Buying a property will do a little more than make a dent in your bank account for most. In fact, it will probably be the biggest purchase you will make in your life.

Research also says that for many it can also be one the most stressful events of your life, up there with the death of a loved one, divorce, and job loss.

But why is it so stressful? Shouldn’t this event, unlike the others on that list, be exciting and fill you with energy, making you want to move as quickly as possible?

Often this is the exact reason why people find this time stressful. We find when people make the decision to purchase a property, they’re often not aware of the elements which can take time within the process, leading to frustration.

We believe this should remain an exciting time for you and that’s why we work to ensure that the sale and purchase of your property goes as smoothly as possible. Despite this, unfortunately there are some circumstances which can cause delay which are out of our hands.

We believe it is important that property buyers are informed of the steps within the process, so that you can prepare.


If you are obtaining mortgage finance, your lender will require a valuation to be carried out.

For the most part, these are relatively quick but sometimes delays occur, particularly at popular holiday times or at particularly busy conveyancing times when there is a shortage of surveyors. Additionally, if the lender’s surveyor identifies issues with the property, this can delay the mortgage offer being issued.

We would also always recommend you arrange your own survey once your offer to purchase a property has been accepted. A mortgage valuation survey is purely for the benefit of the mortgage lender and, when copies are provided to buyer, contain very little information. A survey of your own helps identify any issues with the property that possibly weren’t noticed during viewings.

Naturally, arranging a survey does add time onto the process but this step is necessary in ensuring you don’t run into any problems further down the line.

A negative survey may result in you choosing to withdraw from a transaction but this is generally preferable to buying the property and finding major issues once you’ve moved in.  Alternatively, it may provide the opportunity to renegotiate the purchase price.


It is quite common to run into delays with finance during the process of buying a property. Issues with evidencing the source of deposit funds can cause the process to grind to a halt. These checks can often add more time onto the process, particularly if it is revealed only part way through a transaction that funds are being gifted by a third party.  Just because you have told your lender, does not mean your solicitor will be aware of this. This is why you should provide your conveyancer with as much information as possible at the commencement of the transaction in relation to the source of your purchase funds.

Alongside this, new rules came into force in 2014, which means more thorough checks are carried out by lenders on borrowers to ensure they can afford their mortgage. Times delays can also occur from small mistakes in the mortgage application or if you do not have all the information available for your lender when they request it.

Mortgage offers usually last for a maximum of 6 months. If you encounter significant delays in the conveyancing process, there is a chance that the mortgage offer will expire. If this happens and you are unable to extend your mortgage offer, you will need to reapply for your mortgage offer, which will subsequently cause further delays.


When applying for mortgage finance, your conveyancer will have to obtain a number of searches on your behalf. Depending on which local authority you are buying the property in, results from these searches can take anywhere between a couple of weeks and several months. This delay can be frustrating for both the buyer and the conveyancer but often all they can do is wait patiently for the search results and the conveyancer will inform the buyer as soon as they have the information they need.

Depending on where the property is located, further searches may be necessary. Areas which are likely to flood due to wetlands and previous coal mining areas are two of examples of where further searches would be necessary. These types of further searches are commonly returned within 48 hours of ordering though, so do not usually impact significantly on transactions.

We are here to help

Whether you are a first-time buyer looking to purchase your first home or a seasoned buyer with a considerable portfolio, our conveyancing specialists have the experience to assist you at every step of the process.