Do I Need a Solicitor To Buy A House / Property?

Solicitor To Buy A House

Whether you’re buying a residential property, a BTL investment property, or a Commercial Property, you’ll need someone qualified to handle the legal and administrative work required to buy a house.

In short, the answer is no, you don’t need a solicitor to buy a house to manage the conveyancing, but you probably should use a qualified professional.

The more technically accurate answer is:

  • You’re not legally obligated to use a Solicitor when buying or selling property. In theory, you can do your own conveyancing, but in practice – if you’re not suitably qualified to do so – it’s usually a terrible idea, which can lead to significant delays to the process of buying a house. It can often result in a complete collapse.
  • Generally, there are two types of qualified professionals who take care of the legalities regarding the transfer of property ownership, a Conveyance Solicitor or a Licensed Conveyor – so you don’t strictly have to use a solicitor.

For the remainder of this blog post – particularly for my own sweet ease – I’m going to refer to anyone that is qualified to handle the legal paperwork associated to selling a house as a “Conveyance Solicitor“. I don’t have the will to continually write “Solicitor and/or Licensed Conveyor” :)

What a Conveyancing Solicitor will do for you when buying a house

“Conveyancing” is the legal term for transferring ownership of property, whether you are buying or selling. It usually includes the following:

  • handle contracts
  • give legal advice
  • carry out local council searches
  • deal with the Land Registry, and
  • transfer the funds to pay for your property.

Do I need a specialist Solicitor to buy a BTL rental property?

Nope, you don’t, and it’s a common misconception that you do.

The legal process for buying a rental property is exactly the same as buying a regular residential property, so you can use a regular Conveyancing Solicitor to assist with your purchase. Nothing extra or special needs to be done.

How much will a Conveyancing Solicitor charge me for buying a house?

It varies, but it’s usually between £500 – £1500.

The price generally depends on the complexity of the purchase. For example, purchasing a leasehold property requires more paperwork than buying a freehold, so conveyancing fees can cost more.

You can use this tool by to receive conveyancing quotes from expert SRA or CLC regulated Conveyancing Solicitors and Licensed Conveyancers.

How do I find a Professionally Qualified Conveyancer to help with buying a house?

  • Ask for recommendations from friends and family;
  • Use the conveyancing quote tool to receive quotes from Licensed Conveyancer and Solicitors;
  • Search for local companies that specialise in Conveyancing;
  • If you’re dealing with an estate agent to assist with your purchase, they usually recommend their own in-house Licensed Conveyancer or a preferred supplier. Be warned though, it’s usually an expensive option.

Important to note: if you decide to use a Licensed Conveyancer, they must be a member of the Council for Licenced Conveyancers.

If you decide to use a Solicitor, make sure they are a member of Law Society of England and Wales / Law Society of Scotland and a member of the Law Society’s Conveyancing Quality Scheme.

8 Join the Conversation...

Guest Avatar
Sarah 23rd October, 2020 @ 19:39

Just a grammar point as the answer to the question posed is incorrect. In answer to "Do I need a solicitor?" you've answered "yes you don't". It should be "no you don't" as it's a negative!!!!

The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 23rd October, 2020 @ 19:41

Typo, I guess. When I read it back to myself just now it sounded ridiculous :)

Thanks for pointing it out! It's been corrected.

Guest Avatar
Chris Allan 30th January, 2021 @ 16:55

Can I use a retired solicitor for my conveyancing?
Kind regards,
Chris Allan

The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 30th January, 2021 @ 16:58

There is no mandatory qualification required, so technically, anyone can do the conveyancing as long as they know how to.

Guest Avatar
J.Bramhall 2nd August, 2021 @ 19:41

I already have the funds available so I'm not needing a mortgage. Is it just a case of contacting land registry to change the ownership?The seller doesn't want to use a solicitor either. Thanks John

Guest Avatar
Karen fallows 11th October, 2021 @ 14:44

I have put in for buying my council house if I pay cash for it do I need a solicitor thanks

Guest Avatar
Eric 11th October, 2021 @ 15:33

Hi Karen,

You'll still need someone to manage the searches, transfer of deeds, and other legal paperwork/formalities. Managing the finances is a small fraction of what solicitors/conveyancers do when managing a transfer of ownership.

Guest Avatar
Emanuel Flecken 16th January, 2022 @ 18:13

My sellers solicitor won’t accept bank from me they insist on having money from a clients account. But I want to do my own Conveyancing. Anybody has any solutions?

















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