What is Online Conveyancing?
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 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.
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.
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)
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:
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 costs. Online conveyancing solicitors can take on a lot more cases, allowing them to offer a cheaper quote.
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.
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:
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.
Is Online Conveyancing Safe?
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.