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  • FIRST POST
    • Milky_Mocha
    • By Milky_Mocha 14th Jan 07, 12:51 AM
    • 981Posts
    • 156Thanks
    Milky_Mocha
    Would you use a solicitor or a conveyancer?
    • #1
    • 14th Jan 07, 12:51 AM
    Would you use a solicitor or a conveyancer? 14th Jan 07 at 12:51 AM
    What is the difference between a solicitor and a conveyancer when it comes to house purchases? Is one generally more skilled than the other?
    The reason people don't move right down inside the carriage is that there's nothing to hold onto when you're in the middle.
Page 1
  • brazilianwax
    • #2
    • 14th Jan 07, 1:02 AM
    • #2
    • 14th Jan 07, 1:02 AM
    What is the difference between a solicitor and a conveyancer when it comes to house purchases? Is one generally more skilled than the other?
    by Milky_Mocha

    Conveyancers are solicitors - they are the ones that weren't/aren't good enough to practice any other kind of law!

    If you can, ask people for reccommendations - there are so many bl00dy awful conveyancing solicitors it's not worth taking the risk (IMHO)

    Claire

    (Edited to say - other kinds of solicitors don't usually do conveyancing)
    • Madjock
    • By Madjock 14th Jan 07, 1:10 AM
    • 715 Posts
    • 732 Thanks
    Madjock
    • #3
    • 14th Jan 07, 1:10 AM
    • #3
    • 14th Jan 07, 1:10 AM
    Conveyancers aren't strictly speaking solicitors, and they aren't governed by the Law Society, they are governed by the CLC. Some lenders won't allow you to use a conveyancing co. Other than that, there's no difference.
    And there are bloody awful solicitors out there too.
    It's not really fair to say conveyancers aren't good enough to practice any other law, they haven't qualified for it, they've trained as conveyancers. And it's not true to say that other solicitors don't do conveyancing. It's standard practice for solicitors to do conveyancing, among all the other areas of law they cover!
    Last edited by Madjock; 14-01-2007 at 1:12 AM.
  • Me Myself
    • #4
    • 14th Jan 07, 7:31 AM
    • #4
    • 14th Jan 07, 7:31 AM
    Let's make this clear.

    A qualified solicitor can practise in any area of the law s/he chooses. Some may choose to be property specialists, which does not mean they are not clever enough to do other legal things, they CHOOSE not to.

    A conveyancer, is someone who has passed exams in dealing with property, which are far easier to pass, as they do not cover any other area of law.
    Things can only get better.
  • dexters_mum
    • #5
    • 14th Jan 07, 8:56 AM
    • #5
    • 14th Jan 07, 8:56 AM
    I wouldn't mind either a qualified conveyancer or a solicitor. I'd be happy with anyone who was competant in thier field and could adequately deal with my case. I've used a solicitor and a convceyancer before (who was a leagl secretary who had passed her conveyancey exams) and the conveyancer was the better of the two, mind you, the solicitor we choose first off got struck off a year later!
    Conveyancers may be cheaper than solicitors, if cost are an issue for you.
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  • Daisies
    • #6
    • 14th Jan 07, 2:10 PM
    • #6
    • 14th Jan 07, 2:10 PM
    I bought my first house six months ago, and didn't know what to do about getting the conveyancing done. In the end I rang three solicitors listed in the phone book (I think 2 were local companies, one a national with a branch here) and made my decision based on the quote they provided, plus how efficient they seemed on the phone and the information they supplied with the quote. One was the clear winner in my view - slightly more expensive, but asked sensible questions on the phone, rang back when they said they would, sent quote through promptly and provided a really useful information folder with the quote. They were a local firm, who had a conveyancer on their staff, and she was the one who dealt with my house. She was excellent, knew what she was doing inside-out and had already conveyanced half the houses on my street (some of them more than once!).

    So, I don't think it matters whether conveyancer or solicitor (in some ways they're the same!) but definitely a conveyancer does an awful lot of this stuff and should really know what they're doing!

    It wasn't an option for me, as I was moving to a new area and didn't know anyone already living here, but ask around for people who've moved recently, who they used and what they thought about them!
  • TJ27
    • #7
    • 14th Jan 07, 5:00 PM
    • #7
    • 14th Jan 07, 5:00 PM
    I used a conveyancer last time I bought and she was absolutely superb. My guess is that they are better at their job than solicitors because they don't do other stuff. I would think that they might therefore be regarded as more specialist. I'm no expert though, that's just hypothesis based on common sense and experience.
    • Milky_Mocha
    • By Milky_Mocha 14th Jan 07, 5:51 PM
    • 981 Posts
    • 156 Thanks
    Milky_Mocha
    • #8
    • 14th Jan 07, 5:51 PM
    • #8
    • 14th Jan 07, 5:51 PM
    Thanks for your replies so far. I just wondered because the conveyancer we initially instructed was below expectations and the solicitor we subsequently instructed was charging twice as much but I don't know yet whether the service will be twice as good. The solicitor is charging £720 for a sale (all in) whereas the conveyancer was charging approx £380, although after reading your posts that probably did not include disbursements.

