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 it yourself if you don’t fully understand all the steps involved. However, DIY conveyancing can save you a small fortune, as conveyancing fees can quickly mount up.
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.
Is DIY conveyancing an option?
Despite the professionals’ extensive training, DIY conveyancing is possible. However, it should only be considered for simple transactions, and only by if you are comfortable with legal jargon and willing to deal with a lot of paperwork. Please note that DIY conveyancing usually won’t be possible if a mortgage is involved.
How much could I save?
You can pay anything between £400 to £1,000 for a solicitor, depending on what’s involved. A cheaper option is online conveyancers, which still have to be officially registered. If you’re worried about the cost, it’s wise to compare conveyancing quotes first and see how low the price can go.
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, actually insist you use one of their recognised solicitors to do your conveyancing.
Other buyers are put-off from DIY conveyancing because it exposes you to huge added risk. 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, there are some times in particular where the law becomes very complicated and we recommend against DIY conveyancing:
- 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