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 yes, 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 Reallymoving.com 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 Reallymoving.com 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.

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