Why, Oh why do sales take so long to complete? :(

 ASK THE EXPERT

Q. Why do property transactions in Brighton and Hove still take so long to complete?

A. You may well ask!

The simple fact of the matter is that once a sale has been put in hand, it’s much better for everyone concerned if it can be progressed as quickly as possible, while all parties are totally focused on the outcome. Once the timescale starts to drift, there’s always a danger of something going wrong, or someone just changing their mind.

Certainly, as an agent, there is nothing more frustrating than watching while a sale that you have worked hard to put together just drags on and on. And that’s the point, because as a general rule, most of the delays afflicting Brighton and Hove property transactions happen once a sale has actually been agreed.

So...why, in these days of the internet and the near-instantaneous retrieval and transmission of data and documentation, are transactions now taking an average of 12 weeks, instead of the 8 that they used to?

Well, as usual, it’s a combination of things – although all of them have their roots in the aftermath of the property crash. First, thanks to the dramatic reduction in the number of sales, there is now quite a shortage of practising conveyancers. Moreover, those that remain are often so concerned about the risk of litigation that issues which a few years ago would have been more or less waved through are now being gone through with the very finest of tooth combs.

The collapse in sale volumes also accounts for the fact that there are far fewer surveyors around – so it now typically takes far longer for lenders to arrange valuations. Add to that their extreme cautiousness about lending in general, and the net result is that it can now take several weeks to get a mortgage offer.

One more thing. Instead of dealing direct with local authorities over searches, some of the more bargain-basement conveyancers, use search firms instead – who might be cheaper, but who don’t always enjoy the same level of access. The result: searches may take two or three times longer to come through. A classic case of a false economy.

Amongst all this, however, as least you can take reassurance from knowing that there is one person who will still be pulling out all the stops to try and deliver your sale in the shortest possible time – and that’s us at Bonett's. Timothy is an ace sales chaser and never let's the grass grow under his feet!