Local vs online conveyancing: Which one is right for me?

For most of us, buying a new property is one of the largest and most important investments of our lives. So, it is essential that you choose the right conveyancing method for you. But first, what is conveyancing? ‘Conveyancing’ is the legal term given to the transfer of property from one person to another, whether you are purchasing or selling.

Choosing between an online conveyancing company and a local solicitors can be extremely difficult, particularly for those who aren’t aware of the difference in services offered by each but  it’s a crucial decision to get right.

Topics to be answered in this article

Local Conveyancing
Online Conveyancing
Wealth of local knowledge
They will understand the local market and have great relationships with local estate agents and mortgage lenders.
Work nationally so less local knowledge
Won’t know the area and have the same relationships with local estate agents and mortgage lenders.
More bespoke
Traditional conveyancing with a local solicitor offers a more bespoke, flexible service to those who prefer a personal approach and a single point of contact when making such a significant financial transaction.
Speaking to multiple people
Some are set up so that your details may be held on a centralised file and you may speak to a different person every time you contact them. This can be frustrating as you will have to explain your situation every time you speak to someone.
Experienced lawyers in all areas
Local solicitors are able to deal with all areas of conveyancing including shared equity purchases, transfers of equity and lease extensions.
Less experience in complex transactions
Better for simple transactions, however, when a complex issue arises this can cause problems as those with the experience to resolve issues quickly are simply unavailable.
Up-front costs
A conveyancing lawyer is more likely to be upfront with their quote so at first glance it can seem a lot more expensive
Cheap quotes but be aware of hidden costs further down the road
More likely to be hidden costs, some providers flag up a headline figure to catch your eye and it can be very tempting especially if you’re looking to save money.

1. Property transactions are expensive and complex – don’t risk your investment

Conveyancing is a complex process, and particularly for first-time buyers, a conveyancer lawyer can be key to guiding you through the process.

In order to provide the low prices to customers, margins can be tight in the online conveyancing industry, therefore, they need to have large volumes of work in order to make a profit. This means they often employ a large team of case handlers supervised by one Conveyancer/Solicitor. With simple transactions this works well, however when a complex issue arises this can cause problems as those with the experience to resolve issues quickly are simply unavailable. Local solicitors are able to deal with all areas of conveyancing including shared equity purchases, transfers of equity and lease extensions

2. Local solicitors know the area

Local solicitors come with a wealth of local knowledge which can be invaluable in the conveyancing process, they will understand the local market and have great relationships with local estate agents and mortgage lenders and potentially even know the other party’s solicitor.

3. Right on your doorstep

Your local solicitor will have an office that you’re able to visit. This might not seem like a huge deal, but for most, it’s something to consider. It’s a common frustration that online solicitors don’t respond to you, and this tends to be the case. Emails get lost and calls get missed, so it’s reassuring to have a physical office you can visit and meet with your conveyancer face-to-face.

4. Personalised service – assessing each case individually

Traditional conveyancing with a local solicitor offers a more bespoke, flexible service to those who prefer a personal approach and a single point of contact when making such a significant financial transaction. In order to maintain their low prices, online conveyancing services can’t offer this same level of service and offer a ‘one size fits all’ service, some are set up so that your details may be held on a centralised file and you may speak to a different person every time you contact them. This can be frustrating as you will have to explain your situation every time you speak to someone. By building a relationship with your dedicated conveyancer, they are perfectly placed to understand your needs and to foresee any potential problems.

5. Be aware of hidden costs

Some providers flag up a headline figure to catch your eye and it can be very tempting especially if you’re looking to save money. However, when you look at what is being offered, you’ll realise it’s typically just the cost of the legal fee. It doesn’t include extra costs that come with conveyancing.

How can Goughs help?

At Goughs, we help thousands of people move home every year and we recognise that each move is unique, which is why we tailor our services to meet your needs.

With our in-depth experience and extensive local knowledge you can rest assured that we are with you every step of the way. Get in contact with us and we can answer any questions you may have.

Request your free conveyancing quote.

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Author Bio

Sophie Laird

I deal with all aspects of residential property, remortgaging, tenancies, transfer of equity, help to buy, and military help to buy schemes.

I pride myself on being friendly and approachable; offering my clients a professional service, and ensuring that their matters are dealt with as swiftly and smoothly as possible.

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