    Another question: what are the benefits of using the same solicitor for the sale and the purchase? I would think it should be quicker as there'd be no need for correspondence between the two to update on progress but has anyone done this and found it to be beneficial?
    The reason people don't move right down inside the carriage is that there's nothing to hold onto when you're in the middle.
  • welshcakes
    • #9
    • 14th Jan 07, 9:10 PM
    • #9
    • 14th Jan 07, 9:10 PM
    I don't think the two parties can use the same firm - a conflict of interests.
    Integrity is a dying art!
  • DavidHM
    Definitely a conflict of interest if both parties use the same solicitor, because if anything came up in searches (like subsidence or that the property was prone to flooding, etc.) he'd have to do his best for both parties - which could mean advising one to delay or pull out of the purchase, which wouldn't be in the best interests of the other. Clearly that can't be allowed to happen.

    As for whether to use a solicitor or a conveyancer - conveyancing solicitors should be specialists who do little or nothing else and all their work ought to be concerned with some form of property law if they aren't pure conveyancers. Personally, in terms of there being a regulatory framework and requirements for standards of professional conduct and professional indemnity insurance, I'd feel safer with a solicitor.

    Incidentally £720 seems pretty although it depends where you are in the country.
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    • Madjock
    • By Madjock 14th Jan 07, 11:31 PM
    • 715 Posts
    • 732 Thanks
    Madjock
    don't think that's what Milky means. You can have the same solicitor deal with both your sale and purchase, and it is usually more effective.
    • digp
    • By digp 15th Jan 07, 12:40 AM
    • 1,958 Posts
    • 298 Thanks
    digp
    Solicitor. Pref in the city.
  • clairefun
    I have my solicitor dealing with both my sale & my purchase. My buyer is also using the same compnay, but a different branch. It's quite useful for us as everything is linked and all in one place, and I'm able to ring & check up on how our purchase is going (smoothly, so far!) AND how our sale is going (less smoothly thanks to nervous buyer but still okay...). Plus I find it tricky to keep track of all the different agents & soliciors & surveyors and all that kind of thing, so it's one less thing to worry about.

    Hope this helps!
  • mrsc
    We used a conveyancer, we had issues with her but in the end she got the job done, our buyer used another conveyancer at the same practice and this worked very well speeded things up considerably.

    Our Vendor however used a solicitor who "specalised" in property (according to his website many other things he specalises in as well) and he was TERRIBLE!

    When it comes to choosing someone to represent you I would ask friends and family for recommendations as well as doing your own research.
    House purchase completed 6th December whole process took 4 months.

    Hang in there everyone it is worth it
    • ginandtonic1988
    • By ginandtonic1988 15th Jan 07, 1:02 PM
    • 252 Posts
    • 289 Thanks
    ginandtonic1988
    Well further to everyones comments I think that I shall just pack in my job and go home cause I must be doing a crap job!!

    A solicitor cannot act on both sides of a transaction, he would only be able to if both clients were related or existing clients. Conveyancers can act on both sides of transaction if they have more than one office and the same rule applies for both related and exisiting clients.

    Alot of solicitors in my town have no qualifications except experiance under their belt yet the conveyancers I work for have 2 Licenced Conveyancers 1 Limited Conveyancer and we have another 5 members of staff due to qualify in the next year or so more qualified staff then most solicitors! Another point to add as well that solicitors are regulated by the Law Society whereas Conveyancers are regulated by the Council for Licenced Conveyancers who in fact are far stricter, have far more rules and check up on Conveyancers far more than the Law Society does on solicitors.
    • Milky_Mocha
    • By Milky_Mocha 15th Jan 07, 1:32 PM
    • 981 Posts
    • 156 Thanks
    Milky_Mocha
    don't think that's what Milky means. You can have the same solicitor deal with both your sale and purchase, and it is usually more effective.
    by Madjock
    Thanks Madjock, yes I mean one solicitor deal with my sale and purchase, not acting for both sides.
    The reason people don't move right down inside the carriage is that there's nothing to hold onto when you're in the middle.
    • Milky_Mocha
    • By Milky_Mocha 15th Jan 07, 1:34 PM
    • 981 Posts
    • 156 Thanks
    Milky_Mocha
    Incidentally £720 seems pretty although it depends where you are in the country.
    by DavidHM
    Do you mean pretty high or pretty low?

    He's just quoted me for my purchase and its fairly similar to the sale price - just under £800 including VAT plus search costs on top, bringing it to about £1200 in total.

