If you are buying or selling a property, you may be wondering whether you need a conveyancer or a solicitor to handle the transaction for you. We take a look at the difference and how to choose the right legal representative.
The role of your solicitor or conveyancer is crucial to the success of your property sale or purchase. Experienced and qualified lawyers will be able to deal efficiently with difficulties, should they arise, and will give you the best possible chance of a successful transaction.
A conveyancing solicitor is regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (the SRA) and will be a member of the Law Society of England and Wales.
They will generally follow the Law Society property conveyancing protocol in dealing with your transaction, representing both you and your mortgage lender.
Solicitors may also hold additional accreditations, such as membership of the Law Society’s Conveyancing Quality Scheme CQS). This is a recognised quality standard for those carrying out conveyancing, showing that they are able to provide the following:
- The expertise to give quality residential conveyancing advice
- Standard processes to recognise and reduce risks
- Explaining to clients what to expect from the conveyancing process
Law firms holding the accreditation have greater access to lenders and are known for the excellent quality of residential conveyancing advice they provide.
At Lockings Solicitors, we are proud to hold the Law Society Conveyancing Quality Scheme accreditation and we are working constantly to ensure our standards as high as possible.
The term conveyancer is often used to describe someone who carries out conveyancing. They could have a range of legal qualifications, but often a conveyancer will either be a member of the Council for Licensed Conveyancers (CLC) or a Legal Executive.
Licensed Conveyancers specialise in property and follow similar guidelines to solicitors. Where a licensed conveyancer works within a law firm that holds the Law Society’s Conveyancing Quality Scheme accreditation, you can be sure that they will be following strict protocols and should offer both conveyancing expertise and a good quality service.
Legal Executives are members or fellows of the Institute of Legal Executives and will also hold professional legal qualifications.
Conveyancers working within law firms do not always hold conveyancing or Law Society qualifications, but may still have a high level of experience and work under the supervision of solicitors and licensed conveyancers.
Choosing between a conveyancing solicitor and a conveyancer
In choosing whether to use a conveyancing solicitor or a licensed conveyancer or other professional to deal with your property transaction, you should look beyond the qualification at issues such as what their firm offers, whether they hold any specialist accreditation and what testimonials they have received from clients.
Licensed Conveyancers can have just as much experience in the sometimes complex area of property law as solicitors, although solicitors are more likely to offer a full range of legal services and be able to deal with complex issues in related areas, such as trust law.
At Lockings Solicitors, we offer the best of both worlds, with our vastly experienced conveyancing solicitors working alongside specialist licensed conveyancers and conveyancing executives, who also have in-depth expertise in dealing with a full range of residential property transactions.
This means that we are able to offer you the right legal representative for your transaction and that we are also able to deal with all mortgage lenders.
Our senior lawyers have an exceptional level of experience and we are constantly working to ensure this is passed on to all of our team.
By using a firm with genuine, in-depth experience, you stand the best chance of having a successful transaction. In the event that legal difficulties arise, we know how to deal with issues and the best course of action to take.
The role of your conveyancing solicitor or conveyancer
If you are buying a property, your solicitor will apply for searches and make enquiries of the seller’s solicitor once the contract papers are received. By acting promptly and dealing with correspondence as soon as it is received, a skilled solicitor or conveyancer will really drive a transaction forward. This can make a big difference, particularly if you want to complete as quickly as possible.
Your lawyer will also keep in touch with other parties to gauge their progress and chase where appropriate to keep matters moving forward.
It is sometimes the case that a cheaper conveyancing business, such as an online ‘conveyancing factory’ will not keep up with their workload and you could experience delays or poor service.
For more details about the buying and selling process, request our free conveyancing and property guide.
How to choose the best conveyancing solicitor or conveyancer
In selecting the right conveyancing solicitor or conveyancer for your transaction, you can consider the following points:
The level of experience they offer
While your transaction may start out seeming simple, it is sometimes the case that a complicated legal issue could arise. If it does, you will need a lawyer who is able to tackle it quickly and efficiently. Choosing a firm that offers a high level of expertise and decades of experience means they will know how to handle it and will act decisively to resolve matters without risking your sale or purchase falling through.
Whether they are a reputable and well-established law firm
It is worth checking how long your chosen law firm has been around and whether they are well-established in your local area. Regional expertise can be important. A lawyer with local knowledge will know exactly what issues to look out for, such as whether an environmental search is recommended or if the area is likely to be affected by mining or flooding.
Accreditations are not easy to come by and law firms who apply for accreditation will have to go through a rigorous process, ensuring they have the correct procedures in place, a high level of expertise and offer a good service.
The Law Society’s Conveyancing Quality Scheme is the leading quality standard for residential conveyancing.
You can also check to see what the firm’s previous clients think of the service they have received and ask family and friends for recommendations. At Lockings Solicitors, much of our business comes from referrals from satisfied clients who feel that we have gone the extra mile for them.
Your estate agent may recommend a law firm, but to be sure of complete independence, you may want to choose your own lawyer. While your solicitor or conveyancer should always act in your best interests, if they are receiving regular business from an estate agent, they may also feel some loyalty to them. By selecting your own lawyer, you can be sure that they will be independent.
Contact our property auction solicitors in Beverley, Hull and York
If you are thinking of buying or selling a property and you would like to speak to one of our East Yorkshire conveyancing team, ring us on 01482 300 200, email us at email@example.com or fill in our contact form and we will call you back promptly for a FREE initial chat.