How crucial is it to employ a conveyancing solicitor or a conveyancer when buying or selling a house, a flat, a freehold property or a lease?
The simple answer is that it is very crucial that you instruct a conveyancer solicitor or specialist equivalent of a conveyancer, if you don’t you can’t complete. But don’t go thinking all conveyancers and conveyancing solicitors are the same. Like in any walk of life, you get good conveyancers and conveyancers but poor ones too. The wrong choice and you have a high risk of failing to move. In fact, according to the LV (Liverpool and Victoria) legal survey, 214,000 buyers and sellers fail to complete on their sale and purchase each year. And, 50% of those aborted cases are due to the conveyancer or conveyancing solicitor for things like delays. That’s billions of pounds lost every year due to conveyancing solicitors and conveyancers.
How do you choose between a Conveyancer and a Conveyancing solicitor?
A Conveyancer deals with buying or selling property all day long; that’s their full-time job. However, a solicitor deals with other areas of law, not just Conveyancing.
Think of it as a medical analogy. A solicitor is a bit like a GP who does a bit of everything.
In contrast, a conveyancer is more like a surgeon who specialises in one specialist area. So, for example, a consultant specialising as a back surgeon, or a heart surgeon or any other specialist area. By their very nature, a specialist means they are likely to know more about their specialist area. And that’s normally true of an out-and-out conveyancing legal practice.
Imagine, a solicitor’s practice will have to keep up with other areas of law outside conveyancing as well as conveyancing; that’s a monumental task. It takes a lot of extra resources, which many legal firms don’t have. The outcome could be they may not keep up with new conveyancing practices, conveyancing rules or conveyancing protocols. Where does that leave you?
Remind yourself, why you are paying conveyancing legal costs to your solicitor or conveyancer.
Your outcome as a buyer or seller has to be to move you safely before your case falls through. So, look for a legal firm that only does conveyancing. That’s your best bet. Then every conveyancer or conveyancing solicitor employed in that conveyancing firm will specialise exclusively in Conveyancing.
Don’t make the mistake though of a commercial conveyancer; they must be a residential conveyancer or conveyancing solicitor. Why? Because residential conveyancing and commercial are two very separate areas of Conveyancing. To be truly a suitable conveyancer, you must specialise in residential Conveyancing only, nothing else.
Will it help my choice by instructing a conveyancing firm that is regulated by the body that regulates conveyancers or one that regulates solicitors generally whether they do conveyancing or not?
Solicitor firms are regulated by the Law Society. That means they are likely to do other legal work, not just conveyancing. The problem is that many solicitor firms just dabble in conveyancing. Some solicitor firms do so little conveyancing that lender panels who need a conveyancer to deal with their legal work for a buyer to get a mortgage offer, won’t even allow the solicitor on their panel for fear of mistakes. As a result, some buyers can’t choose the mortgage offer offering the best rates.
Conveyancing firms regulated by the Council of Licenced Conveyancers means they do exclusively conveyancing work.
Also read: Make Conveyancing Faster – 5 Tips
Within the specialist conveyancing firm, do you employ a conveyancer or a conveyancing solicitor?
What is the difference between a conveyancer and a solicitor, you may ask? It isn’t very clear. One of the misconceptions is using a solicitor is better. That’s far from true, quite the opposite. The difference is that a conveyancer deals with buying or selling property all day long; that’s their full-time job. However, a solicitor is qualified to deal with other areas of law, not just conveyancing.
Remind yourself why you are paying conveyancing legal costs to your solicitor or conveyancer.
It’s to move you safely. So look for a conveyancing solicitor or conveyancer specialising in conveyancing.
Even more so, your conveyancer must specialise in residential conveyancing, not commercial conveyancing. It’s two separate areas of conveyancing. To be a truly good solicitor it’s likely that you must be devoted to that specialism; residential conveyancing.
Even then, there are more residential conveyancing is subdivided into even more specific expertise.
Also read: What is a HomeBuyer Report? (Level 2 Survey)
What type of residential property are you buying?
