As we have discussed in our ‘What is Conveyancing’ blog, conveyancing is the transference of legal ownership of property when buying or selling a house. But how do you compare conveyancers and what is the difference between a licensed conveyancer and conveyancing solicitor? It can all get a bit overwhelming.
There is a lot to consider when making this important decision, so if you are needing a solicitor or conveyancer in 2020 keep reading to hear our recommendations and top tips!
What is the difference between a conveyancing solicitor and licensed conveyancer?
Conveyancing solicitors are qualified to practise multiple aspects of the law and are regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority. Licensed conveyancers are only qualified in property law and are regulated by the Council of Licensed Conveyancers.
In other words, conveyancers are qualified in land law and conveyancing, whilst conveyancing solicitors will have a more broad knowledge of the law but specialise in conveyancing. People may have preferences, but both hold the necessary qualifications and are regulated by professional bodies which adhere to strict legal standards.
In order to find the best conveyancer, you will have to do your research. Let’s talk about what to look out for when comparing conveyancers.
Things to consider
- Does the conveyancer charge a fixed fee, by hourly rate or by a percentage of the property price? Make sure you have this information so you can accurately compare the total price.
- On that note, avoid hourly rates and opt for fixed fees. You want them to be upfront about costs from the very beginning.
- Are there any hidden fees? We cannot recommend reading the small print enough! Make sure there are no nasty surprises.
- Use a quote comparison tool with no hidden referral fees – you don’t want to pay for someone else’s referral.
- Read reviews from real customers to get an honest and accurate idea of the conveyancer’s efficiency.
- Make sure your quote is fully itemised so you can see where each penny is coming from, including all disbursement fees.
What are disbursement fees?
Disbursements are the fees and taxes the conveyancer must pay to third parties during the conveyancing process. These include land registry fees, local searches and Stamp Duty.
Most fees should be included in your initial quote, however some fees, such as local searches, may need to be discussed over the phone as they will depend on the local council. Be aware of this when comparing quotes and make sure to have a conversation with a conveyancer to find out if you will be required to pay any extras.
Comparing conveyancing quotes: an example
So, what does this all look like? To the left you will see a basic example quote with the reference omitted. You have the total cost but, most importantly, a total break down of the full payment.
As you can see, our quote form gives you a fully itemised breakdown of your costs so there are no hidden fees for the referral or from the conveyancer.
Are you ready to choose a conveyancer?
Now you are a little more clued up on how to compare conveyancers, it is up to you to make your choice! Just make sure to look at each quote carefully and do your research. This is an important decision which needs time and thought.
One last point to consider is the level of service received. Call the firm to have a conversation and ask yourself:
- Are they easy to get a hold of?
- Do they communicate well?
- Are they upfront and honest?
- Are they located close by?
- What are their processes?
Although we can’t make the decision for you, we can certainly make it easier. Use our instant quote comparison tool to start comparing conveyancers in and around Cambridge today to get the ball rolling!