Even if you, your buyers, and both sets of solicitors do everything with super efficiency, your deal can still be held up by outsiders who have no particular motive to act fast. If you are selling a flat, you have to provide the buyers with information about service charges and fire insurance on the block which you will have to obtain from the landlords or managing agents.
This would normally consist of audited service charge accounts for three years, the current years’ service charge demands, any projected figures for future years, details of any major works which are planned or ongoing, and a copy of the buildings insurance schedule and insurance terms.
It can often take a landlord or managing agents a couple of weeks or even longer to supply this information, because there’s no commercial pressure on them to do so. So, this is something you must tackle as soon as you think of putting the property on the market, not as an afterthought when a deal is agreed.
Another cause of delay can be that you didn’t get together all your own paperwork. You need to provide the title deeds to your solicitor. You also have to provide all planning permissions and building regulation consents and guarantees relating to the property.
If the paperwork is incomplete, you may have to get fresh documents from the local council, and that can take several weeks in itself. If you provide everything to your solicitors right at the start, they can spot any problems and start work on it while the property is still being marketed.