Is it a new build?
If yes, then instruct a conveyancer or conveyancing solicitor who specialises in a new build. These have different rules and 28-day deadlines to exchange.
Are you a first-time buyer?
If you are, find a conveyancing solicitor or conveyancer specialising in acting for a first-time buyer. Why? Ask yourself? Does your conveyancer or conveyancing. Solicitors do other solicitor work other than focusing on first-time buyer property. It is not; are they specialists enough for you?
Are you buying freehold property?
Is that registered at the Land Registry? How old is it? Does it have restrictions, access issues, restrictive covenants, and positivity covenants which impact your sale or purchase? That’s the sort of discussion you may want to have with your conveyancer or conveyancing solicitor before you start. Question them. You are allowed to test their knowledge if you’re not quite sure about them If they don’t talk to you now, will they talk to you later?
Another example is, are you buying a lease property? If so, find a conveyancer or a conveyancing solicitor that does lease and convey residential leasehold property.
Don’t make the mistake of instructing a leasehold commercial lease conveyancer. They are two separate areas of conveyancing.
The best conveyancing solicitor or conveyancer to answer deals with all areas from residential conveyancing of leases, freehold and newbuild work.
Also read: Conveyancing Solicitors Quote
So why is your choice of conveyancing solicitor or conveyancer so important?
Because it can lose you tens of thousands of pounds if you don’t. Because your choice of solicitor or conveyancer will make a massive difference in whether you will successfully buy or sell or not.
In England and Wales fall-through rate of failing to get to completion when buying and selling residential property is as high between 37% to 40%. That means that out of every 100 sellers or buyers, 40 will fail even after instructing their solicitor. In no other purchase of services is the failure rate that high.
Choosing the right conveyancing specialist can increase your success rate.
Take AVRillo Conveyancing LLP; they move a record 95% of all their sellers and buyers. They are out-and-out specialists, with 70 gold awards for bringing the best conveyancers. The conveyancing practice employs both conveyancing solicitors and conveyancers.
Focus on your outcome, nothing else
Only 15% choose on conveyancing costs. That means 85% focus on whether they want to move property successfully. If you do then you must search for the right conveyancer or conveyancing solicitor who can succeed in getting you to exchange and complete. Not all solicitors can.
Also read: How to Speed Up Conveyancing
What’s the real cost of a solicitor failing to get you moved?
What’s your loss if you are one of the 37% of buyers and sellers whose move falls through, only to start the whole moving process afresh?
As a buyer, you need to find a new property search. Negotiate a new price in which you may lose out by tens of thousands of pounds. Get a new mortgage, with potentially a higher interest rate over the next 25 years. That’s ten of thousands of pounds extra just there. Pay twice for two lots of conveyancing costs and two sets of third-party disbursements into their thousands such as searches and your survey.
As a seller, you have with a new estate agent. Locate the right buyer at the right price. How many tens of thousands can you lose out in this alone? Go through months of added inconvenience and stress of more people coming through your home in viewings. Putting your plans on hold for another 6 months. Double the costs of starting again.
How do you search for a good conveyancer?
Look at their Google conveyancing reviews. Ensure they have between 500 to 1000 or more reviews. Ensure they have at least a 4.7 star rating out of 5. Do the same with their Trustpilot conveyancing reviews.
Look to see their full conveyancing terms and conditions. Good luck with getting these upfront. Many conveyancing solicitors hide these in their paper terms. Look for those who publish their costs on their website or by email
Ask questions of your intended conveyancer
Ask them to fully explain their success rates. If they don’t know, then are they right for you?
Ask them for their transparency record. Many hide their terms. It’s why the government introduced the conveyancing transparency laws and still conveyancing solicitors and conveyancers breach these.
What you shouldn’t do when choosing your individual conveyancer or conveyancing solicitor?
Do not simply type in a conveyancing quote or cheap conveyancing quote in a search engine, whether it be Google, Yahoo or any other.
