Is it possible to carry out your own conveyancing?

If you’re not yet familiar with the term conveyancing, allow us to explain. Conveyancing is the legal term for the process whereby ownership of a property is transferred between two parties. It involves a legal document or deed that is known as a conveyance and that passes the property from the seller to the buyer. It is usually carried out by a solicitor, a licensed conveyancer or, in Scotland, a solicitor’s agent. But is it possible for you to cut out the middle man and do your own conveyancing, potentially saving hundreds of pounds in fees?

The short answer to that question is “yes”. There are several reasons why you may be tempted to do your own conveyancing for buying and selling. One of the biggest motivations is cost, as by ordering searches directly, you can avoid paying for the services of a solicitor. Alternatively, there may be time reasons for your decision. Solicitors are frequently very busy people, tending to many cases at any one time. Doing your own conveyancing may therefore appear to be a way of speeding up the process, as by organising your own searches you don’t need to wait for a gap in the case load. Other reasons for doing your own conveyancing include the possibility of customisation. In theory, ordering your own searches allows you to get exactly the searches you want. You may also want the perceived thoroughness of having control of your own conveyancing services and carrying them out to your desired degree and depth. Or you may simply want to know what is happening at every stage in the process. Nonetheless, there are plenty of real reasons why doing your own conveyancing is not a good idea. • It’s not a great way of saving loads of money, for example. Far from the popular image of solicitors pocketing thousands of pounds in fees, conveyancing actually involves many fees being paid to many different parties. Such expenses can include stamp duty, land registry fees and searches, and all are unavoidable regardless of whether you do your own conveyancing or not – all you would save is the often small proportion of the fee that the solicitor receives. • Nor is doing your own conveyancing necessarily a good way of ensuring that the job is done properly. It’s all very easy to have a bad experience with a solicitor and presume that you can do a better job yourself next time round. This may be true in terms of giving the case prompt attention as you’ll only have one case to tend to. But it is important to have the necessary technical knowledge to carry out your own conveyancing for buying and selling, and this is where things can go badly wrong, as you really do have to just learn everything from scratch, from knowing how to interpret searches to knowing what to do if problems arise with them. The consequences can be great if you get property conveyancing wrong. If you make a mistake, you could potentially be left stuck with an essentially unsellable property, or even sued, if not both. The amount of time that it takes to do your own conveyancing can also be unlimited if anything goes wrong. For most, buying a house is also the largest financial transaction that is made. With all of these factors considered, do you really want to take such a huge gamble over the potential saving of a few hundred pounds? If you’re not prepared to take the risk, there is another way of saving money on your conveyancing. Property services price comparison website, Local Surveyors Direct provides instant conveyancing estimates from a wide range of local professionals – simply input post code and a few contact details and the system will find and return price estimates from conveyancing professionals in the local area. This is a great way of cutting out the middle man and benefiting from conveyancing services, from the experts, for less, without the great risks associated with trying to do everything yourself. To find out more and get an instant online quote, visit