What is Conveyancing? (& How Much Does it Cost?)

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What is Conveyancing? (& How Much Does it Cost?)
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Conveyancing is an essential part of a house sale.

And what conveyancer you choose can significantly impact how smoothly it goes.

But what exactly is a conveyancing? How does it fit into the broader house-selling process? And how much does it cost?

Keep reading this blog to find out.

What is conveyancing?

Conveyancing refers to all legal aspects related to the transaction of a house, including paperwork, searches, money transfers, and more.

Both the buyer and seller will typically use this service to help them with the sale.

It is done by a conveyancer or a solicitor.

(The same professional can represent both parties – but this is rare).

It includes the following activities:

  • Drafting contract(s)
  • Carrying out searches on properties
  • Transferring money to relevant parties
  • Clarifying the terms of leases
  • Taking care of all forms, including TA10, TA6 and more

What requirements do conveyancers need to meet?

Conveyancers are qualified professionals who need relevant qualifications and licenses to work.

They should also have indemnity insurance, which protects against financial losses from legal claims.

Is a conveyancer different to a solicitor?

Yes, a conveyancer is technically different to a solicitor, although both can act on customers’ behalves during property transactions.

A solicitor is a general legal professional who is well-versed in law. Some will have expertise in property law.

Meanwhile, a conveyancer specialises in property and all aspects of a house transaction.

A specialist conveyancing body regulates conveyancers. They have less experience and in-depth knowledge of broader legal issues than solicitors.

Because of this, the average solicitor will charge more than the typical conveyancer.

However, a solicitor’s broader skillset is not required for most property transactions. So, a conveyancer is usually just as valuable.

How much does conveyancing cost?

A typical conveyancer in the UK will cost between £1,250 and £1,500.

The final figure will be influenced by location, a deal’s complexity, the company hired, and other factors.

Other scenarios’ costs

‘PropertySolvers.co.uk’ calculated that the average conveyancer costs between £1,187 and £1,265 (inclusive of VAT) for a freehold tenured property sale and purchase.

Meanwhile, CompareTheMarket suggests that selling a house costs around £1,690, but the fees could be slightly higher when buying.

Disbursements (additional legal costs) are included in the averages listed above.

A conveyancer pays them on behalf of their clients.

Common examples of disbursements include:

These costs can vary for each house sale and add several hundred pounds to a final bill.

Do clients have to pay a conveyancer if the deal falls through?

Yes, in almost all cases. The amount paid will depend on how much work the conveyancer/solicitor has completed.

Are some conveyancers cheaper than others?

Yes, as with all professionals in all industries, some conveyancing companies and individuals will be less expensive than others.

Some may provide a premium service, while others may charge less if they have fewer qualifications or specialise in low-price transactions.

How long does conveyancing take?

The conveyancing process usually takes between 12 – 16 weeks. This covers house offer acceptance through to completion.

Of course, delay can happen due to unexpected findings in the searches or a survey that reveals problems.

Can a bad conveyancer break a property chain?

Yes, an ineffective conveyancer can cause delays – or even breaks – in property chains.

In fact, poor conveyancers are one of the leading causes of a chain breaking down.

Conveyancers (or solicitors) missing deadlines or failing to carry out correct searches and surveys are common reasons for this.

Can houses be sold without a conveyancer?

Yes, houses can be sold without a conveyancer (or solicitor). However, this is highly difficult to do without experience and expertise.

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