Finding your dream home and agreeing to an offer is an exciting step towards a new beginning. Before you get there, you have to make sure that everything will go smoothly and without a hitch, primarily when transferring the legal ownership of the property into your name. To do this, you’ll need the right solicitor or conveyancer to facilitate the process.
Conveyancing is a crucial part of the home buying process, whether you’re purchasing a new property or selling one. Without it, there will be plenty of ownership complications down the line, hampering both buyer and seller from carrying out renovations, repair work, or other activities they wish to conduct on the property.
The Difference Between a Solicitor and Conveyancer
Both solicitors and licensed conveyancers are professionals insured and regulated by a designated authority, allowing them to handle your property transaction with utmost professionalism and dedication. They also operate similarly in terms of conveyancing practices and procedures. However, to find the right one for your needs, you’ll need to take note of the most prominent differences, especially when comparing conveyancing costs.
Licenced conveyancers are property lawyers with special knowledge in residential property. They also process such transactions every day, giving them a wealth of knowledge and experience in handling it for you.
Meanwhile, a solicitor is a lawyer with extensive training. They offer full legal services that range from divorce proceedings to personal injury to suing someone. Opting for a solicitor to undertake your conveyancing rather than a conveyancer may end up costing more.
The Pros and Cons of Hiring a Solicitor
While a conveyancer or conveyancing solicitor is fully equipped to handle all your conveyancing needs, some people opt to hire a solicitor instead, mainly when the transactions are incredibly complicated. These include boundary disputes, the property sellers getting a divorce, and other similar instances. In these cases, it’s best to work with a legal professional with knowledge beyond property conveyancing. However, for any other purpose, a conveyancing solicitor is highly qualified to handle your transaction.
If you decide to proceed with a solicitor, make sure to ask for the full quotes so you can get the best value conveyancing possible. Solicitors are often more expensive than conveyancers given their broader range of expertise, so you’ll want to adjust your budget accordingly. It’s a good idea to compare and shop around as well, as solicitor prices often vary.
Although solicitors are highly esteemed legal professionals, they often handle complex cases simultaneously, some with urgent deadlines. As a result, your conveyancing request may be pushed back to later dates, further delaying the process altogether. Another aspect to consider is that some solicitors work in small practices, so if they go on holiday, they may struggle with providing continuity of service.
When choosing a solicitor, make sure to do a thorough check on their background. Some solicitors are highly specialised and qualified to do the conveyancing for you, but others are general practitioners with only some experience in it. If you decide to go with a solicitor, ensure that they are a property specialist with experience in dealing with freehold or leasehold purchases.
Getting a Mortgage
If you’re getting a mortgage and deciding between a conveyancer or a solicitor, you’ll need to consider a few things. Mortgage lenders have a panel of specific conveyancers and solicitors they will work with, and these professionals often pay the lenders for this privilege. If you opt for a conveyancer or a solicitor not on their panel, you will have to shoulder the bank’s representation fees.
To cut down on any additional costs, ask your conveyancer or solicitor about the panels they belong to and discuss the lender you are hoping to work with for your mortgage. That way, you can match yourself with a compatible lender and save yourself the bank fees, which is often £200 but tends to vary depending on the bank.
Finding the Right Solicitor or Conveyancer
Your real estate agent has an intricate network of professionals that are often involved in the home buying or selling process so that they may recommend a local solicitor or conveyancing solicitor. Keep in mind that they often make these recommendations as they receive a large commission that can manifest itself as additional hundreds of pounds on your total bill. Keep in mind that they may be recommending the person with the highest commission rather than the one with the best service.
The best way to find the best solicitor or conveyancer for your situation is to shop around and compare conveyancer costs. You can also ask your network for recommendations, as they can provide you with a more reliable testimonial of the service they received. Collecting a list of quotes and comparing them will ensure that you find the best, most affordable conveyancer as soon as possible. A quick and easy way to do that would be to compare conveyancing solicitors prices online.
When you make your shortlist, make sure to do more research into the conveyancer or solicitor beyond their fees. Look into their reputation and past reviews, as they will provide you with valuable information on previous customers’ feedback to help you make an informed decision.
Tips to Remember in the Conveyancing Process
Regardless of your decision to hire a solicitor or a conveyancer, the conveyancing process can quickly become a headache. It involves appropriately completing a lot of paperwork; if not done correctly, it will cause significant delays.
With so many details involved in the process, you’ll want to establish an open communication line with your conveyancer or solicitor. For this reason, it’s best to hire a professional with a sole focus on conveyancing, as other people who undertake outside work may obstruct client communication. It can also delay the process even more.
Although cheap quotes are enticing, they may involve hidden costs that make it more expensive in the long run. Avoid solicitors or conveyancers who charge an hourly rate, and ask the right questions before choosing your conveyancer, as these will help you create a transparent transaction with all parties involved.
The right solicitor or conveyancer is vital in your homebuying process. With their help, you can enjoy full ownership of your new property or transfer it to a homebuyer, ensuring that it legally belongs to its rightful owner. Finding a suitable professional to handle this transaction can be challenging, but with our guide, you’ll find the most cost-effective one available.
Conveyancing Calculator provides online residential conveyancing fees in the UK. Whether you’re moving houses, buying a new property, or selling one, our conveyancing quote calculator will provide you with instant prices from a UK-regulated SRA property solicitor or a CLC licensed conveyancer. Get a quote today!