HomeOwners Alliance logo

Sign up to our newsletter for the latest property news, tips & money saving offers

  • Looking to buy a new home? Start here

Should I do my conveyancing online?

In your search for a conveyancing solicitor to help with your home purchase or sale, you may find that online conveyancing services come up cheaper. But are they right for you? We look at how online conveyancing works, tips for finding a good online conveyancing solicitor and what to expect in terms of fees.

online conveyancing

You may have come across online conveyancing firms when you were comparing conveyancing quotes, and while they may be the most affordable option, there are some things you need to consider before you decide to instruct one.

Check the customer reviews

Whether your conveyancing solicitor operates online only or works from an office local to you, there will be some that offer a brilliant service at a great price while others will charge over the odds and leave a lot to be desired.

For that reason, it’s a good idea to check out the online reviews before making your choice. Even though it can sometimes be difficult to tell whether reviews are genuine, this is still a useful first step in your research.

Shop around online for quotes and make sure you compare like for like. See our guide on conveyancing fees to give you an idea of what conveyancers include in their fees and how much you should expect to pay.   Once you have a few quotes, speak to the firms directly if you need clarification and to get a feel for their service.

Here is a list of questions to ask your conveyancing solicitor before you decide on which firm to instruct.

If possible, investigate recommendations from friends who have had a good experience of using a particular firm – whether online or otherwise.

BUT do not automatically choose the firm recommended to you by your estate agent or mortgage broker without comparing quotes and checking their service first.

Compare Conveyancing Quotes

Compare quotes and find the cheapest, nearest and best rated conveyancers from our panel of 120 quality assured firms

Get conveyancing quotes

What level of support do I need?

One factor you need to consider before choosing the online or high street route is how you prefer to communicate. Are you comfortable with interacting digitally on your computer, smartphone or tablet and by telephone? Do you feel safer when you have face-to-face contact? Many online conveyancers operate a call centre-type approach. On the plus side, you can often contact them outside normal office hours and have an online system for progressing your case from the comfort of your own home. On the downside, you may not be given a single contact to deal with.

Conversely, if you use a local firm you will be able to pop into the office and check on progress or apply the pressure in person if things are taking too long. You are more likely to be assigned to an individual conveyancer or solicitor, but they may have strict 9-5 opening hours.

How important is local knowledge?

You are just as likely to find out about local developments or other factors that might impact your purchase through the searches that are carried out, so the necessity for local knowledge is probably overrated. The most important point is to make sure that you choose a well-reviewed conveyancer in the first place, as this will have much more of a bearing on the quality of advice they provide than their postcode.

Is online conveyancing cheaper?

In some cases, online conveyancing may be cheaper, but it’s important that you don’t fall into the budget airlines trap where the headline price looks great value but there are lots of add-ons that push up the cost of conveyancing considerably. Conveyancing fees do vary but are typically between £850-£1500, plus the cost of disbursements Make sure you get a full list of all the charges upfront so you can make a fair comparison with other services.  Many online conveyancing solicitors operate on a ‘no sale no fee‘ basis, also called ‘no completion no fee’. With no sale no fee conveyancing solicitors, if the sale or purchase of your property falls through you won’t pay legal fees.

Also make sure you ask whether the company has indemnity insurance and what it will cover you for in case they make costly errors.

Compare quotes from our quality assured panel including a no completion, no legal fee guarantee

Keeping track of my case

Online conveyancers usually offer online case tracking, which helps you to keep an eye on progress and provides a degree of transparency. You can even respond to queries and scan documents via the system rather than posting documents back and forth. It can be useful if the firm is reliable and it is genuinely up-to-date. However, if the firm is remiss or juggling a heavy caseload then it might not be updated and it is no guarantee of your case proceeding any faster.

Before you appoint a conveyancer, it’s a good idea to familiarise yourself with the conveyancing process including how long conveyancing takes so that you know what to expect.

Is online conveyancing faster?

With some online conveyancers, you can start the process instantly from instruction, verify ID online, upload key documents and sign documents digitally. These online systems give you greater visibility of communication with your solicitor enabling you to respond faster and help parts of the conveyancing process to take place earlier, thereby speeding up the conveyancing process.

With our Digital Move enabled conveyancing panel, you can verify ID Online and get real-time case updates. Get quotes now.

Beware the potential for leaseholder woes

Clearly it is the responsibility of any good conveyancer to explain what your lease means for you, and any restrictions and costs involved. If you are not buying your property freehold, you need to be very careful about potential leaseholder problems. Make sure you grill your conveyancer and are comfortable they have looked closely at the lease for any unfavourable clauses that could cost you dearly in the future.

The best way to reassure yourself is to have a good understanding of the kind of difficulties that might arise so that you can ask the right questions. Read more about the differences between buying freehold and leasehold in our guide as well as the potential pitfalls and disputes over service charges. Forewarned is forearmed.

Could I do my own conveyancing?

It is possible to do the conveyancing yourself, but beware there are risks and it could end up costing you more in the long run. Read more about DIY conveyancing to understand this further.

So, which is best?

As long as you’re comparing like-for-like when you get your quotes and have an indication of customer ratings and reviews, then there isn’t much in the decision between high street or online conveyancing solicitors. In our opinion it comes down to the quality of the conveyancing solicitor on your case and you being an informed and responsive client.

Compare quotes from our quality assured panel of qualified conveyancing firms – online and local firms with customer ratings

Notify of
1 Comment
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
close popup ×

Before   you go...

If you found this website useful, could you spare a minute to leave us a review?