If you’re planning on buying, selling, or letting property or land, then you might be wondering, ‘is it better to use a solicitor or a conveyancer?’.
Buying a house is stressful, as is selling one, and the entire process can feel daunting.
And you want to ensure that the professional you instruct to handle the legalities, searches, and contracts is efficient, diligent, and competent, right?
So, What’s The Difference Between A Solicitor And A Conveyancer?
Both a conveyancer and a solicitor who specialise in conveyancing have expertise in the same area…
But in the simplest terms, a solicitor is a legal professional that is qualified in a wide range of legal services. They practice as members of The Law Society.
While a conveyancer is a specialist in the legal aspects of property sales and purchases specifically, they are not qualified to practice in any other area of law.
A conveyancer may be cheaper than a solicitor, and some law firms will employ conveyancers to complete conveyancing transactions, so ultimately they complete the same work for their clients.
Unsure what conveyancing is? Click here for conveyancing meaning.
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How Does The Conveyancing Process Work?
The conveyancing process has several stages, starting with when you instruct a solicitor or conveyancer once you’ve decided to buy or sell a property.
Following this, the stages of the conveyancing process are as follows:
- Your solicitor/conveyancer will receive a contract and copies of the legal title
- They will then raise enquiries and carry out mandatory legal searches, plus any optional searches you’ve agreed to conduct
- Once the searches have been completed, you’ll apply for a mortgage
- Your lender will then carry out a valuation of the property to ensure it’s worth the figure you’ve agreed to pay
- As soon as the lender is satisfied you’ve met their conditions, your solicitor/conveyancer will send a copy of all legal documents to you
- Your lender will then conduct anti-money laundering checks
- After this, the solicitors/conveyancers in the chain will communicate with each other, and once they’ve all finalised the legal aspects of their respective property sales/purchases, a date for completion is agreed and contracts are exchanged
- The purchase/sale will then be completed, and your solicitor/conveyancer will arrange for the funds to be transferred on the day of completion
- Your lender will conduct anti-money laundering checks, and then once all conveyancers in the chain have everything finalised, a date for completion can be agreed and contracts exchanged
- You’ll then complete your purchase or sale, with your conveyancer arranging for the funds to be transferred on the day of completion
Following the completion of your sale or purchase, your solicitor/conveyancer will sort out the payment of Stamp Duty and the registration of your ownership, or registration of the new owners. If you are just remortgaging your property, there is no stamp duty and the entire process is a lot more straightforward.
Should I Opt For A Solicitor Or Conveyancer?
With many law firms hiring conveyancers to handle their property sales and purchases, the decision of whether to opt for a solicitor or conveyancer is one of personal preference.
The most important thing is that you’re happy with the legal professional you instruct because moving home or purchasing/selling property can be a particularly stressful process.
If any issues crop up during the process, whether that’s during searches, because of financial reasons, or for any reason whatsoever, you want to know that you can rely on your solicitor or conveyancer to handle the issue with the utmost professionalism.
In short – make sure you’re happy with the firm or individual you choose to handle your conveyancing requirements. Whether they’re a solicitor or conveyancer is entirely your call.
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