Understanding how long conveyancing will take can help with the overall buying process, such as giving notice on a tenancy or planning renovation work and booking removal services or furniture.

If you’ve found the property you want to buy, or have accepted an offer to sell, the likelihood is you will want to get moving quickly. A property without a chain is a distinct advantage in the marketplace, and can often command a premium on price, not least as it would usually lead to a shorter conveynacing period and less chance of ‘being gazumped’ resulting in unrecovered outlay of monies and a loss of the purchase opportunity.

On paper then, this is the most straightforward and desirable of scenarios. While you should expect the conveyancing process to be a quicker and faster with no chain, this will be dependent on the process running smoothly and everyone involved keeping momentum.

How long does conveyancing take with no chain?

Where there is a cash buyer and no chain, as a best-case scenario, completion on a property could take place between 4 to 12 weeks.

What can delay the conveyancing process?

If you’re looking at how long conveyancing will take with no chain, there will be a number of factors to consider that could make the process take longer.

Mortgage process

If the buyer is a cash buyer, you could expect the process to take less time than if the buyer was making mortgage arrangements.

While a mortgage in principle can be provided relatively quickly, securing the final funds is a different matter. It can take around a month from making the application to receiving a formal mortgage offer. It is a more involved and protracted process which should be factored in to the conveyancing leadtimes. If the purchase price has changed from the initial mortgage offer for example, it is likely to delay the mortgage application.

The mortgage company will also require a survey of the property. Limited availability of surveyors can delay the progress.

Legal process

Central to the conveyancing process are property searches, including local and Land Registry searches. These can take between 2 and 6 weeks, depending on the workload of the local authority and the complexity of the search.

The searches may also reveal issues which need to be addressed before contracts can be exchanged. For example, if a search highlights subsidence or contaminated land issues, these will need to be resolved between the parties, typically through negotiation. 

Communications between parties

The conveyancing process involves multiple parties on both sides of the transaction – the buyer, the seller, their respective legal advisers, mortgage advisers and accountants.

Requests for further information between parties may be required to clarify or resolve issues. Delays in correspondence can mean the process seems to drag on as parties wait for others to take action and communicate.

Obtaining documents

Delays commonly arise when sourcing documents for the conveyancing process, such as evidence of planning permission and compliance with building regulations, and proof that replacement glazing is FENSA-approved. Gas and electricity safety certificates, while not mandatory, may also be requested as part of the pre-sale checks.

Changes in the buyer or seller’s circumstances

In reality, unforeseen events or developments, such as ill health or a change in work commitments, can impact how quickly a buyer or seller can move through the purchase process. Likewise, even planned can cause delays, such as one of the parties going on holiday or the solicitors being closed for Christened

In these scenarios, communication will be critical to manage expectations and keep parties informed.

How long does it take to complete after exchange?

Once contracts have been exchanged contracts, there is usually a four-week deadline to completion. On completing, the keys will be released and the mortgage will start.

Tips to speed up the conveyancing process

The most effective way to speed up the conveyancing process is to appoint an experienced conveyancing solicitor to manage the process on your behalf. Ask that they stay in regular contact with you, whether that is a weekly update asking that they copying all communications to you. Make sure you are readily available, and can take calls and respond to emails promptly to keep momentum.

The source of funds and speed of transfer will also be a key, determining factor in how long the conveyancing process takes. 
If you are a buyer applying for a mortgage, be well prepared with all the necessary documentation – bank statements, pay slips etc and ensure that all information provided within your documentation is accurate and error-free.

No chain conveyancing times FAQs

How long does conveyancing take with no chain and a cash buyer?

Depending on the circumstances, a sale wiht a cash buyer and no chain could be completed between one to three months.

How long does it take to move in when there is no chain?

Without a chain or other linked property transactions, you could get the keys to your new property between four to 12 weeks.

How long is conveyancing taking at the moment?

Residential conveyancing is currently taking around 12 to 16 weeks on average.

Is it easier to sell a house with no chain?

In most cases, it is more straightforward and quicker to sell a hosue with no ongoing chain and no dependancy on other parties or transactions.

Legal disclaimer

The matters contained in this article are intended to be for general information purposes only. This article does not constitute tax, financial or legal advice, nor is it a complete or authoritative statement of the rules and should not be treated as such.

Whilst every effort is made to ensure that the information is correct, no warranty, express or implied, is given as to its accuracy and no liability is accepted for any error or omission.

Before acting on any of the information contained herein, expert tax, financial, legal or other advice should be sought.


As Editor of Lawble, Gill helps business and individuals become better informed about their legal rights. Gill is a content specialist in the fields of law, tax and human resources.