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What is Online Conveyancing?

Martha Lott

Written by Reviewed by Gareth Brooks

28th Nov 2019 (Last updated on 12th Apr 2024) 5 minute read

Online conveyancing works exactly the same as the traditional conveyancing process but is all online. It helps you with the legal aspects and paperwork that comes with buying and selling a house.

There are notable advantages to online conveyancing such as quicker conveyancing processes, a cheaper price tag and trackable progress. However, there are downsides as well. Online conveyancing may lack the personal touch that you get with traditional face to face conveyancing.

  1. How Does Online Conveyancing Work?
  2. How to Find a Conveyancer Online
  3. Advantages of Using Online Conveyancing
  4. Disadvantages of Using Online Conveyancing
  5. Is Online Conveyancing Safe?
  6. Is Online Conveyancing Right For Me?
  7. Learn More About Conveyancing

How Does Online Conveyancing Work?

Online conveyancing follows the same method as the traditional conveyancing process. The only difference is that online conveyancing takes place solely online or over the phone. You don't have meetings with your conveyancer face to face. Therefore, conveyancing quotes are typically lower for online conveyaning.

The process for online conveyancing will remain the same, with your solicitor liaising with the buyer/seller’s conveyancer. They will also carry out property searches, draft and exchange the contract and arrange the completion date.

How to Find a Conveyancer Online

To ensure your search for a trusted online conveyancer is easy, use an online comparison site like Compare My Move. By doing this, you're guaranteed to be matched with professional solicitors who are fully regulated. It’s also essential to make sure your conveyancer is covered with Indemnity Insurance to be reassured they’re trustworthy.

Whether you choose to go with an online conveyancer or a traditional conveyancer, it’s important that they are regulated by a governing body. These organisations include:

  • The Council for Licensed Conveyancers (CLC)
  • The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA)
  • The Law Society of Scotland (LSS)
  • The Law Society of Northern Ireland (LSNI)
  • The Chartered Institute of Legal Executives (CILEx)

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Advantages of Using Online Conveyancing

From a dashboard to track your progress to the cheap prices, we’ve listed a few benefits of online conveyancing:

Advantages of Online Conveyancing

1. Easy to Track Progress

Some online firms will offer 'Case Tracking' where you have access to your own dashboard to keep track of your conveyancing progress. The system will notify you when there’s an update in your case.

You’ll also be able to get an estimated date for when the process will be completed. This will all be a lot easier than attempting to track down your conveyancer for updates.

2. Cheaper Prices

Online conveyancing services are generally cheaper than traditional conveyancing fees. Online conveyancing solicitors can take on a lot more cases, allowing them to offer a cheaper quote. Cheap conveyancing could have hidden fees associated with them so make sure to get a complete breakdown of the charges.

3. No Completion, No Fee

Many online conveyancers offer a ‘no sale, no fee’ policy. This means that, if the transaction falls through for any reason, you won’t have to pay any legal fees.

However, it’s always wise to review the policy before continuing, as there may be some transactions where this is not possible.

4. An Upfront Quote

With online conveyancing, you should receive an upfront quote detailing the costs of the process. Some might offer fixed fee conveyancing, whilst others might charge an hourly rate. The terms and conditions should contain details of the cost of other services or situations when additional fees may arise.

5. Quick Transactions

Conducting the transaction online is quicker and easier. Documents are sent and received instantly via email, rather than waiting to meet face to face. You should be able to send completed documents and forms via email and make payments online.

6. Work Outside Normal Office Hours

Some online conveyancers operate outside typical working hours. This is a huge benefit to those who work 9-5 shifts as local conveyancing offices are usually shut by the time you’ve finished work.

Online conveyancing contact hours tend to be more flexible, giving you more opportunities to discuss your transaction.

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Disadvantages of Using Online Conveyancing

From the potential lack of a personal relationship to the large volumes of work, we’ll breakdown the disadvantages that come with online conveyancing:

Disadvantages of Online Conveyancing

1. Lack of Personal Touch

You risk losing the personal touch that can be offered by traditional conveyancing firms. Online conveyancing potentially means you’ll be speaking to a different person each time you have a query, which can get confusing.

2. Large Volumes of Work

You may encounter a delay whilst you are waiting for your conveyancer to deal with other transactions.

Using a conveyancer who takes on large work volumes might further reduce your ability to receive a personal service. You may also encounter difficulties contacting your solicitor if other people are trying to contact them at the same time.

3. Hidden Costs

Online conveyancing quotes may seem cheap at first, but you have to be wary of hidden costs. Ask for a full breakdown to have an immediate understanding of the price you’re expected to pay.

4. No Local Office

Online conveyancers are not likely to have an office local to you. This might be a disadvantage to clients who are used to a face to face service.

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Is Online Conveyancing Safe?

Online conveyancers should be regulated by the CLC, SRA, LSS, LSNI or CILEx. Many people fear that online conveyancing isn't safe and that their bank details won't be secure.

However, a legitimate and regulated online conveyancer should have security measures in place to reduce the risk of scammers accessing your private details.

Is Online Conveyancing Right For Me?

Online conveyancing will benefit you if you have a busy schedule and don't have the option of visiting the conveyancer's office. You can track your progress online in your own dashboard or call/email your solicitor.

If you're not familiar with using the internet or receiving multiple documents and forms via email, then a traditional conveyancer may be better suited to you.

Bear in mind that, should you be unhappy with your choice later on in the process, it is possible to change solicitors as long as you do so before exchanging contracts.

Learn More About Conveyancing

This article is part of our conveyancing guide. Next, we take a look at fixed fee conveyancing. For more information read: What is Fixed Fee Conveyancing?

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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.

Gareth Brooks

Reviewed by Gareth Brooks

Solicitor and Partner, RMNJ Solicitors

With 19 years of experience in the residential conveyancing industry, Gareth Brooks is a partner and head of management for the conveyancing department at RMNJ Solicitors.

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