Home Buying Guide: Conveyancing - Introduction

What is Conveyancing?

The term 'Conveyancing' refers to all the legal and administrative work associated with transferring the ownership of land or buildings from one owner to another. The conveyancing process starts after an offer has been made and accepted for a property, and solicitors' details have been exchanged by the two parties.

Who Does The Conveyancing?

Most people hire a solicitor or licensed conveyancer to undertake the legal side of buying their home. It is possible to do the conveyancing yourself, but this is a time-consuming business and also risky if you lack the necessary expertise. Although professional services are expensive, they have become cheaper in recent years and it is well worth the cost to successfully complete the purchase and to resolve any possible problems. This part of the process is crucial.

DIY Conveyancing: Pros and Cons

DIY-conveyancing is possible. If you are sharp, not put off by legal jargon and willing to deal with the large amounts of paper-work involved then it might be safe not to hire a professional conveyancer or solicitor. However, it is advisable to think about this very carefully as it is a complex and time-consuming business. If it is not carried out properly you could, for example, find yourself involved in costly legal disputes over boundaries, discover that there is a new road planned to be built opposite your home, or even that the seller did not have the legal right to sell the home.

In reality very few home-buyers undertake the conveyancing themselves, for three main reasons:

  • Many mortgage lenders will insist on employing a solicitor to protect their interests. They do not want to risk having shoddy conveyancing work.
  • There is a higher risk of things going disastrously wrong
  • The other people involved may not be happy with you doing your own conveyancing, and may even reject your offer on this basis

There are some cases in which DIY-conveyancing is particularly inadvisable, for example:

  • if the property is being sold by a divorcing or separating couple (this requires specialist skill or knowledge)
  • if the property is not a freehold
  • if the property is unregistered
  • if the property is not a house

When a property is being sold an energy performance certificate will need to be provided.

Get a Conveyancing Quote

To get quotes for your move from the conveyancing firms that provide services in your area, please fill in our simple Conveyancing Quote Registration Form. Or select from our directory of Conveyancing Services.