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Finding the Right Conveyancer or Solicitor

Martha Lott
Written by Martha Lott
3rd October 2018 (Last updated on Monday 14th October 2019)

When selling or buying a property, you will need to find a licensed conveyancer or conveyancing solicitor to cover all the legal work during the process. They will conduct all the necessary property searches and ensure that the sale is finalised legally. 

Choosing the right property conveyancer can make the whole process a lot simpler and can save you money in the long run. However, if you choose the wrong one, they could delay the entire process, adding costs to your bill and potentially causing the sale to fall through.

When you’re searching for a professional, you should take your time and use a comparison website like Compare My Move to locate the most trusted and verified conveyancers available. However, there are other ways to ensure you find the right conveyancing solicitor for you. 

We’ve put together this guide covering everything you need to know about finding verified and licensed conveyancers or conveyancing solicitors to help you begin the process of buying or selling your house.

This article will cover the following points

What Does a Conveyancer Do? Differences Between Conveyancers and Solicitors Why Do I Need a Conveyancer? The Benefits of Using a Conveyancer or Solicitor Where to Find a Conveyancer How to Choose a Conveyancer Find the Right Conveyancer With Compare My Move

What Does a Conveyancer Do?

A licensed conveyancer or conveyancing solicitor will be responsible for taking care of the legal aspects of buying or selling a property, such as making the legal payments on your behalf.

Their main responsibilities will include:

  • Giving you a breakdown of the costs involved.
  • Carrying out utility, local authority and property searches.
  • Checking the contracts and redrafting it if needed.
  • Raising and resolving queries between both sides.
  • Arranging and transferring payments and invoices for the transaction.
  • Arranging the completion date.
  • Registering new owners of the property with the Land Registry.

Your conveyancer will keep in contact with you throughout the entire process and will update you when any progress is made.

Differences Between Conveyancers and Solicitors

Licensed conveyancers and conveyancing solicitors are both qualified to carry out conveyancing duties. Licensed conveyancers specifically specialise in conveyancing, arguably having more of an in-depth knowledge of it. Conveyancers tend to be cheaper in general but remember that they only specialise in conveyancing. It would be better to use a conveyancer if the buying or selling process is going to be a quick or simple one.

In addition to conveyancing, conveyancing solicitors will be trained in a variety of legal fields and will therefore have a range of knowledge on property law. If anything were to go wrong, a solicitor would have a variety of knowledge that stretches further than simply conveyancing. If you know the process will be complicated, it's advised to hire a solicitor.

The choice is ultimately yours and which one would best suit your situation. To help you decide, we’ve added a few scenarios where you must choose between the two:

Conveyancers Vs Solicitors

In certain situations, you might be better hiring a conveyancer than a solicitor, and vice-versa. Here's when you should use a conveyancer and when to use a solicitor.

When to Use a Conveyancer

In most cases, a solicitor will fulfil the exact same tasks and responsibilities as conveyancers, so it’s often best to use a regular conveyancer if you think your selling process is going to be straightforward. They are still trained to handle any complications that may arise that’s associated with property law.  

When to Use a Solicitor

Solicitors should be used for particularly tricky transactions like if there’s a dispute over boundaries. A conveyancer would have to refer to a solicitor anyway if there was an issue outside of property law that they could not practically solve themselves.

Why Do I Need a Conveyancer?

If you're selling or buying a house, you will need a conveyancer or conveyancing solicitor to carry out all the legal work for you. It is possible to do this yourself but it can get highly complicated and the process might take even longer if you make mistakes. There is also the potential of risking the entire sale if something is done incorrectly and the transaction is not legally finalised.  

By comparing licensed conveyancers and conveyancing solicitors, you will not only find a fully qualified and verified conveyancer, but you will save yourself time, money and stress along the way.

The Benefits of Using a Conveyancer or Solicitor

Conveyancing is not always a straightforward process and, from time to time, issues can arise that will ultimately delay things. However, the process is made much more difficult when you try to complete it alone. 

The conveyancing process is often a difficult one because it concerns the legal aspects of buying and selling a property, so consulting a professional is always advised. If something was done incorrectly, it could either disrupt the sale, void the sale altogether or possibly even cause you to complete a task illegally. Hiring someone familiar with the process avoids this. 

