain. 

A property chain is where a group of home buyers and sellers are connected. As a house buyer that means your purchase is dependent on the seller buying their next home.

This chain can cause delays, if other sales along the chain fall through. This is more likely to happen if the chain you’re in is long and complex. If this does happen, your solicitor will keep you informed and provide advice on the next steps to take.

How to speed things up:
If the chain is progressing too slowly, you can ask your conveyancer to help chase people who are holding things up.
Of course, one of the best ways to speed things up is to avoid chains altogether, if you can. If you’re a first-time buyer, not being in a chain can work to your advantage, especially if a seller has to choose between you and another buyer who is in a chain. 

Local searches

There are two parts to a local authority search. The first relates to the property you’re buying, and includes checks like whether it’s a listed building, located in a conservation area, or subject to a tree protection order. The second reveals information relating to issues such as proposals for new roads, rail schemes or planning decisions that could affect the property. 

The government has a target for local searches to be returned in a maximum of 10 working days, but this is very much a target.

How to speed things up:

Ask your conveyancer or solicitor to start local searches as soon as your offer has been accepted.



A house survey can be really helpful, revealing issues or problems with the property that you had no clue existed. And getting a survey done isn’t usually too time-consuming.

You’ll need to book in a surveyor to visit the property, and then they’ll then write up the report and email it to you. This might take 3-5 days.   However, if your survey does uncover any unexpected problems, this can also slow down the buying process. 

One way to resolve this issue is to get a few quotes for the repairs, and agree between the buyer and seller to take that amount off the asking price. But of course, the time required for arranging for quotes for work can quickly add up – potentially adding weeks or months to your timeline.  

How to speed things up:
Book your survey as soon as possible to avoid delays. If you’re buying an older property and suspect there may be a problem, like damp, then start researching local specialists in advance. This way, you can be ready to ask them to visit the property and give a quote for any work that needs doing.



Yes, you! You could be cause delays if you don’t respond promptly to any requests from your solicitors, or any documents that need signing. Think of yourself as a project manager and be sure to keep things moving. 

How to speed things up:
Plan ahead where you can. That means arranging your mortgage as soon as possible, and researching things like buildings insurance in time for exchange of contracts (you must arrange cover for your new property to take effect on the day you exchange contracts).


What next?

  • Use our deposit calculator to work out how to save a deposit for your first home.
  • Download our free First Home Steps app for a pocket-guide to budgeting, planning, saving, and buying your first place.
  • Explore more blogs in our First Time Buyers hub.

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