Although it is possible to act for yourself in the legal aspects of a sale of your property you would be foolish to attempt it without a lot of conveyancing experience – in which case you won’t be reading this post. Therefore you have a choice of appointing a solicitor or a licenced conveyancer to act for you. So which is the better option?
Certainly if you were selling something potentially complex in nature like a development site or commercial property you would need the specialist knowledge of a solicitor with a background in such work. However for straightforward residential house and land sales there is really little difference between the two in our experience. There are pro’s and con’s to both.
Because conveyancers specialise in this line of work they are usually very efficient with their systems and processes and the person doing the work is generally experienced. Therefore the right conveyancer presents good value because they also typically have a competitive fee structure.
The downside to using a conveyancer is that they can’t represent you with any legal issues outside of the property transfer. Depending on the circumstances surrounding your reason for selling this may be a limiting factor.
Solicitors of course can be just as efficient and cost effective and often with even greater experience than conveyancers plus the added benefit of being able to handle all other legal matters for you. If so, use them. Just be sure the actual work will be personally handled by the solicitor or an experienced conveyancer within the office and not palmed off to a junior staff member.
Whichever way you go get at least two quotes before you make a final decision and insist on a fixed price in writing. The only disbursements you should accept outside of this price are for costs that are outside their control like Council certificates and not for phone calls, photocopying etc.