Can I do my own conveyancing?
If you’re wondering whether you can do your own conveyancing, the answer is yes. You can save time and money by doing the paperwork yourself, but it can be risky and if there’s a mortgage involved you’ll almost certainly have to use a solicitor or licensed conveyancer. However, if it’s a straightforward cash purchase, then you might consider doing the conveyancing yourself.
What is conveyancing?
Conveyancing is the process that legally transfers home ownership from the seller to the buyer. It starts when an offer is accepted and finishes when contracts are signed and the money for the purchase transferred.
How much can I save?
From hundreds of pounds to well over a thousand depending on who you employ. Online conveyancing firms are the most affordable option.
What’s involved in conveyancing?
A solicitor or licensed conveyancer will undertake extensive searches to make sure there are no nasty surprises with the property – for example, planning permission for a factory next door, financial liabilities from the previous owners or risk of flooding. If you decide to do it yourself, you’ll also need to make sure that all fees are paid and that the property is properly registered with HM Land Registry.
Why doesn’t everyone do their own conveyancing?
If there’s a mortgage involved then your bank or mortgage lender will insist you use a professional to protect their interests. After all, if you make a mess of it then you can put yourself at huge risk and you won’t have the legal cover of a professional conveyancer. The cost of being sued for completing the process incorrectly will far outweigh any conveyancing fees.
What can go wrong?
Although DIY conveyancing is possible it’s not always the best option. Fail to spot a boundary dispute and it becomes extremely time consuming, find out that your seller doesn’t have the legal right to market the property and it’s a nightmare. Most transactions will go more smoothly if handled by a professional.
When should I avoid doing my own conveyancing?
You should avoid doing your own conveyancing in situations where the law becomes complicated. These might include:
• Non standard property purchases
• A property that isn’t registered with HM Land Registry
• Leasehold property
• Owners going through a divorce
It’s strongly recommended that first time buyers use the services of a professional conveyancer.