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What is Online Conveyancing?

Martha Lott
Written by Martha Lott
1st November 2018 (Last updated on Monday 2nd September 2019)

Online conveyancing works exactly the same as the traditional conveyancing process by helping you with the legal aspects and paperwork that comes with buying and selling a house.

The only difference with online conveyancing, is that the 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 easily trackable progress. However, there are downsides as well. Online conveyancing will lack the personal touch that you get with traditional conveyancing, and, most of the time, the company will be dealing with a heavy workload.

The choice is ultimately 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.

This article will cover the following points

How Does Online Conveyancing Work? How to Find a Conveyancer Online Advantages of Using Online Conveyancing Disadvantages of Using Online Conveyancing Is Online Conveyancing Safe? Is Online Conveyancing Right For Me? Save on Conveyancing Costs

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 instead of meeting your conveyancer face to face.

The process for online conveyancing will remain the same with your conveyancer liaising with the buyer/seller’s conveyancer, carrying out local and property searches, drafting and exchanging 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 than traditional conveyancing 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 ultimately 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 fully 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 strongly 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 fully 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. 

Here at Compare My Move, our conveyancing partners go through a strict verification process to ensure that they are fully-insured and qualified 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 price tag, we’ve listed a few of the main advantages of online conveyancing:

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 as 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 you would with traditional conveyancing. 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 will pay for everything at the end of the process and there will often be added fees that will crop up throughout the process.

5. Quick Transactions – Sending documents is significantly easier online than sending paper documents and that’s why many people prefer to do their conveyancing this way. You don’t have to wait to receive physical paper 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 significantly speed up the conveyancing process as you won’t have to worry about creating copies and relying on the conveyancer receiving them in the post or 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 creates a flexible process, giving you an answer to your queries usually 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 sadly also comes with its own downfalls. From the lack of a personal relationship with your conveyancer to the large volumes of work they take on, we’ll breakdown the disadvantages that comes with online conveyancing for comparison: 

Disadvantages of 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 often get confusing 

With online conveyancing, you will never meet the conveyancer you’re working with, however, with traditional conveyancing you will 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 and potentially leading 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 will 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 extremely 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 and meeting with the conveyancer face to face.

The argument is there 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 fully regulated online conveyancer will have security measures in place that will prevent scammers and hackers from accessing your private details to give you peace of mind.

Is Online Conveyancing Right For Me?

Online conveyancing will be right for many people. It will really benefit you if you have a busy schedule and don't have the option to visit the conveyancer's local office when you have a query as you can track your progress online in your own dashboard.

If you're not very 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, not to confuse the process.

Save on Conveyancing Costs

To save time, money and stress, get connected with Compare My Move today. We will compare up to 4 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.