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is it possible to self conveyance?

As per title really. Is it possible to commision my own searches or file my own returns to save money on a house purchase? im only buying (not selling) so process should be more straightforward?


  • I believe most Lenders require you to go with an approved Conveyancer.

    But I don't have a clue really!
  • davidmcn
    davidmcn Posts: 23,596
    Name Dropper First Anniversary First Post
    Not if you're buying with a mortgage.

    Or strictly speaking, yes you can do your own conveyancing, but the lender will need a solicitor to act for them, which you'll be paying for - and the cost will almost certainly be the same as the solicitor also acting for you. And in any event you can't "file your own [SDLT] returns", as the lenders insist on their solicitor being in control of that.
  • lewisa
    lewisa Posts: 301 Forumite
    It's possible to do many tasks yourself which are normally handled by an experienced person, doesn't mean you should though.
  • Surrey_EA
    Surrey_EA Posts: 2,042
    First Anniversary First Post
    edited 19 March 2019 at 1:03PM
    It is possible, depending on whether you need a mortgage,

    I wouldn't advise it however, unless you have a fairly extensive knowledge of property law.

    You can apply for your own searches, but will you be able to interpret the results accurately? Could you identify any problems with the title?

    I would also argue that representing yourself is easier if you are just selling, as opposed to buying.

    Given the money you are likely to be spending on buying a property, is it really wise to try and cup back on around £1000 that a solicitor will charge you? It may cost you an awful lot more than that if you miss something and get it wrong.

    Not worth risking in my view.
  • alanobrien
    alanobrien Posts: 3,308
    Combo Breaker First Post First Anniversary Mortgage-free Glee!
    Certainly used to be, i recommend reading "the conveyancing fraud" by Michael Joseph which covers the process in detail. I used that book when i bought my first place way back.
  • Slithery
    Slithery Posts: 6,046
    First Anniversary Name Dropper First Post Photogenic
    edited 19 March 2019 at 1:15PM
    Theoretically yes, it is still possible.

    I made a recent auction purchase and thought like you that I'd attempt self conveyancing. However, with current money laundering regulations being as tight as they are you will still need a solicitor to act on your behalf to confirm ID and to check the source of funds. The amount that a solicitor will charge for this for a client that they aren't also conveyancing for tends towards the number where it's just easier all round to get them to do everything for you.

    Some good points were raised in the thread I made at the time...
  • Thanks for replies. Its annoying as i think most of what a solicitor does is just paper pushing. Appears though that they have made it hard for anyone to bypass the system as usual.
  • babyblade41
    babyblade41 Posts: 3,930
    First Anniversary Name Dropper Photogenic First Post
    If I was just selling then it's certainly possible but I would never do it for buying
  • G_M
    G_M Posts: 51,977
    Name Dropper First Anniversary Combo Breaker First Post
    edited 19 March 2019 at 1:57PM
    alanobrien wrote: »
    Certainly used to be, i recommend reading "the conveyancing fraud" by Michael Joseph which covers the process in detail. I used that book when i bought my first place way back.
    a great book - 20+ years ago. Now very out of date.

    Simple answer is , yes but note

    * buying is much more risky than selling. As seller, you just have to be sure you receive the money
    * buying wth a mortgage will involve the lender's solicitor who will duplicate most of what you do - at your cost. So pointless to DIY
    * nowadays ID and money laundering checks need to be done
    * buying a leasehold is more complex than freehold, so beware
    * buying un-registered property is more complex than registered, so beware
    * if there are complex covenants, or old Deeds that need interpreting, beware
    * you need to be a very literate person. And meticulous. You need to have plenty of time to learn, understand, and follow the process
    * you need to understand the risks, and be prepared to stop and seek help if appropriate. Remember, worst case, you pay over £X00,000 and don't end up owning anything...... or own something other than you expected.

    Make sure any book you use is up to date. The law and process changes.....
  • M_Python
    M_Python Posts: 176 Forumite
    It's also worth noting that most solicitors are unwilling to deal with a buyer carrying out their own conveyancing.
    It's easier to do your own conveyancing when selling but it's very risky when buying. If something goes wrong during the process that a solicitor should have noticed, you'd have no recourse because you can't sue yourself :rotfl:
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