Solicitors help to cut through the often complex and confusing legal issues that arise when buying or selling a property. Their role is to guide you through the legal processes, answer any questions you may have, and let you know what choices are available.
Instructing a solicitor to help you sell your home can cost between £800 to £1,800 depending on who you use and the services they will be providing. It is possible to carry out the conveyancing process without enlisting the help of a solicitor – however, it can often be quite a lot of additional work and will rely on having a good knowledge about the specific legal processes. This may be difficult if you don’t have the time or any existing knowledge prior to doing so.
What Tasks Does a Solicitor Carry Out?
A solicitor is a qualified legal professional that specialises in a specific area of law. Solicitors can help those purchasing properties. There are certain tasks that a solicitor will carry out on your behalf during the property-buying process, such as:
- Obtaining your title deeds and helping you to fill out the necessary documentation
- Preparing and distributing the contract for sale
- Requesting a settlement figure for your mortgage
- Receiving the house deposit
- Liaising with all relevant parties in order to negotiate a moving date
- Organising the final accounts and preparing a final settlement
- Approving the deed of transfer
- Paying off the remaining mortgage amount
- Handing over the property deeds
- Managing any outstanding balance
Evidently, solicitors play an important role during the purchasing of a home. While solicitors may seem expensive, the tasks they perform are key to the purchasing of a property and the costs of them are cost-effective long-term.
What Are the Benefits of Using a Solicitor?
Though it is possible to sell your house without using a solicitor, there are key benefits that come from using a solicitor. By using a solicitor, you will likely save money, time and stress. Some of the key benefits to solicitors include:
Professional and Expert Advice
Solicitors come with specific training and experience meaning they can offer you relevant guidance and legal protection. Buying a property comes with many legal obstacles, so having a solicitor can make this process more smooth and save you time and stress.
Legal processes can often be complex and come with their own specific terminology. Sometimes, the house selling process is held up because steps are poorly understood or missed out entirely. Working with an experienced solicitor will help the process run more smoothly and efficiently and ensure that everything is going ahead as it should.
This is particularly useful for those with busy lifestyles. For instance, you, or even your partner, may work long hours and full-time. Likewise, those with families and busy schedules will particularly benefit from using a solicitor and will be able to purchase properties faster.
Support Along the Way
Working alongside a solicitor will help you to make well-informed decisions for you or your family. They can help make the legal processes more comprehensive and can help to simplify any aspects of the proceedings.
Up-to-Date Legal Proceedings
Laws are constantly changing and it can be difficult to keep fully up-to-date. Solicitors are required to stay abreast of these changes, meaning that they will be aware of any specific legal requirements, even if they have only been introduced recently. This way, you’ll be guaranteed an efficient and official purchasing process.
What Are the Alternatives of Using a Solicitor?
While solicitors clearly have their benefits and are widely used in the UK, if you choose not to work with a solicitor to sell your house, there are alternatives available:
1. Work with a Licensed Conveyancer
In England and Wales, it is possible to use a licensed conveyancer instead of a solicitor. Their services are similar but, unlike solicitors, they are not governed by the Law Society. Here are the other key differences between solicitors and licensed conveyancers:
- A licensed conveyancer could act for both the buyer and the seller (both sides in a property transaction).
- Licensed conveyancers are not required to disclose referral fees from estate agents or other parties (solicitors are required to disclose this information).
- Licensed conveyancers work specifically in the realms of property law rather than multidisciplinary knowledge – this means they may be limited with their knowledge of other ares of the law (such as tax planning or family law).
- Conveyancers can sometimes be slightly cheaper than solicitors.
2. DIY Conveyancing
It is possible to do your own conveyancing; however, it is important to remember that if you choose to do this, you will be responsible for completing all the tasks involved which can often be a complex undertaking requiring specific legal knowledge.
Depending on who you are working with, some mortgage providers might insist on the need for a professional solicitor or licensed conveyancer. Additionally, in more complex cases such as selling a leasehold property, it is often far better to work with a professional who can deal with all the complexities on your behalf.
Choosing to do your own conveyancing comes with a high risk of error; when you work with a legal professional, they will be covered by professional indemnity insurance and the risk is lower.