Why? Because it will likely find your keywords such as “quote”. In turn, search engines may reveal cheap conveyancers who buy keywords relating to cheap quotes but not necessarily being known for conveyancing quality, conveyancing service or their ability to move you successfully. The word cheap and quality don’t often go together in life, and certainly not in Conveyancing.
It’s virtually impossible to scrimp on costs, buy cheap and instruct a conveyancing solicitor or conveyancer who will have the resources to spend on ensuring you have the best chance of moving.
What is the downside of a cheap conveyancing quote?
If you don’t pay your conveyancing or conveyancing solicitor enough, if you pay cheap prices, then you’ll likely end up with a cheap service, cheap quality. The outcome is a potential failure. This is evidenced by the fact that almost 50% of all claims made against solicitors in England and Wales are made against conveyancing solicitors. It just shows how you lose if you potentially limit yourself to searching for a cheap conveyancing solicitor. It may look as if the conveyancer is a few pounds cheaper on the quote, but your conveyancing costs can end up being a few hundred to a few thousand more expensive. Worst still, you could lose out by tens of thousands of pounds.
Also read: How to find the best conveyancer
What’s the moral of this article? Trust your gut based on the best, not the cheapest conveyancing quote.
If it sounds like it’s too good to be true, then it usually is too good to be true. When deciding between cheap or quality and security, what do you pick? Do you know the answer? Not cheap. That’s especially true when you have hundreds of thousands of pounds at risk.
Never go to the cheapest conveyancer or conveyancer.
I suggest you do not type in “cheap conveyancer”. Instead type in “best Conveyancing”, “Best Conveyancer”, or “best conveyancing solicitor”.
The next best is to maybe type in “ best conveyancer near me”. Never a cheap conveyancer or cheap conveyancing solicitor. It’s not worth scraping on cheap conveyancing fees unless you want a cheap service with cheap quality, which brings with it conveyancing delays and the risk of your conveyancing falling through.
The main take-home points
1/ Don’t choose the cheapest solicitor. You are selling or buying for hundreds of thousands of pounds, don’t scrape on a few pounds to get the cheapest. That is not what you want. Your objective must be to either buy or sell the property. Not simply go on a stressful journey which on average conveyancers and conveyancing solicitors can take 5 to 6 months and then fail to complete.
2/ Think! The wrong choice of conveyancer or conveyancing solicitor equates you to losing money. Potentially tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of pounds.
It means you losing your ideal or dream home, at the purchase price within your budget. If you’re buying, you may also lose your ideal catchment area for your children’s school, or miss out on moving to a new location for your work, or any other reason, from a matrimonial issue to your first-time purchase
What if you’re a seller? You lose the opportunity to move, have to pay more mortgage repayments and the new seller may chip away on your price by tens of thousands of pounds.
3/ Search only for the best conveyancer or conveyancing solicitor. Ensure they have a good track record of moving buyers and sellers.
4/Find out if they’ve won awards. How many? It is conveyancing. Sunday Times best, Estas, and The Negotiator best professional supplier to name a few.
5/ Speak to them. Call them.
6/View their full terms on their website, not a summary. Full conditions are seldom published openly. Try looking at AVRillo‘s website. They are one of the few firms in English who publish their full conveyancing costs in the footer of each of their website pages: www.avrillo.co.uk
Conveyancing Solicitors London & All of The UK: AVRillo
Licensed conveyancing solicitors in London, UK trusted by 40,000+ clients. Hire UK’s No. 1 awarded conveyancing experts to move cheaper and safer.
Under their conveyancing costs and transparency section.
7/ Look at the conveyancer’s website.
8/ Look at their google conveyancing reviews and their Trustpilot Conveyancing reviews.
Remember, you choosing your conveyancer is the most crucial step in your transaction.
It’s may cost you thousands to tens of thousands if you choose wrongly.
But the choice is yours, and so is the risk. And it’s a considerable risk.
Good luck in your conveyancing journey. It’s never an easy one!