When trying to buy or sell a home, you may be recommended to reach out to a solicitor or a conveyancer to make your life a little easier. Although some people may interchangeably use these two terms, it is essential to realise that a solicitor is not the same as a conveyancer. It is this difference that you must recognise to ensure you pick the right professional to assist you with your real estate transaction to make sure you get the results you need.
With that being said, in this article, we'll delve deeper into solicitors and conveyancers. We will talk about the specific differences between the two types of professionals and what you should consider picking the right professional for your needs.
What Is the Difference between a Solicitor and a Conveyancer?
Before we get into the difference, let us first get into how the two are similar. Solicitors and conveyancers both are qualified legal professionals who can assist you in purchasing and selling properties, along with dealing with collecting legal work, extending leases, and other services. All in all, they can help you through the same conveyancing process, and they are both reliable and insured for the task.
With all of that similarities, is it really that the two are different? Slightly. Just like how all sports cars are cars, but not all cars are sports cars, all conveyancers are solicitors, but not all solicitors are conveyancers. Conveyancers will have specific training regarding conveyancing, meaning they understand the rules and regulations about conveyancing but not other areas of other laws. On the other hand, Solicitors will have various training in different legal areas before ultimately choosing a focus, one of which can be conveyancing.
That said, solicitors and conveyancers will also have different professional bodies that regulate them. This means that you may face slight differences in the services you get, such as how solicitors may treat referral fees compared to conveyancers. Also, some small mortgage lenders may not even accept conveyancers to represent them when a buyer is looking for a mortgage.
All in all, however, these differences should not concern you too much. That's because both should be able to offer you quality services to achieve your real estate needs, and they both should be able to provide the same level of service regardless of who you pick.
How Do I Pick the Right Professional for My Real Estate Transaction?
Knowing that both the solicitors and the conveyancers are similar, should you go about picking any of the two? The concern about choosing the right individual is not whether you will work with a solicitor or a conveyancer. Instead, your primary concern is working with a licensed professional to assist you with selling or purchasing a real estate property.
With that in mind, how do you discover a reliable professional in what could be a field or falsely advertising solicitors and conveyancers claiming to be experts? You can do so by asking yourself a few questions.
One of the first things you should ask yourself is whether you are trying to buy a home with a mortgage. If you are, you will need to see whether the solicitor or the conveyancer you are working with is under your lender's approved solicitor panel. This is because not all solicitors can act for every mortgage lender out there. If they are not, then they will not be able to secure your mortgage, forcing you to look for another professional that is approved. If you decide to work with an unapproved solicitor, expect to pay extra fees as they outsource the need to an approved solicitor. In either case, we highly recommend that you pick someone else if your solicitor is unapproved.
Another question you can ask yourself, or in this case, your solicitor, would be what services they offer under the price tag. This is because, apart from the fact that the service cost can vary from one firm to another, the services included can also differ. As such, obtaining different quotes is vital to help you pick the right solicitor that's worth your money. At the same time, this is to make sure of what's included in the price. Generally, you will want the quote to include various disbursements, stamp duty, local authority searches, VAT, and the likes. Also, make sure there are no hidden fees, and ensure you go through the terms and conditions carefully so that you do not end up paying for something you did not expect to pay for.
A not-so-common question that you should be asking yourself when picking a solicitor is asking the firm who will be the individual handling your case. Sometimes, you may expect the first person you see and talk with to be the one handling your case. However, this isn't always so. You may be assigned someone else. Although some firms will ensure you are assigned to a professional, many other firms will assign a junior to you or even someone unqualified. Note that this may not be too much of an issue, however, as a qualified solicitor may be overseeing a junior worker or an inexperienced solicitor. Regardless, if you don't know who will be assigned to you, ask about who exactly it is and what experience they have.
Finally, one more question you should ask yourself is whether you should work with a local firm. The reason you want to ask this question is highly dependent on the level of interaction you want with your solicitor. If you want someone you can meet face to face and discuss certain matters, then you will want to work with a local firm. However, in light of the ongoing pandemic, such luxury may not be possible. As such, if you do not mind communicating on platforms like phone, text, or email, you can consider working with even a national firm. A benefit to this is that you gain access to a larger number of solicitors to aid you in your transaction.
In summary, although slightly different, a solicitor and a conveyancer can both offer you the conveyancing assistance you need to make your purchase or sale of a home a successful one. That being said, if you need only the conveyancing assistance, then consider looking for a conveyancer. If you need someone with a little broader knowledge of the laws and regulations, working with a solicitor will do. However, regardless of who you pick, be sure to only work with a professional from a reliable firm. With the assurance of knowing that the person assigned to you is an expert at what they do, you can sit back and relax knowing that your conveyancing needs will be thoroughly met for a successful real estate transaction.
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