Can You Do Your Own Conveyancing?

Conveyancing is a fairly complicated legal process and, whilst it can be done by individuals with little to no experience it often takes longer than if handled by a professional which can lead to issues with the process.

Whilst there is, potentially, money to be saved in do it yourself conveyancing the possibilities of issues and complications through the process mean that it is often advised to hire an experienced, professional conveyancing solicitor. DIY conveyancing is most feasible when the property in question id free of any mortgage. This makes the process significantly easier. However, for most other processes, the ramifications of making errors in the process are such that hiring a professional conveyancer or solicitor is prudent. Whilst solicitors fees and conveyancing costs are certainly not cheap, in the grand scheme of things you are paying for the reassurance and peace of mind that your house buying or selling process has been completed thoroughly. There is a reason why solicitors and conveyancers are insured against negligence. If they make a mistake during your process their insurance will pay out to cover the costs of rectifying the problem. However, if you make a mistake in doing your own conveyancing, you are personally responsible, and these costs can far outweigh the original solicitor costs.

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How much money can I save in doing my own conveyancing?

The answer here is, not actually a huge amount! In doing your own conveyancing you are only saving on the solicitor’s basic fee which should be in the region of £450-£800. You will still have to pay for searches, other disbursements and, of course Stamp Duty Land Tax. Most mortgage lenders will also not give you the required funds without having a solicitor on their lender panel to look after their interests. Solicitors will charge for this service and so you have ended up paying for a solicitor but do not have the insurance cover if anything goes wrong.

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Will doing my own conveyancing speed up my purchase/sale?

This depends on your personal circumstances and ability. There is a significant amount of paperwork involved, often with complicated legal jargon to decipher. You do benefit from it being the only process you will be working on (whereas any good solicitor will be working on multiple, simultaneously) however, the lack of experience may mean tasks take longer to complete anyway. You can also only move as fast as the other party’s solicitor and it unlikely you will be in a process with only people doing their own conveyancing. The longer the chain the more complex the process and the more opportunity there is for other parties to hold the process up.

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So, SHOULD I do my own conveyancing?

It is, of course, entirely up to you whether you choose to do your own conveyancing. Our recommendation would be that, for the amount you are likely to save, it is better to have the peace of mind that an experienced, professional conveyancing solicitor is handling your case meaning that, in the event that a mistake is made, you will not be liable for any of the costs that may have to be incurred. Use our conveyancing tool to find cheap conveyancing quotes today.
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