As a mortgage is secured against your home, it could be repossessed if you do not keep up the mortgage repayments.

This blog post does not constitute advice. 

en buying a house, you can get passed around a lot of different people. Even if you’re a seasoned property professional, keeping track of what they do can be difficult. Conveyancing is one example of this – despite how important it is.

In this post, we’ll explain what conveyancing is, your responsibilities in the process, and some tips to keep in mind when you’re looking for a conveyancer.

What is Conveyancing?

Conveyancing is the process where the ownership of the property is transferred from seller to buyer. Lots of people think that conveyancers only deal with paperwork, but this isn’t quite true. Conveyancers make sure that the change in ownership is all legally above board, offer legal advice and make sure you’re aware of details like what’s included with the property.

Finding a Conveyancer

Not all conveyancing professionals are created equal. There are two different types you might come across: conveyancing solicitors and licensed conveyancers.

Conveyancing solicitors tend to have wider legal knowledge, and so can help with other legal issues that may crop up when you’re trying to buy a house. An example of this would be drawing up a will which deals with parts of the property.

Though licensed conveyancers do a lot of similar things, they’re specifically experts in property.  They might be better for you if you’re not looking for any extras on top of your property purchase.

Why is conveyancing important?

On the face of it, hiring a conveyancer (or ‘instructing’ one, as it’s known) might seem like an unnecessary cost. It’s actually completely legal for a homebuyer to carry out the legal process themselves – but it’s tricky if you don’t know how. Our recommendation would always be to entrust this to a professional.

What’s more, having all this knowledge and experience on your side can be the thing that saves you from some nasty surprises further on down the line, like a lease that’s close to expiring.

5 Tips and Reminders for Finding a Conveyancer

Whatever type of conveyancer you’re looking for, there are a few tips you’d be wise to follow to get your money’s worth.

Experience (and qualifications) matter

As mentioned above, licensed conveyancers will have slightly different qualifications than conveyancing solicitors. When you’re browsing conveyancing solicitors, they should hold the Law Society Conveyancing Quality accreditation. Licensed conveyancers, on the other hand, follow a framework from the Council for Licensed Conveyancers.

Having these qualifications should be a deal-breaker when you’re looking for a conveyancer, but don’t forget to investigate their experience too. If you’ve got an unusual property – for example, a new build home – you’ll be in safer hands if you opt for someone who has dealt with such properties in the past and can guide you through the specifics of the process.

Beware the hidden costs

Everyone knows that buying a property can be a costly process, but conveyancing is one part of it you shouldn’t skimp on. Even if a quote from one conveyancer looks to be within your budget, be sure to ask about the impact of the costs that you don’t see, like money taken for disbursements and VAT. Some conveyancers also differ in whether they take a fixed fee or have an hourly rate.

This is part of why it’s always best to shop around, and see what options are available for you.

You can help the process!

Though your conveyancer will handle most of the complex stuff for you, there are some things you can do to help the process along.

When your conveyancer asks for a piece of identification, make sure to get it copied and sent across as soon as possible.

Additionally, there are some documents you will have to go over yourself, like the property information form – which gives you information about everything from parking to planning permissions.

Getting all this completed and sent into your conveyancer quickly means there’s less of a chance that your house sale or purchase will get held up.

 Communication is key

As conveyancers deal with so many parts of your property sale, it’s only natural that you’d want to keep updated.  According to a 2017 report by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, 34% of home buyers said that, if they could’ve improved one thing about their selling experience, it would be having a faster service from the conveyancer.

When you’re browsing potential conveyancers, make sure you ask about methods of communication. Will the meetings be in person? If not, are you comfortable using video calls, or speaking on the phone?

It’s also a good idea to ask about how often you can expect to hear from your conveyancer. Try and agree on a regular meeting period, such as weekly. This takes a lot of frustration out of the process, meaning you’re not constantly waiting for new information, or wasting your time calling the conveyancer every day.

A conveyancer is one of many people whose efforts go into getting you your home purchase or sale. By knowing exactly what they do and asking the right questions when you’re searching for one, you can get the best deal – and the best experience.

Want a high-quality conveyancer at a low price? Contact Finance Advice Centre, and let our advisors match you to the perfect legal professional.