    This is in Kent.
    The reason people don't move right down inside the carriage is that there's nothing to hold onto when you're in the middle.
  • manhead
    Recommended Conveyancers?
    Anyone any tales of horror or praise for any particular conveyancing firms? I recently used Joslin Rhodes myself (based in Middlesbrough) and found them to be very helpful, polite, prompt and things went off without a hitch. Couldn't recommend them enough!

    I'd personally not consider DIY conveyancing, simply because of the sums of money involved - I'd rather pay for a service that gives me a little piece of mind. Moving is stressful enough!
  • jelfs666
    I was pointed in the direction of these posts to stick up for my profession!

    Firstly to the comment about solicitors having no qualifications other than experience: they are not solicitors! The route to any legal qualification in order to practice is long and difficult hence the eventual salary is higher than could be expected from someone who didn't do any form of further and then higher education.

    Now back to the beginning! Conveyancer or solicitor? A solicitor (as has been said) has qualified to practice in any field of law, a Licensed Conveyancer has qualified under the auspice of the CLC whereas solicitors are regulated by the Law Society. Both are equally well trained and both can deal with conveyancing matters but the LC has obviously trained with one field in mind in order to offer the most topic specific advice available. Think of a solicitor as a GP and a LC as a hospital specialist; both qualified to look after you medically but one has more specific training. Don't forget that Legal Executives can offer the same service and have still undergone a large amount of training (more general as in a solicitor's training but to finally qualify you must do an area specific course and proceed to specialise in that area). They are often cheaper than a solicitor as they work under a solicitor's supervision. Just to finish the list, many banks and insurers also have permission to convey in limited circumstances.

    However, when costs around the £300 mark are mentioned, you surely mean what professional snobbery dubs a 'Conveyancing Cattle Market/Factory'. Usually on online-based firm that can lower costs by not running large offices and therefore offer you lower fees. BUT (you knew it was coming!) they can also lower their fees because much of day to day routine work is underdone in a sort of call centre environment, you may ring up for an update and not speak to your 'file handler' but someone who is reading notes from a central computer system. There is nothing wrong with this as long as long as the system to accurately up to date and you don't mind not talking to the organ grinder so to speak.

    Professional services really fall in the 'you get what you pay for' category; do you prefer the Tesco Finest, Tesco Premium or Tesco Value range when you are grocery shopping? Price is often a concern (especially for first time buyers these days who are really struggling) and maybe cheap is best in that case, but don't expect cruise liner service for a Haven holiday price. To be fair though quality of service depends upon your chosen professional; are they helpful, friendly, informative, always return your calls and keep you posted? If so great! Cost doesn't matter! But the cheaper the fees, the more cases a firm/company will have to take on to stay in business which may mean they can devote less time to you specially and in our modern 'fast food, quick fix' society, patience is not a quality seen in abundance! Especially when you are experiencing one of the most stressful events you can ever imagine!

    Everyone is correct, personal recommendations are definitely the way to go as you can rely on your friends' and family's opinion; just picking the first firm in the phone book leaves you with luck of the draw. We would always potential clients (and estate agents should advise you similarly and not just push you into using their 'in-house' conveyancer who could actually be half way across the country) to obtain at least three quotes (same as with any other purchase/service really) and speak to the conveyancers to get a 'feel' for how they work and if you will get on, after all you will be speaking to them for anything from say four to twelve weeks depending on your chain, personal circumstances and a whole hosts of things that make conveyancing totally unpredictable!

    And if you have had a bad experience make sure you let your conveyancer or their firm know, they have to tell you at the outset about their complaints procedure. It helps to improve quality if we know what we have done wrong in the past! Also give your conveyancer as much information to help as you can; do you prefer email or phone, do you expect to receive weekly/every other day updates even if there is no progress to report, do you have a completion date you really must achieve? Help us to help you! I know the legal profession are about as popular as the HMRC, traffic wardens or even George W Bush but just shop around until you find the firm that fits and works for you and then you should receive a service you can recommend and use again.

    Right, rant over, everyone's bored, don't lawyers go on and on... off to count the piles of cash and polish the devil horns...
    • Milky_Mocha
    • By Milky_Mocha 19th Jan 07, 11:19 PM
    • 981 Posts
    • 156 Thanks
    Milky_Mocha
    Thanks, jelfs666 for that perspective. So, are you a solicitor or a conveyancer? LOL!

    I chose to go with a solicitor in the end. Simply because I felt that for that value of property I needed someone more 'qualified' for lack of a better word. I gather from the posts that conveyancers tend to be used for conveyorbelt (excuse the unintended pun) type of transactions which probably falls in the average house price bracket - probably usually FTBs. So far the solicitor has been brilliant, more so when we instructed him with our purchase in addition to our sale.
    The reason people don't move right down inside the carriage is that there's nothing to hold onto when you're in the middle.
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