What is Online Conveyancing?
Written by Martha Lott
28th Nov 2019 (Last updated on 2nd Apr 2020) 8 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.
The online conveyancing process will take place online and over the phone as opposed to face to face. Whichever method you choose, it’s important to compare conveyancers with a comparison site like Compare My Move.
There are notable advantages to online conveyancing such as quicker transactions, a cheaper price tag and trackable progress. However, there are downsides as well. Online conveyancing will lack the personal touch that you get with traditional conveyancing. Most of the time, the company will be dealing with a heavy workload.
The choice is yours if you decide to use an online conveyancer or not, but Compare My Move have compiled this guide to highlight the advantages and disadvantages that come with online conveyancing to help you decide.
How Does Online Conveyancing Work?
Online conveyancing follows the same method as the traditional conveyancing process, but 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 conveyancer liaising with the buyer/seller’s conveyancer. They will also carry out local and property searches, draft and exchange the contract and arrange a date for completion before finally making the buyer the legal owner of the property with the Land Registry.
With online conveyancing, the likelihood of being assigned your own personal conveyancer is slim. Online conveyancers usually offer cheaper prices and will operate a heavy workload. There are advantages and disadvantages of online conveyancing that we will highlight throughout this guide, but the choice is yours.
How to Find a Conveyancer Online
Whether you choose to go with an online conveyancer or a traditional conveyancer, it’s important that the licensed conveyancer or conveyancing solicitor is regulated by the Council for Licensed Conveyancers (CLC), the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) or The Law Society.
To make your search for a trusted conveyancer easier, it’s advised to use an online comparison site like Compare My Move. By doing this, you're guaranteed to be matched with professional conveyancers who are regulated by either the CLC, SRA or The Law Society. It’s also essential to make sure your conveyancer is covered with up to date Indemnity Insurance to be reassured they’re trustworthy. Read our guide to find out what is indemnity insurance.
Here at Compare My Move, our conveyancing partners go through a strict verification process to ensure that they're fully-insured, qualified and able to provide a first-class service. Rest assured, you’re always in good hands with working with a Compare My Move partner.
Advantages of Using Online Conveyancing
Using an online conveyancer will come with many benefits. From a dashboard to track your progress to the cheap prices, we’ve listed a few advantages of online conveyancing:
1. Easy to Track Progress
As previously mentioned, online conveyancing will all be carried out online. You’ll have your own dashboard where you can keep track of your conveyancing progress in real time. The system will notify you when there’s an update in your case, which will all be easily stored in one place.
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 if you used a traditional conveyancer.
2. Cheaper Prices
The main benefit of using an online conveyancing service is that it’s generally cheaper than traditional conveyancing costs. They take on a lot more cases than traditional conveyancers, allowing them to offer a cheaper quote.
Online conveyancing prices are cheaper as you won’t be paying for as many disbursement costs. As everything happens online, there will be less importance on paper documents, reducing the costs.
3. No Completion, No Fee
Many online conveyancers offer a ‘no completion, no fee’ policy. This means that if the property chain or transaction falls through for any reason, then 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 cases where this is not possible.
4. An Upfront Quote
With online conveyancing, you will receive an upfront quote covering all the costs for the process. However, you should make sure there are no hidden fees by checking the small print.
With traditional conveyancing, you'll pay for everything at the end of the process and there will often be added fees that will crop up.
5. Quick Transactions
Sending documents is easier online than on paper and that’s why many people prefer to do their conveyancing this way. You don’t have to wait to receive physical copies like you would with traditional conveyancing.
You’ll be able to upload and send legal documents, complete and sign the required forms and send payments online. This will speed up the conveyancing process as you won’t have to worry about creating copies or rely on the conveyancer receiving them in person.
6. Work Outside Normal Office Hours
Unlike traditional conveyancers, online conveyancers operate outside typical working hours. This is a huge benefit to those who work the 9-5 shift as local conveyancing offices are usually shut by the time you’ve finished work.
Online conveyancing contact hours are more flexible. This usually gives you an answer to your queries the same day as opposed to waiting until the next working day as you would with traditional conveyancing.
Disadvantages of Using Online Conveyancing
Online conveyancing also comes with its own downfalls. From the lack of a personal relationship to the large volumes of work taken on, we’ll breakdown the disadvantages that comes with online conveyancing:
1. Lack of Personal Touch
Online conveyancing takes place solely online or over the phone with no face to face meetings. This can be beneficial to some people, but most people prefer the personal touch that comes with traditional conveyancing. Online conveyancing also means you’ll be speaking to a different person each time you have a query, which can get confusing
With online conveyancing, you'll almost never meet the conveyancer you’re working with. However, with traditional conveyancing you'll have a single point of contact with your very own conveyancer.
2. Large Volumes of Work
To make a profit, online conveyancers will often take on a heavy workload to compensate for the cheaper prices offered. This can get frustrating when a complex issue arises as it will likely delay the process, making it extremely time consuming. This can then potentially lead to customers pulling out of the transaction.
Conveyancers who take on large volumes of work will further take away any potential of a personal relationship with their clients as they'll be focused on too many cases at once. It also makes it harder to get through to a conveyancer via phone if you have a query, as many other people will be trying to do the same.
3. Hidden Costs
Online conveyancing quotes may seem cheap at first, but you have to be wary of any hidden costs. Ask for a full breakdown to have an immediate understanding of the price you’re expected to pay.
If you think the price is too low or you notice disbursements missing from the quote, then contact the conveyancer for a full price before continuing with their service. If the quote seems too cheap, then you should be concerned about going forward with that specific conveyancer.
4. No Local Office
Online conveyancers won’t have a local office that you can visit to check the progress of your case. This will be a disadvantage to many as most people enjoy the personal service they receive from visiting a branch.
The argument is that if your conveyancer isn’t local or doesn’t have a local office, then they won’t be as knowledgeable on the local area when they carry out searches as a traditional, local conveyancer would be.
Is Online Conveyancing Safe?
Online conveyancers will be regulated by the CLC, SRA or the Law Society, making them fully regulated and trusted conveyancers. 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 will have security measures in place that will prevent scammers and hackers from accessing your private details.
Is Online Conveyancing Right For Me?
Online conveyancing will be right for many people. It will benefit you if you have a busy schedule and don't have the option of visiting the conveyancer's office when you have a query. Instead, you can track your progress online in your own dashboard.
If you're not familiar with using the internet and will struggle tracking your case in a dashboard, then a local traditional conveyancer may be better suited to you. This will then reduce the amount of confusion during the process.
Save on Conveyancing Costs
To save time, money and stress, get connected with Compare My Move today. We will compare up to 5 fully regulated and licensed conveyancers in your local area for you to choose from. Rest assured, you’re in good hands when working with a Compare My Move conveyancing partner.