How Long Do Enquiries Take When Buying A House?

How Long Do Enquiries Take When Buying A House?

How Long Do Enquiries Take When Buying A House?

In general, enquiries are one of the earliest steps in the conveyancing process and typically take around 1-4 weeks to complete

The length of time enquiries take when buying a house can vary depending on several factors, including the complexity of the transaction, the responsiveness of all parties involved, and any unforeseen issues that may arise during the process.

Enquiries are raised after the buyer’s conveyancer receives the contract paperwork from the seller’s conveyancer. They are often raised to clarify an established position or to gather more information about the property.

For instance, a property may be described as a semi-detached with a garden, but enquiries may be raised to determine which way the garden faces or if it is possibly built on a former landfill site.

The enquiries phase can take longer if there are potential problems with the property that need to be investigated further.

For example, the buyer’s solicitor may not be happy with an answer given by the seller, or there may be more documentation to go through if the house is being sold by a company or is a probate property.

In addition to enquiries, other steps in the house-buying process can also affect the overall timeline. For instance, a title search, which is almost like a property’s background check, usually takes between 10 and 14 days. The time between conveyancing searches and exchange of contracts is typically between 1 and 3 weeks

Therefore, while the enquiries phase itself may take 1-4 weeks, the overall house buying process, including finding a house, making an offer, completing the mortgage application process, and closing, typically takes around 8 to 12 weeks

However, this timeline can vary significantly depending on various factors, and it’s advisable to be patient and seek professional advice to navigate any potential complexities successfully.

Examples Of Conveyancing Enquiries

The aim is to uncover any issues that may impact the property before exchange of contracts. The seller’s responses help satisfy the buyer.

Here are some common examples of the types of enquiries a buyer’s conveyancer may raise during the conveyancing process when purchasing a property:

  • Boundaries – Confirm boundary lines match the property description, any boundary disputes.
  • Planning permissions – Details of permissions granted, conditions, compliance with permissions.
  • Building regulations – Confirm if required approvals obtained for any works carried out.
  • Structural – Asking if any structural issues, repairs or underpinning done.
  • Environmental – Flooding risk, radon gas, contamination questions.
  • Services – Responsibility for drains/sewers, connection to utilities like water, electric.
  • Guarantees – Requesting copies of any guarantees or warranties for work done.
  • Disputes – Enquiries about neighbor disputes, access rights, easements.
  • Notices – Details of any enforcement notices or breaches of regulations.
  • Fees – Who is responsible for any service charges, ground rent, maintenance fees?
  • Insurances – Building insurance information, requests for evidence of cover.
  • Leasehold – Requesting copy of lease, clarifying lease terms and obligations.
  • Possession – Vacant possession on completion confirmed.
  • Fixtures and fittings – What is included/excluded from the sale.


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