A conveyancer or solicitor will help you complete on your house purchase. They carry out the legal searches on the property you want to buy to find out if there any issues with the title or any issues pending with the local planning authority. This might be the case if the current home owner made unauthorised changes to the structure of the house.
The role of a conveyancer
In England a conveyancer usually is needed halfway through the home buying process, In Scotland the conveyancer is needed much earlier in the process as you will need them to put an offer for a house.
Conveyancing is the process you go through when transferring ownership of a property.
You conveyancer does the legal searches on the property
The legal searches on the planning authority permissions
The transfer of funds from the mortgage lender
The transfer of title and deeds
Payment of any stamp duty or land transaction tax
Solicitors and conveyancers aren't the same thing.
Solicitors are qualified lawyers who are able to give advice on a range of things whilst conveyancers are specialists with property but don't usually have the range of expertise to deal with other legal matters.
The cost of a conveyancer
Different conveyancers work in different ways, it is important that you get a variety of quotes so you may compare conveyancers adequately.
Some conveyancers will charge an hourly rate while others will charged a fixed fee.
Some will even charge a percentage of the property price. You should always compare quotes adequately to ensure you are getting the best deal available.
Any fees quoted to you should include VAt and other costs such as:
- Search fees
- bank transfer fees
- Land Registry fees
- Stamp Duty handling fees
Where to find a conveyancer
A quick Google search should reveal a number of conveyancers but even better if you have had any friends or family go through the buying or selling process then contact them an inquire about which conveyancer they used.
You can also ask your mortgage broker or mortgage lender as they might know a conveyancer they use whom they already have an ongoing relationship with.
If you are using an estate agent then ask your estate agent as they might already know a good conveyancer.
If the property specialist you chose is a conveyancer and not a solicitor then they should be a a member of the council of licenced conveyancers.
Your conveyancer will be focal in how things go for you when buying or selling the house. Most delays usually come from the conveyancing process.
Whilst it is important that they do a good job, it is also very important that you know who is responsible for what and you have a point of contact you can speak to at any moment and you are aware of who to contact if your point of contact is not available.
You should also make clear what communication channels you want to be used: emails, phone calls or in person.
You should also know where your conveyancer is located and using once close to your home is always advisable but not often practical in regards to costs.
A conveyancer is an important jigsaw inn your home buying or selling process but there are other things you should keep an eye out for such as being gazumped .
Complaining about a conveyancer
If you have received bad advice in regards to the conveyancer you were dealing with you can first make a complaint to the conveyancer then report them to the legal ombudsman or the scottish legal complaints commission and the law society.