There’s no denying that buying and selling property can be one of the most complex processes we go through in our lifetime and almost certainly the most expensive. We were fortunate to have a very straightforward 6 weeks from viewing to collecting the keys and we’re very aware how lucky we were.
One of the most important people involved in any purchase will be the conveyancing solicitor, due to the complicated nature of homebuying and selling. Ideally you should seek a local solicitors firm in the area you’re looking to purchase in (for example solicitors in Bognor Regis, Brighton and Barnham) owing to their wealth of experience and knowledge in property law.
Let’s break down what’s involved to help determine whether you want a conveyancing solicitor or whether you want to try going it alone.
Conveyancing is the act of transferring a legal title to a property from one individual to another and involves the preparation of a number of documents, including:
- Contract of sale
- Loan contract
- Certificate of land title
- Completion statement
These documents and more must be issued and signed in order for the transfer to take place and the conveyancing process will usually take between 8 and 12 weeks to complete.
Under UK law you’re not required to hire a conveyancing solicitor for a house sale or purchase. In fact, a handful of people choose to take on the conveyancing task themselves and this is known as DIY conveyancing.
Before leaping into DIY conveyancing, it’s important to familiarise yourself with the process and to understand that there are many complicated documents which must be completed and submitted accurately. Because of this, the majority of buyers and sellers in the UK choose to hire a conveyancing solicitor to handle this for them.
While it is possible to do your own conveyancing, a lot of people find that they’ve bitten off more than they can chew and abandon the process and hire a professional. Some of the pros include:
When hiring a conveyancing solicitor, you gain the advantage of liaising with somebody who has years of experience and has been through house purchases countless times. This can save a considerable amount of time in researching the process and obtaining the required documents.
Preventing expensive errors
As mentioned previously, conveyancing is a complicated affair and, if you don’t know what you’re doing, you may make mistakes which could prove to be expensive and potentially lose the property
Full package, one price
When hiring a conveyancing solicitor for a move, they provide a full suite of services, including:
- Property searches
- Stamp duty and tax calculation and filing
- Land registry
All of these essential aspects of conveyancing must be completed with 100% accuracy and in a timely manner for house moves to take place and even small errors can lead to delays in the process.
The main drawback to hiring a conveyancing solicitor – and the main reason some choose DIY conveyancing is, of course, cost. When buying a property, you can expect to pay between £300 and £1500 to a conveyancing solicitor, depending on the property and the area. You may also be subject to an additional £700 for disbursements and a further £300 if the property is leasehold – all of which can up to a fair chunk of change.
It may be stating the obvious but conveyancing solicitors will not be working exclusively. This can mean that the process doesn’t move as quickly and that you don’t always receive speedy responses to your calls and emails which can be frustrating when you’re keen to move forward. You’ll also need to bear in mind the fact that many conveyancing solicitors work only Monday to Friday.
Although you can opt for DIY conveyancing, you need to be aware that this is a huge commitment and one which can take up a significant amount of time. A lot of thorough research is needed before embarking on DIY conveyancing to make sure that you know exactly what’s involved in order to prevent delays and additional expenses.
While conveyancing solicitor’s fees can be fairly hefty, paying for this service can actually save money in the long run as you’re paying for experience and access to information which would take time and money to gain.. In addition to experience and local property knowledge, hiring a professional will also earn trust from the buyer or seller. On the other hand, when people choose DIY conveyancing, it can be frustrating for a buyer or seller when errors mean delays to the process.
Hopefully this has given some insight into the process and costs involved and good luck if you’re buying a house!
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