Conveyancing is essentially the process of buying and selling a property – the transfer of ownership from the seller to the buyer. It is possible for buyers and sellers to do their own conveyancing if they are not keen to pay the fees for conveyancers or conveyancing solicitors, however, this can be very time consuming and, for those who don’t know their way around the conveyancing process, mistakes can be costly. When it comes to hiring someone to do the conveyancing, there are basically two choices – licensed conveyancers or conveyancing solicitors.
The main advantage of using conveyancing solicitors over a licensed conveyancer is the breadth of expertise you will have at your disposal. A licensed conveyancer can do conveyancing and only conveyancing, where as a conveyancing solicitor has a broader understanding of other areas of law that may also come in useful (such as tax), and will most likely have colleagues qualified in other areas on hand, who can step in and help if necessary.
The advantages of using a conveyancing solicitor rather than a licensed conveyancer are particularly obvious if anything goes wrong during the conveyancing process. If there are disputes that arise in areas that are not covered by a licensed conveyancer’s experience then the cost of the conveyancing process can rise significantly where a solicitor has to be brought in, in addition to the conveyancer. It can be a cost saving exercise overall to simply use a conveyancing solicitor from the outset, so that where issues crop up these can all be dealt with by the same person.
Another advantage of using a conveyancing solicitors is the indemnity insurance that the solicitors will have, which will most likely cover your costs, and any losses, for anything that goes wrong. Solicitors are generally covered for around £1 million of indemnity insurance per transaction, which should be more than enough in most cases to set a situation right where a solicitor is at fault. Finally, whilst you may find a conveyancing solicitor costs a little more than a licensed conveyancer up front, this will often translate to a substantial difference in the conveyancing service and a conveyancing solicitor may in the end be better value for money.