Conveyancing is expensive, which tempts some people to do it themselves. But while DIY conveyancing can save you money, it can also be risky
The conveyancing process is complex, and you shouldn’t consider doing your own conveyancing if you don’t fully understand all the steps involved.
However, DIY conveyancing can certainly save you money. See our guide on conveyancing fees which sets out what you can expect to pay in terms of legal fees and other disbursements so you can see the costs involved.
Who normally does conveyancing?
It is usually done either by a solicitor, a licensed conveyancer, or a legal executive. If you’re considering instructing a professional, you’ll need to choose between a solicitor or a conveyancer – and the decision will depend on the circumstances of the purchase. In addition to comparing quotes and reviews, here are some useful questions to ask your conveyancing solicitor before making your decision.
Is DIY conveyancing an option?
DIY conveyancing is an option but not usually possible if a mortgage is involved. Doing the conveyancing yourself should only be considered for simple transactions, and only if you are comfortable with legal jargon and willing to deal with a lot of paperwork.
How much could I save?
You can pay anything between £400 to £1,000 for a solicitor, depending on what’s involved. Legal fees are higher when a leasehold property is involved. A cheaper option can be online conveyancing. If you’re worried about the cost, it’s wise to compare conveyancing quotes first.
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So why doesn’t everybody do it themselves?
Most mortgage lenders insist on a professional in order to protect their interests. Some lenders, HSBC for example, require you to use one of their recognised solicitors to do your conveyancing. Lenders generally require that you use a conveyancing solicitor that is registered with their panel.
There is also added risk to doing the legal work yourself. If you go through the process incorrectly, the seller’s solicitor could take advantage of your inexperience, you could be sued, and end up spending far more in legal and court fees than you would have done on a conveyancer.
When should you avoid DIY conveyancing?
Even if your mortgage company allows for DIY conveyancing, and you are happy with the risks, property law can be more complicated in some circumstances and we recommend against DIY conveyancing in these instances:
- If the property is leasehold
- If the property is not registered with the Land Registry
- If the property is not a house or flat
- If the sellers are divorcing or separating