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What is the difference between a solicitor and a conveyancer?

When buying and selling property, this is one of the first questions you should ask. Knowing the difference between a solicitor and a conveyancer will help you to employ the right person for the job, saving you money or ensuring you have the legal backup you require.

What is the difference between a solicitor and a conveyancer?

Solicitors practice in many different areas of law and may choose to specialise in conveyancing. They must be registered with the Law Society and are regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority.

A specialist conveyancer is registered by the Council for Licensed Conveyancers. However, in practical terms there’s no difference in the work that’s undertaken by a solicitor or conveyancer – both handle the legal transfer of property from a seller to a buyer.

So they’re exactly the same?

Not quite. A conveyancer can work for both the buyer and the seller at the same time – which may not be ideal for your situation – and is not required to disclose any referral fees they may receive. The training for a conveyancer is entirely property focused, whereas a solicitor has a much longer legal training, touching on many other aspects of law.

Why should I use a solicitor?

If the property transaction is a complex one, then a solicitor is in a better position to cope with the unexpected thanks to their legal training. However, that also means that you’ll pay more for the services of a solicitor.

Why should I use a conveyancer?

If your property transaction is straightforward, a property conveyancer is the right choice for the job. More affordable than a solicitor, conveyancers are highly experienced in getting the job done. However, if there’s a problem they’ll usually have to instruct a solicitor thus pushing up your costs.

Which one should I use?

It really depends on the complexity of the transaction. However, you should also make sure that your solicitor or conveyancer is a properly registered professional and has the skills to steer you through the entire process. Negotiate a fixed fee with a no move, no pay clause if you can to protect you against excessive costs should the sale fall through.

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