DIY Conveyancing - Is It Worth the Trouble?
May 9, 2016
Moving house is expensive. Once you add in the conveyancing fees, removal costs, searches, surveys and mortgage fees, the costs mount up.
Conveyancing seems like a relatively straightforward process – complete the searches, issue the contracts and send the money. A quick check online gives you all the details, hints and tips you need to DIY your conveyancing.
But that is just one side of the story and, as with any story, there is always another side.
Firstly, any purchase where there is a mortgage involved cannot be completed without a solicitor or licenced conveyancer to complete the transaction. This is in the mortgage agreement you enter into with all banks and building societies. This protects the mortgage company from any exposure if something goes wrong with the funds. You could ask them if you can complete conveyancing yourself, but in most cases, they will refuse.
You should consider the complexity of the sale or purchase you are completing. Some are straightforward and some are not. Straying into leasehold property territory, buying or selling a property that isn’t registered with the Land Registry, or if the sale is because of a divorce or relationship breakdown, you could make some serious oversights during the transaction. If you are considering DIY conveyancing, you do need to make sure that the transaction is a simple and straightforward one.
To DIY conveyance, you have to be comfortable with legal jargon, a large amount of paperwork and more importantly, have the time to deal with the conveyancer on the other side during office hours. If you have a day job, you may struggle to keep in touch and be available at the times you need to be to get things done.
Finally, you must consider the possibility of getting something wrong and the implications of that. You could be sued and be financially liable for any mistakes you make during the conveyancing process. Whilst this is the same for all conveyancers and solicitors, they have had years of training and experience in property transactions and the other thing they do have in place is Professional Indemnity Insurance. This means they are covered by insurance for any mistakes they make in the course of their work, but if you DIY your conveyancing, you do not have the benefit of this type of insurance to back you up.
In short, you should seriously consider your position, capabilities and time before committing to DIY conveyancing. Whilst you might save £1,000, you could leave yourself wide open to financial liability of hundreds of thousands of pounds.
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