Got a pension question?
- Our help is impartial and free to use. Get in touch online or call us on 0800 011 3797

Find the right solicitor or conveyancer

A solicitor or conveyancer will handle all the legal aspects of buying or selling a property for you. A good one will keep you updated regularly, and can support you by answering questions about the process of buying a property. 

What do solicitors and licensed conveyancers do?

The first question you’ll be asked when you put in an offer on a property is the name and contact details of your solicitor or licensed conveyancer.

Conveyancing is the legal term for transferring ownership of property, if you’re buying or selling.

A solicitor or conveyancer will:

  • handle contracts
  • give legal advice
  • carry out local council searches
  • deal with the Land Registry, and
  • transfer the money to pay for your property.

It’s an important role, so choose carefully.

Solicitors are usually more expensive than conveyancers and are qualified lawyers, so they can offer a full range of legal services.

Licenced conveyancers are specialised in property but can’t deal with complex legal issues.

How to find a property specialist

  • Ask friends and family for a recommendation.
  • Ask your lender, mortgage broker or Independent Financial Adviser (IFA).
  • Search online. This might bring up a lot of options, but you can search for ones in your local area, or the area you’re buying in. You can also check out online ratings and reviews.
  • Estate agents might recommend a solicitor for you to use. But be aware that this could end up being an expensive option for you, so compare prices with others.
  • Online conveyancing is a growing area. You’ll only deal with them by email or phone but it’s often cheaper. But it’s common for people to complain about poor customer service from online conveyancers, you might not talk to the same person each time you call, and they can’t deal with more complex legal problems.
  • Make sure your chosen property specialist is a member of the Law Society of England and Wales Law Society of Scotland and a member of the Law Society’s Conveyancing Quality Scheme
  • Conveyancers must be members of the Council for Licenced Conveyancers

Fees

Solicitors charge in different ways:

  • a fixed fee
  • an hourly rate
  • a percentage of the property price.

Try to get quotes from three different firms on the total cost of their service.

Make sure the quotes break down all costs, including VAT, so you’re comparing like with like.

They should include charges for:

  • searches
  • bank transfers
  • Land Registry fees
  • Stamp Duty, Land Tax, Land Transaction Tax and Buildings and Land Transaction Tax, where applicable
  • other costs including postage and courier services
  • additional work if the process is more complex or urgent than expected
  • some conveyancers charge more if you want to use a Help to Buy or Lifetime ISA, or are buying or selling a shared ownership property.

Communication

  • Buying a house can be stressful. But having a solicitor or conveyancer who can answer any questions can make it a lot easier. Make sure you find out the best times and ways to contact them.
  • Check if they have a system allowing you to track how the purchase is progressing.
  • Check if they have a holiday booked when you will need them.
  • Ask who will step in if they are away or off sick.
  • Know where they are located. Using a solicitor or conveyancer near to your home or work makes it easier to drop off or collect documents if necessary; and there might be local arrangements or leases, which are unique to your area.

If you want to make a complaint

Things can go wrong and there are groups who can help you if you want to make a complaint.

Your next step

Was this information useful?
Thank you for your feedback.
We’re always trying to improve our website and services, and your feedback helps us understand how we’re doing.
Looking for us? Now, we’re MoneyHelper

MoneyHelper is the new, easy way to get clear, free,
impartial help for all your money and pension choices.
Whatever your circumstances or plans, move forward with MoneyHelper.

Continue to website
Looking for us? Now, we’re MoneyHelper

MoneyHelper is the new, easy way to get clear, free,
impartial help for all your money and pension choices.
Whatever your circumstances or plans, move forward with MoneyHelper.

Continue to website
Looking for us? Now, we’re MoneyHelper

MoneyHelper is the new, easy way to get clear, free,
impartial help for all your money and pension choices.
Whatever your circumstances or plans, move forward with MoneyHelper.

Continue to website
Talk to us live for…
Talk to us live for…
Talk to us live for pensions guidance using…
Talk to us live for money guidance using…
Hours
  • Mon – Fri:9.00am – 5.00pm
  • Sat, Sun and bank holidays:Closed

* Calls are free. We’re committed to providing you with a quality service, so calls may be recorded or monitored for training purposes and to help us develop our services.

Talk to us live for money guidance using the telephone
Hours
  • Mon – Fri:8.00am – 6.00pm
  • Sat, Sun and bank holidays:Closed

* Calls are free. We’re committed to providing you with a quality service, so calls may be recorded or monitored for training purposes and to help us develop our services.

Talk to us live for pensions guidance using web chat
Hours
  • Mon – Fri:9.00am – 6.00pm
  • Sat, Sun and bank holidays:Closed
Talk to us live for money guidance using webchat
Hours
  • Mon – Fri:8.00am – 6.00pm
  • Sat:8.00am – 3.00pm
  • Sun and bank holidays:Closed
Talk to us for pensions guidance using our web form

We aim to respond within 5 working days

Talk to us for money guidance using our web form

We aim to respond within 2 working days

Talk to us live for money guidance using WhatsApp

Download app: WhatsApp

For help sorting out your debts or credit questions. For everything else please contact us via Webchat or telephone.