What's the cheapest way to get conveyancing done now I'm selling my home?

4 February 2014

Q

I am currently selling my home. I have taken out a small mortgage and am now in the process of trying to find someone to do the conveyancing. I was going to do it through my estate agent, but I was quoted £1,200, which I think is really steep. Is conveyancing necessary? What would be the cheapest way to do it?
From
AN/Nuneaton

A

Conveyancing covers all the legal work involved when buying and/or selling a property and is one of the things that homebuyers and sellers need to budget for. Your solicitor or conveyancer will ensure there are no problems with the legal title of the property that you are buying, carry out required searches, draft the contracts and deal with the other party's solicitor.

It is very important for all these things to be checked by a professional to make sure there is nothing that could have an adverse impact on ownership. Mortgage lenders will usually allow their legal work to be completed by your solicitor, as long as they are on the lender's approved list.

Conveyancing is not a DIY job but that shouldn't stop you shopping around for a better price and you may be able to beat an agent's in-house offer. Word of mouth can be helpful when it comes to getting value for money and service. Be sure you are comparing like for like on quotes as there will be a fee plus 'disbursements' - the necessary costs a conveyancer must incur, such as the cost of searches.

What is conveyancing?

A conveyancing solicitor deals with the legal documents needed to buy and sell property, as well as remortgaging. It covers the legal parts of the purchase, including land registry, local authority searches, freehold and leasehold status, and title deeds.

When choosing a conveyancer, you should shop around for the best price but it is also important to find a solicitor who knows your area well. The fees charged by solicitors vary greatly. For example, some firms do not charge if the sale or purchase falls through.