There are a variety of benefits to hiring a professional and experienced conveyancer or conveyancing solicitor:

Benefits of using a conveyancer

  • A conveyancer will be experienced in completing the necessary paperwork involved, ensuring a more efficient process with less complications. 
  • Your conveyancer will be your link between you and the other parties involved in the transaction, relaying any issues or necessary information. They will be your source of communication.  
  • There’s the option to choose between an hourly rate conveyancer or a fixed fee conveyancer. Fixed fee is much more beneficial as you will be sticking to a pre-agreed price that you can prepare for. 
  • Conveyancers perform extensive property searches that can be extremely difficult to conduct alone. They will discover the necessary information by reaching out to their previous contacts and will uncover any legal issues surrounding the property.  
  • They will organise the finances involved in the transaction on your behalf. 

Conveyancers ensure complete satisfaction with the contract, improving and finalising them so that you’re content before signing and exchanging.

Where to Find a Conveyancer

Finding the right conveyancer will give you peace of mind during the whole process. You can even choose to work with online conveyancers as the price is often cheaper. This, however, won't be as personal as you may be dealing with a few different people throughout the process opposed to one designated conveyancer.

Below, we've listed a few popular methods to help you find a licensed conveyancer. However, you must be wary before deciding and should weigh up the positives and negatives of each option.

Where to find a conveyancer

Comparison Websites - By using a comparison website like Compare My Move, you'll be provided with verified and trusted conveyancers in your local area. It's one of the most recommended ways to find a conveyancer as it includes a variety of the factors listed here, all combined to help you get as much information about the company as possible. Compare My Move's conveyancing partners go through a strict verification process so you know that you’re receiving quotes from the most trustworthy, experienced and professional conveyancers in your local area. 

Recommendations - Another way to find a conveyancer is through recommendations by people you trust. Many of your friends and family will have gone through the same process and may have received a first-class conveyancing service worth passing on. Estate agents will also have recommendations, however, they often receive a commission for this. This will leave you with a higher bill and a smaller list to choose from as they’ll usually only recommend those who pay the highest commissions.

Mortgage Provider's Panel - Some mortgage providers require you to use a conveyancer from their pre-selected list of companies. Many lenders have a strict verification process in place which means their panel of conveyancers are highly-qualified. By choosing a conveyancer this way, you’ll be restricted to a certain list. You may still be able to use an outside conveyancer, but this will cost you more in additional fees.

By Location - If you find the perfect conveyancer, but their location is too far away, don't let that hinder your search. The location of your conveyancer or solicitor doesn’t matter as most of the communication will take place via email or telephone. If you do pick a local conveyancer, they’ll have a better understanding of the area which will help when it comes to carrying out property searches.

How to Choose a Conveyancer

You should arrange a conveyancer as soon as possible once you’ve made the decision to buy or sell a house. This is because most of the paperwork will need to be sorted straight away. When choosing a conveyancer, you should influence your decision by reverting back to these factors during your search:

How to choose a conveyancer

Accreditations – It’s important that the conveyancer is regulated by either the CLC (Council of Licensed Conveyancers), SRA (Solicitors Regulation Authority) or the Law Society.

Reviews and Recommendations – You could choose a conveyancer through recommendations from friends and family as you can trust them to recommend a high quality professional from experience. If this isn’t possible, simply read over the reviews left by previous clients. 

Price – Conveyancing is becoming a competitive industry with many companies offering lower conveyancing prices to get your custom. Look for a company that offers a ‘fixed-fee’ service as this means you will pre-arrange a fixed price for the job. Make sure they offer a 'no sale, no fee' service so you won't be charged legal fees if the sale was to fall through.

Company Size – National companies will often be cheaper, but their size means that one solicitor may be dealing with dozens, if not hundreds of cases at the same time. This means you won't have a personal relationship with your conveyancer and it could delay the process due to a lack of communication.

Type of Sale - If the process of buying or selling is going to be a complicated one, you should really consider a conveyancer that specialises in something specific that you'll need for your purchase/sale. 

Technology Used - Most modern conveyancers will have portals to explain what is happening with your transaction. Some will even send an automated message stating when a milestone has been met or when a crucial moment occurs. This will help you feel in control of the process and keep you up to date on every step.

Find the Right Conveyancer With Compare My Move

Get connected with Compare My Move to save you time, money and stress in your conveyancing process. Simply fill in our quick form and we’ll provide you with up to 4 licensed conveyancers or conveyancing solicitors in your local area.