Can you do your own conveyancing?

Conveyancing is the longest and most crucial point in the selling process, so it’s understandable that most people enlist the help of an experienced conveyancing solicitor.

It could seem tempting to cut down moving costs by attempting to do the conveyancing yourself, but this decision should not be taken lightly and there are some important considerations. Let’s take a look at ‘DIY’ conveyancing and its possible pitfalls.

What is conveyancing?

Conveyancing is the legal process in which the ownership of a property is transferred from the seller to the buyer. Key tasks in the conveyancing process include:

  • Confirming that the seller is the legal owner of the property

  • Confirming specific details about the home

  • Preparing the legal contract for the sale

  • Exchanging contracts to complete the sale.

Related: What does conveyancing involve?

The role of a conveyancer

In most cases, a conveyancer is an essential element in the moving process. This is because there are certain legal intricacies which need to be handled by a professional with years’ worth of experience.

Additionally, many mortgage providers will not offer a mortgage to someone who has opted for DIY conveyancing, and the ones who do may insist that the buyer has their own legal representation – which can prove costly.

Related: At what stages can a house sale fall through?

Is DIY conveyancing possible?

While it’s possible, taking on your conveyancing is not advisable for buyers or sellers. This can only be achieved if the transaction does not involve a mortgage lender and the home is purchased by a cash buyer.

In some cases, DIY conveyancing is not appropriate due to the additional legal complexities. Doing your own conveyancing is not recommended in these instances:

  • If the property is a 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

The pitfalls of DIY conveyancing

DIY conveyancing should only be considered for simple transactions and by someone who is comfortable with legal jargon and a large amount of paperwork.

If you are selling, you will be inundated with documents for the sale, along with several key forms including the TA6 form. Here are other reasons why it may be a bad idea:

It could be a false economy

Doing your own conveyancing may not save you as much money as you expect, as additional expenses involved may offset any savings made. For example, you will have to pay for local searches and to register the transaction with the Land Registry.

Your Martin & Co agent will be able to put you in touch with a competitively-priced conveyancer in your local area. Contact your local branch for more details.

Related: Common myths about house-selling

Conveyancing takes time

You could end up drawing out the moving process even longer by taking on your conveyancing, especially if you’ve never done it before.

Missing any deadlines during the conveyancing process can add unnecessary delays to your move. If you do not have an abundance of time on your hands, a seasoned conveyancer can handle the heavy lifting for you so that your sale stays on track.

Risk factors

DIY conveyancing leaves you exposed to certain risks, as mistakes can be made that are difficult (and expensive) to correct. If you make an error in conveyancing, you may have to pay a lawyer to rectify the issue, which will likely cost much more than paying a conveyancer to take on the paperwork for you.

Conveyancers have insurance in place to cover the expenses of rectifying any potential errors they make. If you’re doing your own conveyancing, you will not benefit from the same peace of mind.

Get in touchwith one of our branches for more information today

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