When it comes to selling a home, finding a buyer is only the first step. For many, the legal process that follows is the most time consuming and frustrating part, particularly if you are looking to sell your house fast . Most home sellers will hire a solicitor to conduct all the legal requirements, however, this can be costly. But can you sell your home without a solicitor?
Why do I need a solicitor to sell my house?
It’s natural to want to save money where you can, but selling a house without a solicitor comes with its challenges.
A solicitor will act on your behalf to take care of the deeds, contracts, dates, and negotiate with the other party in various ways.
There are also a lot of legal terminologies to understand. This comes easy to a solicitor, their experience and knowledge reduces the time it takes to sell your house. From the initial preparation of legal contracts to handing over the deeds, having a professional in your corner can make a big difference.
In some cases, using a solicitor is a requirement. This is when a leaseholder or your freeholder demands the use of representation.
What does a solicitor do when you sell a house?
It is possible to sell your house without a solicitor. But by doing so, you will be taking on the legal responsibilities that come with selling your home. This all sounds fine until the list of responsibilities starts to add up.
To give you an idea, here is what you can expect your solicitor to do on your behalf when selling your house:
- Prepare and distribute legal contracts.
- Agree upon a figure for your mortgage settlement
- Obtain title deeds and fill in necessary questionnaires
- Act as a recipient of the deposit.
- Approve the deed of transfer.
- Prepare a final statement.
- Organise final accounts and settlement.
Your solicitor will also write up a contract for sale, pay the remainder of the mortgage (if applicable), hand over deeds, and send any outstanding balance to you.
There are other ways a solicitor will help, including writing up a contract for sale and distributing it to the parties concerned, and negotiating with the legal representatives of your buyer (incl. agreeing on a moving date). They will also hand over deeds and send any outstanding balance.
When you take on the responsibility of the legal sale of your house, this list can seem quite exhausting.
There are other matters to consider if you’re selling a leasehold property, and some mortgage providers won’t negotiate without the use of legal aid. This means the decision to sell without a solicitor may not be possible in some instances.
A drawdown lifetime mortgage is similar to a lump-sum lifetime mortgage, but there is more flexibility in how you can withdraw money. It allows you to withdraw in stages, rather than having to take a single lump sum.
Interest is only applied to the withdrawn sum released, accruing slower, resulting in a reduced cost compared to a lump sum lifetime mortgage.
How much does a solicitor cost when selling a house?
Solicitor costs for selling a house vary, but as an important part of selling your home, they are worth budgeting for.
Compared to the ‘time’ cost of selling a house without one, solicitor fees can be reasonable. The average cost for a UK conveyancer is typically around £1000. This is when selling a house at the 2021 UK average of £251,000, and could be anything up to £1,500. Buying a property can mean this fee is even higher.
This includes the legal fees as well as conveyancing disbursements. These are an important part of the process. Finding out how much this costs upfront can save you from an unexpected fee later on.
Another option is to use a licensed conveyancer. Because they are more affordable, some sellers like to save money by using their services. Knowing they are using an experienced professional to act on their behalf is a comfort many sellers consider worth paying for.
Fees vary depending on the value of the property and the conveyancer.
You can avoid these costs of hiring a solicitor, alternatively, by selling your property with a cash house buyer like WeBuyAnyHome. Selling with us means that you won’t have to pay for a solicitor – and therefore helps you avoid these costs.
How much does it cost a solicitor when selling a house?
Rather than hiring a solicitor, some homeowners prefer to know the costs attached to selling a house without legal help.
However, solicitor fees and conveyancer fees vary greatly. Not only can a more complicated sale increase the size of a conveyancers fee, but the ownership structure also plays a part. With a simple ownership structure, there may be less additional work for a solicitor, especially when the transaction involves a non-complicated buyer.
If you own a leasehold property with a mortgage, the additional work for your conveyancer when selling the property can result in a larger fee. Anyone who decides to sell a leasehold property without the use of a solicitor will need to be aware of certain assignment conditions in the lease agreement before selling.
Some conveyancers charge a percentage of the value of your home whereas others work on a fixed fee basis. However, solicitor fees for selling are generally more affordable compared to buying a property.
Can I do my own conveyancing?
It is possible, but there are risks when conveyancing yourself that may otherwise be avoidable.
Conveyancing alone is not recommended without prior knowledge of the process. It is advisable to seek the help of a professional to help the sale go through smoothly.
If you feel the transaction is simple and you feel at ease with the legal terminology, and paperwork involved, then it could be an option. However, most mortgage lenders will require the use of a registered solicitor before they approve the sale.
DIY conveyancing is more feasible when you’re selling a property without a mortgage. Doing your own conveyancing is also an option through Deeds of Gift ( transfer without money involved). If you wish to explore these options, be sure to thoroughly research every step involved before you take on the task of conveyancing yourself.
Most experts recommend comparing quotes before hiring a reputable conveyancing solicitor if you are not familiar with the process.
Solicitor vs Conveyancer
All solicitors can legally perform conveyancing, it is usually recommended that you find a solicitor with a solid reputation for this part of selling your house.
A conveyancing solicitor will have expertise in property law, and help make the process easy for you. If your sale is subject to separate legal issues such as a divorce, it is best to speak with a conveyancing lawyer before you proceed.
Using a licensed conveyancer is a valid alternative to hiring a solicitor. Conveyancers are governed by an independent body – the CLC (Council for Licensed Conveyancers). The main difference is that a licensed conveyancer is trained in conveyancing and not in other legal services that apply to the sale of your house.
Conveyancers can act on behalf of both the seller and the buyer but don’t have the wider knowledge of the law that a solicitor will offer.
Solicitors are indeed more expensive than conveyancers. But as qualified lawyers, they offer the complete range of legal services and are better when faced with complex legal issues that apply to a sale.
This is why many people opt for a solicitor for selling a house. Their wide expertise helps to speed up the process and helps sellers negotiate some of the challenges that inevitably come with selling a house.
Finding the right solicitor for your situation
You should ensure that your solicitor or conveyancer is registered with the Law Society or with the Council for Licensed Conveyancers.
You will also find that some online conveyancing firms offer a no sale, no fee service. If your short-term funds are low then this may be a relevant consideration for you. Some traditional conveyancing firms will offer this, but typically with an increased fee.
If there is an issue involving your property such as a boundary dispute, make sure your solicitor or conveyancer is experienced at dealing with these matters.
You should also consider whether local knowledge be useful in the case of your home. If so, it might be worth opting for a local legal professional.
Finally, you can ask friends for recommendations and search online for reviews. If you can find a firm which has lots of positive reviews, and you can cross-check their references, then that may be the best option to choose. But take your time and select your solicitor carefully.
Sell your house with WeBuyAnyHome
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If you want to sell your property for free we can give you a cash offer today. Sell your property without an agent and benefit from…
- A free cash offer from us
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You can also rely on We Buy Any Home to find out whether you need a solicitor or a conveyancer when selling your house. We have over 250 years’ combined experience and are happy to provide advice.