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Can I do the conveyancing on my new home myself to save money?

Reasons to choose Wilson Browne

It sounds easy, so you should give it a go, right?

Not always the case though particularly when your dream home is at risk.  There’s a reason why Solicitors and Licensed Conveyancers have professional indemnity insurance in place and you don’t!

The conveyancing process is complex and labour intensive. If you enjoy filling out forms, have attention to detail, have time on your hands and understand how to adequately check the title to a property and have an understanding of the other surrounding legal issues then it maybe worth a go yourself.

However, the price of residential conveyancing remains highly competitive and it’s really just not worth the hassle and may still not be possible even if you think you could have a go!

Yes, you may save the conveyancer’s basic fee starting at roughly £500 depending on the price of the property you are buying but you will still have to pay disbursements (third party payments) including but not limited to:

  • Land registration fees;
  • Land Registry search fees;
  • Search fees (for example the local authority search).

Stamp Duty Land Tax is also payable to the Government when buying a property. The cost will depend on the price of the house you are purchasing, subject to any relevant reliefs in place at the time.

Of greater significance however that is if you are purchasing a property with the assistance of a mortgage, your mortgage lender is highly unlikely to proceed unless you are represented by a conveyancer. Similarly, if you are selling a property, your buyer’s mortgage lender may not agree to your buyer dealing with you if you are not represented by a conveyancer. There are also certain practical issues surrounding the repayment of any existing mortgage and the actual exchange of contracts where professional undertakings need to be given.

It is worth remembering that conveyancing doesn’t just involve two parties buying and selling a house. Estate agents, mortgage brokers and an onward chain can all be in the mix and your transaction will depend on all parties working together to achieve the same moving date.

When there are so many parties involved and so many risks that you will be personally liable for, is it really worth saving £500? Even if you think you could give it a go, you may find further into the process that you do require legal representation after all which at that point may cause delays that could have been avoided.

Jenny Woodruff

Posted:

Jenny Woodruff

Partner

Jenny is a Partner and head of the Residential Conveyancing Team. She has extensive knowledge of the conveyancing process, including: dealing with freehold and leasehold sales & purchases; new build purchases; remortgages; transfers of equity; shared ownership; help to buy transactions & general property advice.