Conveyancer vs Solicitor – How do they differ?

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A man who has found a solicitor not a conveyancer

Understanding what the difference is between a conveyancer and a solicitor is helpful in your search for legal help. Being informed could save you money and legal complications down the line.

What is a solicitor?

In the UK, a solicitor is a legal professional who provides expert advice and assistance on various legal matters. Solicitors play a crucial role in facilitating property transactions, handling legal documents, and representing clients in legal proceedings.

They are highly trained professionals regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) and are typically members of the Law Society of England and Wales.

The legal tasks of a solicitor

Solicitors undertake a wide range of legal tasks related to property transactions. These tasks include conducting property searches, drafting contracts, negotiating terms of sale, ensuring legal compliance, handling the exchange of contracts, and completing the transfer of ownership.

A conveyancer negotiating with the sale

They also provide legal advice to clients on issues such as property disputes, rights and obligations, and regulatory requirements. Additionally, solicitors manage the financial aspects of property transactions, including handling deposits, stamp duty payments, and completion funds.

How much does a solicitor charge?

The fees charged by solicitors for property-related services can vary depending on factors such as the complexity of the transaction, the value of the property, and the specific services required. Solicitors typically offer fixed-fee packages like the ones below:

Buying Selling
Total £1,400 £660
Conveyancing fee £1,100 £660
Local searches £300 n/a
Grand total (if buying and selling) £2,060

What is a conveyancer?

A conveyancer is a specialist legal professional who deals specifically with the legal aspects of property transactions, known as conveyancing. Conveyancers focus on ensuring the smooth transfer of property ownership from seller to buyer.

Get an understanding on what a conveyancer is in more detail

They handle legal documents, contracts, and various administrative tasks involved in property transactions. While solicitors can also undertake conveyancing work, conveyancers often specialize solely in property law.

The legal tasks of a conveyancer

Conveyancers are responsible for a range of legal tasks related to property transactions.

These tasks include conducting property searches to uncover any potential issues or restrictions affecting the property, drafting contracts of sale, negotiating terms between buyer and seller, ensuring legal compliance, facilitating the exchange of contracts, and overseeing the completion of the transaction.

A conveyancer and solicitor shaking hands

Conveyancers also liaise with other parties involved in the transaction, such as mortgage lenders, surveyors, and estate agents, to coordinate a smooth and timely transfer of ownership.

How much does a conveyancer charge?

The fees charged by conveyancers for their services can vary depending on factors such as the complexity of the transaction, the value of the property, and the specific services required. Here are some typical rates for what a conveyance will charge below:

Expense Cost Range Buyer Seller
Anti-money laundering checks £6 – £20 X X
Bankruptcy verification £4 X
Title deed copies £6 X
Local authority searches £250 – £450 X
Property fraud screening £10 X
Transfer of ownership fees £200 – £300 X
Bank transfer charges £20 – £30 X
Stamp Duty Land Tax 0 – 12% X
Help to Buy supplement costs £200 – £300 X
Gifted deposit fees £50 – £100 X
Lifetime/Help to Buy ISA fees £60 X
Unregistered property supplement £120 – £240 X
Leasehold property supplement £200 – £300 X
Managing Agent pack costs £300 – £800 X
Typical legal fees range: £300 to £1500

What’s the difference between a conveyancer and a solicitor?

Solicitors are qualified lawyers who can handle a wide range of legal matters, including property transactions, family law, and litigation. They undergo extensive training and are regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA). When it comes to property transactions, solicitors can offer additional legal advice and support beyond the conveyancing process.

Still unsure about conveyancing?

Cozee guide you through the selling and buying process so the process is seamless

Conveyancers, on the other hand, are specialists in property law and focus solely on the conveyancing process. They are regulated by the Council for Licensed Conveyancers (CLC) and receive specialized training in property transactions. While conveyancers may not offer the same breadth of legal services as solicitors, they often have a deeper understanding of the intricacies of property law and conveyancing procedures.

Do you need a conveyancer or a solicitor during the selling process?

Whether you’re buying or selling a property, it’s essential to have a legal professional handle the conveyancing process, which involves transferring ownership and ensuring that all legal requirements are met.

Both conveyancers and solicitors are qualified to handle this process, but there are some distinctions to consider.

What are the benefits of hiring a solicitor or conveyancer?

There are benefits to hiring both a solicitor and conveyancer. The following points break things down.

Benefits Solicitors Conveyancers Common Benefits
Offer a broader range of legal services beyond conveyancing
Undergo extensive training in various areas of law
Regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA)
Can provide additional legal advice and support related to property transactions
Specialists in property law and conveyancing processes
Receive specialized training focused specifically on property transactions
Regulated by the Council for Licensed Conveyancers (CLC)
Often have a deeper understanding of the intricacies of property law and conveyancing procedures
May offer more competitive pricing compared to solicitors for conveyancing services
Both solicitors and conveyancers are fully qualified and insured to handle property transactions
Ensure the legal requirements and procedures are followed during the conveyancing process
Provide peace of mind and professional support throughout the buying or selling process

How long does conveyancing take?

The conveyancing process can vary in duration depending on various factors, such as the complexity of the transaction, the responsiveness of all parties involved, and the workload of the conveyancer or solicitor.

According to a survey conducted by the HomeOwners Alliance, the average conveyancing process in the UK takes approximately 12-16 weeks from the initial instruction to completion.

Want to reduce the time of conveyancing?

Cozee estate agents are experts in guiding you through the selling process and reduce the time conveyancing takes – start with a valuation

Are licensed conveyancers the same price?

Conveyancers typically offer more cost-effective services compared to solicitors. While solicitors, being qualified lawyers, can provide comprehensive legal assistance across various areas, conveyancers specialize in property matters but may not handle intricate legal complexities.

Which one should you pick if you are a landlord?

As a landlord, you may find it beneficial to work with a solicitor rather than a conveyancer when handling property transactions. Solicitors can offer a wider range of legal services, including advice on landlord-tenant laws, drafting lease agreements, and handling any disputes or legal issues that may arise.

Conveyancer Solicitor
More competitive pricing Generally more expensive
Regulated by the council Regulated by the solicitors Regulation Authority
Property law specialists Educated in all areas of the law

When should you choose between a solicitor and a conveyancer?

The decision to choose a solicitor or a conveyancer often depends on the complexity of the transaction and your specific needs.

While conveyancers are specialists in property transactions, solicitors may be a better choice if you require additional legal services beyond the conveyancing process. For example, if you’re involved in a complex property dispute, a solicitor’s expertise in litigation could be invaluable.

How to find the right conveyancer or solicitor

When searching for a conveyancer or solicitor, it’s essential to take the time to find the right professional for your needs.

determining what solicitor to hire

Here are some steps and factors to consider:

  • Determine your budget and get quotes from several firms or individuals
  • Check their qualifications, experience, and regulatory bodies (SRA or CLC)
  • Read online reviews and testimonials from previous clients
  • Ensure they specialise in the type of property transaction you require (residential, commercial, leasehold, etc.)
  • Inquire about their communication methods and responsiveness
  • Consider their location and accessibility
  • Ask about their familiarity with the local property market and regulations

Our recommendation on picking a solicitor or conveyancer from Cozee

Whether you’re a first-time buyer, a seasoned investor, or a landlord with a portfolio of properties, we recommend picking solicitous that are SRA qualified so they have the right qualifications.

Take a look at the solicitors we use when you sell with Cozee

Our useful solicitor guide for London above helps you pick a solicitor for your needs

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Looking to buy or sell your property? Go with Cozee

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  • More than 25 years of experience combined
  • We help you focus on your objective (investment, 1st time buy)
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