There appears to be a common myth that online conveyancing is in some manner distinct from the old fashioned kind. I want to put this particular misconception to rest for good. Online conveyancing is in no way different to standard / tradition conveyancing. The sole difference is that rather than visiting a solicitor’s office and instructing them directly, online conveyancing involves you instructing the solicitor online via a web-form.. What can change is the level of service you’ll receive. That’s not to say that online conveyancing equals poor service, or a traditional high street solicitor will automatically give a faultless service. In fact you need to be selective about whomever you decide to let handle your conveyancing.
Are Online Conveyancing Firms Actually Lawyers?
Under the Legal Services Act 2007, it is illegal for an individual to practice conveyancing, or rather to carry out certain essential elements of a conveyancing transaction (drafting a contract or transfer deed or submitting an application for registration for example) for profit, unless he is himself, or is in the employment of, a solicitor, barrister or licensed conveyancer. This is just as applicable to online conveyancing firms as it is to high street solicitors etc.
It is easy to check whether any online conveyancing firm is regulated and thus subject to the Legal Services Act 2007. For solicitors you can find a list of registered firms on The Law Society website and for licensed conveyancers you can check credentials on the Council of Licensed Conveyancers site.
Are Online Conveyancing Services Trustworthy?
Another myth is that online conveyancing firms are fly-by-night operations with fancy websites but no real experience. This is true in some cases but the reality is that there are many well established and reputable conveyancing specialists that have developed an online conveyancing brand in order to compete in the modern marketplace.
If you want a modern conveyancing service at a great price from a traditional (and experienced) covneyancing firm then you will be able to find them online.
Can I Visit The Offices Of An Online Conveyancing Provider?
Online conveyancing firms had put in place systems that mean it’s very rare for you to ever have to visit their offices in person, however occasionally situations do arise where it would be beneficial for clients to be able to visit their solicitors’ offices. Most firms will be able to make provision for this but the problem occurs when, as a result of the fact that online conveyancing firms operate nationwide, you find that you are hundreds of miles away from them! Whilst you shouldn’t necessarily allow distance to be a barrier to appointing a firm therefore, it is worth trying to find a suitable one in your area.
What if I Want More Than Conveyancing?
If you need legal advice on subjects such as the formation of trusts, wills & family law then an online conveyancing firm is not going to be your best option. The reason for this is that most online conveyancers only specialist in conveyancing. They tend not to be a multi-discipline firms. If you think you might need advice on another area then search for an online conveyancing service that is part of an established, multi-discipline practice.
The Truth About Online Conveyancing
The myth exists that conveyancing can be done completely online these days. Whilst it is true that things like searches and HIPs can be ordered online as well as documents from the land registry, and some online conveyancing firms will have an online case tracking program that you can log-in to and see live updates on your case, certain things do have to be done in the traditional way. In particular, any documents you sign still need an original signature in ink. The law as it stands does not allow for electronic signatures or scanned images. When it comes to signing the papers therefore, if you can’t get to your conveyancer’s office, you’ll still have to post them, though they can be delivered to you by e-mail if you can print them off.