It can be pretty confusing when choosing a conveyancer to handle the transaction of your property. There are several technicalities involved, and many different options to choose from. This will help you figure out how to choose someone tailored to your needs to make the whole process as easy as possible.
Difference between Conveyancers and Solicitors:
People often get confused over the difference between a conveyancer and a solicitor. Conveyancers are generally trained and specialised in the transfer of property ownership, whereas solicitors are lawyers who handle the transaction. Both Licensed Conveyancers and Solicitors must hold Professional Indemnity Insurance and comply with a Professional Code of Conduct. Licensed Conveyancers only specialize in ‘real property’ related law known as conveyancing. They must have completed a minimum 2 years study at tertiary level on ‘real property’ law. Furthermore, they have to have at least 2 years supervised practical experience in conveyancing before they can apply for a conveyancing license. Conveyancing licences are issued and administered by the Office of Fair Trading. In UK, a Licensed Conveyancer is just as qualified as a Solicitor to undertake the legal work involved in a conveyancing transaction. Most of the Licensed Conveyancers are self-employed and run their own business or open their own firms. This means that you are likely to be dealing with the owner of the conveyancing business. They are usually based in smaller towns or suburbs. Some Licensed Conveyancers offer flexible appointment times or a mobile service. The cost of services offered by a Licensed Conveyancer are generally ‘fixed fee’ and considered cheaper than that offered by a Solicitor.
On the other hand, solicitors can practice on other areas of law, which include conveyance and can handle court cases. During their legal degree, a solicitor must study property law for 6 months with conveyancing as an optional elective. Solicitors have greater resources than conveyancers and have the assistance of legal clerks, secretaries, paralegals and even licensed conveyancers. As a result, they are more expensive to hire. They are found in larger towns and cities and do not have flexible appointment times and schedules. They charge hourly, instead of having a fixed fee. If a transaction becomes litigious or is beyond the scope of what is considered conveyancing work under the Conveyancers Licensing Act 2003, then a Licensed Conveyancer must refer the transaction to a Solicitor for assistance. They are better at handling more complex transactions.
Nowadays, conveyancers are more popular among clients due to the cheaper costs and flexible timing they provide. Licensed Conveyancers actually provide a better service compared to solicitors because from the top of the firm to the bottom, all they are concerned with providing the best conveyancing service possible. Research carefully and decide whether you need a conveyancer or a solicitor. When searching for a firm, it is best to them up online. Several websites provide conveyancing quotes that can help you decide what to do. Furthermore, there are several website and online communities that review conveyancing services. Choose someone with consistently good, solid reviews that will fit your budget. Look for the firm/ individual conveyancer with the most positive feedback. Online conveyancing is also becoming increasingly popular as it fast, convenient and cheap. Many firms offer a ‘no-sale no-fee’ policy that ensures you won’t have to pay them if your transaction falls through.
When choosing a conveyancer, it is important to see if they have the right qualifications. The Law Society’s Conveyancing Quality Scheme is the recognized quality mark for legal experts in buying or selling property. All Law Society Conveyancing Quality Scheme firms go through meticulous examination and testing to show that they have a high level of knowledge, skills, experience and expertise.
With the right conveyancer, you can ensure that the entire process will be smoother and maybe even enjoyable. In short, choosing the right person may be the most important part of the entire process.