DIY Conveyancing

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RESOURCES - Conveyancing:
DIY conveyancing, is it really worth the hassle?
Before you commit to a DIY conveyancing project we urge you to read this article.
In summary, we have two words for you "Negligence" and "Insurance".
As a private individual you don't have any negligence insurance but solicitors and licensed conveyancers do.
If you make a mistake doing DIY conveyancing, you will personally be responsible.
If a solicitor or licensed conveyancer makes a mistake, they at least have a professional negligence insurance policy that will payout.
We completely understand the desire to cut your moving costs to a minimum however, it would be irresponsible of us to speak enthusiastically about DIY conveyancing without point out the pitfalls.
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DIY Conveyancing - Is it Even Worth Considering?

Now, we're not saying DIY conveyancing can't be done.

On the contrary, under the right circumstances it can (many 1,000's have successfully trodden the path before you).

After all, conveyancing is not brain surgery.

However, of all the areas where you can save money on a property transaction (i.e. estate agency fees, Stamp Duty, cheap online conveyancing, surveys) DIY conveyancing is the:

  1. Riskiest
  2. Most labour intensive
  3. Most jargonistic
  4. Least rewarding (financially speaking)

Up until a few years ago, if you were the kind of person who:

  • Enjoyed filling out forms
  • Had 30 or so hours to devote (i.e. What it would take a lay person to undertake DIY conveyancing)
  • Wasn't easily flummoxed by legalese (legal mumbo jumbo)...

Then I would have said DIY conveyancing was worth a shot.

But frankly, the Internet has had such a profound effect on reducing conveyancing fee levels that (in our opinion) DIY Conveyancing is just not worth the hassle anymore.

DIY Conveyancing - How Many £££'s Can Be Saved?

Here's a sobering thought - DIY conveyancing will only save you about £300 - £500 at best.

Compare that to the £1,000's you save by selling your property privately (a much simpler task) and we think you'll agree - it's not really worth the bother!?

With DIY conveyancing you still have to pay for all disbursements (although you will save VAT) and Stamp Duty.

Also bear in mind that if you have a mortgage, your lender will not let you complete without appointing a solicitor to look after their interest.

They will charge you for this and you can guarantee it's not going to be cheap!

DIY Conveyancing - How Much Time Can Be Saved?

It's a bit of a fallacy that DIY conveyancing can save you any time.

With DIY conveyancing you benefit from two things:

  1. You give your transaction the utmost attention.
  2. You complete all tasks as soon as they surface.

Few conveyancing solicitors can match that!

There's one problem though - property transactions (especially when chains are a feature) involve many different parties.

No matter how efficient you are at DIY conveyancing, your transaction will only proceed at the speed of the slowest party.

DIY Conveyancing - When it's a Really Bad Idea!

Here are scenarios in which you should definitely avoid attempting DIY conveyancing:

  1. If you're selling and divorcing at the same time (you'd have to be a real glutton for punishment to attempt that one).
  2. If your property is not registered.
  3. If your property is leasehold.
  4. If your property is not a house.
  5. If you're selling only part of your property (e.g. if you were selling a piece of your garden to a developer like me).
  6. If you're selling at auction.
  7. If your property is not freehold.

In fact, the only time you should even consider DIY conveyancing is if you are selling a "freehold registered house".

DIY Conveyancing - Conclusions

Successful DIY conveyancing is achievable, we just don't think the risk is worth the reward.

Add to that:

  1. The disdain your buyer's solicitor will treat you with for having the gall to dabble in the Law.
  2. The possibility you make a mistake, become the cause of delays and lose your buyer.

Anyway, that's our "two pennies' worth" but if you think we're too negative and want a more positive perspective, read - "The Conveyancing Fraud" by Michael Joseph.

It's a scathing expose on the conveyancing industry and is the perfect antidote to our more cautious approach to DIY conveyancing.

RESOURCES - Conveyancing:

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