Conveyancing - Preparing to sell

What is a conveyancer and what does a conveyancer do?

4 min read

When buying or selling a house you need a conveyancer to complete the legal work. Continue reading to learn exactly what conveyancers do and how they'll help you through the conveyancing process.

  • Amy Colton, Conveyancing Manager and qualified solicitor
    Amy Colton

    Conveyancing Manager

    Published March 22nd 2024

What is a conveyancer?

A conveyancer, or conveyancing solicitor is a property lawyer that specialises in the legal side of moving home. Whether buying, selling or remortgaging, you will need to instruct a conveyancer to complete the legal work of transferring property ownership, on your behalf.

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What exactly does a conveyancer do?

A conveyancer will do slightly different things depending on whether you are buying, selling, or both.

Your conveyancer when buying a house will:

  • Check the title deeds

  • Decide which property searches that you need

  • Organise the transfer of ownership to you

  • Send enquiries to the seller’s solicitor, usually via email

  • Check through your mortgage offer

  • Agree a completion date with all parties involved

  • Organise the transfer of monies

Your conveyancer when selling a house will:

  • Create a contract pack

  • Answer enquiries from the buyer’s solicitor, such as providing copies of planning agreements

  • Request a redemption statement if you have a mortgage

  • Send you the contract to sign

  • Agree a completion date with all parties involved

  • Organise the transfer of monies

These lists of tasks aren’t exhaustive, find out more about what a conveyancer does during the conveyancing process in guide to what is conveyancing.

Who needs a conveyancer?

Whether you’re getting your foot on the property ladder, moving into your forever home, or buying an investment property, you will need a appoint a conveyancer. Not only will your conveyancer complete the legal work to transfer the ownership of your chosen property, however a good conveyancer will also strip out the legal jargon for you and help make the process as simple as possible.

How to choose a conveyancer  

There are lots of options when it comes to choosing a conveyancer. Doing your research and checking customer reviews online is a good idea to help you find the right option. When doing your research, it’s worth asking some key questions:

  • What’s included in the price – and what costs may be extra?

  • Will I be charged if the sale or purchase falls through?

  • Will I have a personal conveyancer or solicitor?

  • Can I make contact and find information outside of office hours?

  • How can I keep track of the process?

What’s the difference between a conveyancer and a solicitor

While both conveyancers and solicitors are legal professionals who are qualified to handle property transactions, a conveyancer specialises in property law and is regulated by the Council for Licensed Conveyancers (CLC). This basically means, conveyancing is what a conveyancer does day in, day out. Whereas solicitors, who are regulated by Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) are likely to work in multiple areas of law.

Do I need a solicitor if I already have a conveyancer?

As a conveyancer and a solicitor complete the same legal work for your conveyancing, you only need to appoint one for your home move.

Can you use the same solicitor when buying and selling?

Yes, you can! In fact, it’s quite often better to do this and there are multiple advantages.

How is it better to use the same solicitor for buying and selling?

Using the same conveyancer can help to streamline the process. They’ll already know you and will be familiar with your circumstances and needs, this can help speed up the process and save you repeating information. Additionally, it can make the transition between the two properties run smoother for you, as they will have a comprehensive understanding of the timelines, requirements, and details for both sides of your move.

An example of how using the same solicitor for both sides of your move can benefit you, is agreeing completion dates with the rest of the chain. Your conveyancer will know which days you can or cannot move, and so can communicate these dates with both your buyer and seller. This not only saves you time, as you only have to speak to one person, however it also means you’re likely to agree a date with the chain quicker, as there will be less back and forth negotiating dates. Find out more about buying and selling at the same time.

What is the conveyancing process?

The first step in the conveyancing process is to select a conveyancer to handle your property purchase or sale. Once you have chosen a conveyancer, you will need to complete some initial steps. These include verifying your identification, reviewing essential documents such as the fixture form and the contract, and providing your mortgage information. If you are buying a property, arranging property searches and surveys is also a crucial aspect of the conveyancing process.

Learn more about the conveyancing process, in our what is conveyancing guide.

Can you act as your own conveyancer?

Although sometimes you may be able to do the conveyancing yourself, it’s not recommended. It takes years to train to be a conveyancer and not only is it really quite technical, however it’s also crucial that everything is done correctly and to the law. If you’re a property mogul using cash to purchase, then it may be right for you, however if not, it’s always advised that you leave the conveyancing for a legal professional.

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