By Arti Dhamu, Move Specialist.
If you’re purchasing or selling a property, you’ve probably been comparing conveyancing quotes from a number of different companies, including online conveyancers and local solicitors near you.
The prices may seem like there’s a big difference between ‘online’ vs a local solicitor, however, is there much benefit to using a local, or high street, solicitor near you? We’ve highlighted the difference between the two – helping you to weigh up the facts and make up your own mind.
Find out below the difference between using a local solicitors vs online conveyancing:
Specialist legal professionals:
When you use an online conveyancing service, you will usually be working with a conveyancer. Conveyancers are regulated by the Council for Licensed Conveyancers (CLC) and focus on the legal side of moving home only. Whereas if you use a local solicitor, you’re more likely going to be working with a solicitor, rather than a conveyancer. Solicitors are regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA), and work on a wide range of legal services.
The conveyancers we work with at My Home Move Conveyancing, are specialists in their field and property transactions are their bread and butter. They deal with home moves day in day out, so will guide you through your move with their specialist and in-depth knowledge, without any other distractions.
Local solicitors might cover all types of legal advice so won’t necessarily be exclusively dealing with buying and selling houses. Your solicitor may also have to take days out of the office to appear in court for other cases for example, making them unreachable and potentially leading to delays.
Are high street solicitors as convenient?
Local conveyancing solicitors’ firms are not only limited by traditional office hours, a lot of them are also limited by technology. This can make them less convenient to those with busy or hectic schedules. Many online conveyancers have portals online that streamline and automate certain tasks and store all of your documents in one place. Local solicitors often still have to send documents via post, and you have to send them back this way too. This can cause delays just waiting for the documents to be delivered and received.
When using an online conveyancing firm, you don’t need to find a conveyancing solicitor near you, as the process is completed entirely online, and remotely from any office. This can be more convenient for busy individuals who may not want to, or have time, to go to an office in person.
How does locality affect accessibility?
Online conveyancers are more accessible for those who live far from the office of traditional conveyancing solicitors or will struggle to get to a nearby office.
As the conveyancers we work with operate remotely you’ll never need to make a trip to an office. You can manage your move exclusively through the eWay portal on your smart phone, tablet or PC – meaning a lot less paperwork and delays while things are posted or be asked to come into an office.
Many local solicitors still rely upon documents being posted, such as an ID1 verification form, or office visits meaning a trip into town, parking charges and a fixed time slot to have a meeting.
Transparency with fees:
Online conveyancers can provide detailed and transparent information about the cost and the progress of your case, which can be checked at any time that suits you.
The quotes that we provide include Stamp Duty (SDLT), so you never have a nasty shock when you receive your final bill.
We also offer a No Move, No Legal Fee guarantee. This means that you do not pay us any legal fees if the transaction falls through. If you have already paid for searches, we will honour searches free of charge on an alternate property you may decide to buy when you return to use our services.
Local conveyancers may not include all the additional cost in your initial quote, so it could appear cheaper in the beginning but look very different when you’re ready to pay the bill. They also might not offer the same No Move No Legal Fee guarantee, meaning that you will have to pay their legal fees even if you don’t end up moving.
Get a conveyancing quote for your move.
Knowledge of your local area:
Conveyancers working in a local firm may live nearby to the property you are purchasing or selling, however there is little work involved in the conveyancing process where this would benefit you.
Whether you use an online or local firm, conveyancers take care of the legal side of the moving process. This work includes reviewing documents, dealing with the transfer of monies, and arranging the exchange of contracts. The only aspect of the conveyancing process which involves the locality of your property transaction is requesting your searches.
Conveyancing searches investigate things locally which will impact your transaction, such as the environmental search or the local authority search. These are completed by local authorities and your conveyancer will simply review the reports to ensure any issues are highlighted before the contracts are signed.
Online conveyancers, deal with all different local authorities on a daily basis and therefore have a good understanding of the differences of each authority, including estimated time frames. This can be especially useful if buying and selling in different areas.
Your own personal conveyancer:
As online conveyancers specialise in conveyancing, it means that you will have one personal conveyancer working on your move.
At My Home Move Conveyancing, we work with either solicitors, licensed conveyancers, property lawyers or legal professionals who have many years of experience. These are the only people who will be working on your move, meaning decisions can be made and advice given without delay.
Although you will be assigned a solicitor, in local conveyancing firms, quite often your case work may be completed by trainees, assistants, juniors or paralegals while the qualified solicitor is dealing with other legal cases. Although they have an office for you to drop into, you may find it hard to speak to them directly still. All of these could lead to lack of contact and delays with your move.