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Do I Need a Solicitor to Sell My House?

Martha Lott

Written by

26th Oct 2022 (Last updated on 8th Nov 2022) 4 minute read

You’ll need to hire a conveyancing solicitor or licensed conveyancer to help with the legal side of selling a property. While it’s not legally required to use a solicitor, it’s highly recommended to avoid making costly legal mistakes.

This guide highlights the importance of using a solicitor and explains the risks of selling a house without a solicitor.

This article will cover the following:
  1. Can I Sell My House Without a Solicitor?
  2. What Does a Solicitor Do?
  3. Can I Do My Own House Sale Conveyancing?
  4. What Documents Do I Need to Sell My House?
  5. Do I Need a Conveyancer or a Solicitor?
  6. How Much Does a Solicitor Cost for Selling?
  7. Using a Solicitor vs DIY Conveyancing
  8. Finding a Solicitor

Can I Sell My House Without a Solicitor?

Selling a house without a solicitor is possible, but it’s strongly advised to hire one. The process of selling a house involves lots of legal work to transfer ownership of the property. Unless you have the relevant legal experience, it’s common to avoid doing your own conveyancing.

It’s also worth noting that some mortgage lenders will require you to use a solicitor to protect their interests. If you have an outstanding mortgage, then the buyer’s solicitor will also likely oppose you carrying out the legal work.

What Does a Solicitor Do?

A solicitor will transfer legal ownership from you to the buyer when selling a house. Conveyancing will make up an important part of the selling process, so it’s important to be familiar with the process. They’ll be responsible for:

  • Obtaining title deeds
  • Drafting a contract
  • Answering pre-contract enquiries
  • Pay off your mortgage if you have one
  • Exchanging contracts
  • Organising completion day

To learn more, read conveyancing process for selling a house.

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Can I Do My Own House Sale Conveyancing?

Yes, you can do your own conveyancing when selling a house. Although you’ll save money on legal costs, you run the risk of delaying the process and making costly mistakes if you're unsure how the legal process.

Risks of DIY Conveyancing

If you’re going to attempt DIY conveyancing, it’s vital you’re aware of the risks involved.

Delay the process - You can significantly delay the process if you’re not familiar with the legal processes and forms required.

Make a costly mistake - It can cost you in money and time if you make a legal mistake during the process.

Lack of legal knowledge - If you’re not experienced in the field, you won’t know what to look for when examining the contract. You could run the risk of missing something important during the pre-contract enquiries that could affect your house sale.

Misunderstand jargon - The conveyancing process is filled with jargon. Misunderstanding your obligations and responsibilities could mean you’re supplying the wrong information to the buyer.

To learn more, read DIY conveyancing.

What Documents Do I Need to Sell My House?

You’ll be responsible for obtaining and completing multiple legal documents and forms if you’re selling without a solicitor. The main forms include:

  • TA6 Form
  • TA10 Form
  • TA7 Form for selling a leasehold

You’ll also have to draft a contract and answer any pre-contract enquiries. On top of this, you’ll have to liaise with mortgage lenders and other third-party services. Hiring a solicitor to deal with the legal work required will save you time, money and stress.

To learn more, read what documents do I need to sell my house.

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Do I Need a Conveyancer or a Solicitor?

If your sale is going to be straightforward, then you can use either a conveyancer or a solicitor.

If your sale involves more legal work such as selling a help to buy or shared ownership property, you’ll need a solicitor. A conveyancing solicitor is trained in a variety of property law as well as conveyancing so can help with more complicated cases.

How Much Does a Solicitor Cost for Selling?

The average solicitor fees for selling a house are £1,690. Your solicitor fees will be made up of legal fees and disbursements.

You'll face extra solicitor fees if your sale requires extra work such as:

  • Selling a leasehold property
  • Selling a Shared Ownership property
  • Selling a Help to Buy property
  • Selling a Right to Buy property

To learn more, read solicitor fees for selling a house.

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Using a Solicitor vs DIY Conveyancing

DIY conveyancing might benefit certain property sales. However, you can guarantee a successful process with a regulated solicitor or conveyancer.

From our research, the benefits of using a conveyancing solicitor outweigh not using a solicitor to sell your home.

ProsCons

Using a Solicitor or Conveyancer

  • They are experienced and understand the legal process
  • They have insurance in place
  • They’re regulated by CLC, SRA, LSS, LSNI or CILEx
  • It’s a costly process with legal fees

DIY Conveyancing

  • You’d save money on legal fees
  • It can work if you have legal experience of the conveyancing process.
  • It can be costly if you make mistakes
  • It’s likely to take longer if you’re not familiar with the process
  • Not all mortgage lenders and buyer’s solicitors will accept this
  • Certain property sales require extra legal knowledge and work.

Finding a Solicitor

At Compare My Move, we can connect you with up to 5 local conveyancing solicitors or conveyancers to help when buying or selling property.

Martha Lott

Written by Martha Lott

Having guest authored for many property websites, Martha now researches and writes articles for everything moving house related, from remortgages to conveyancing costs.

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