The perils of DIY conveyancing
By z4027672030, Oct 27 2015 03:07PM
Although by carrying out conveyancing work yourself on your new property you will save money and allow you to dedicate more time to the process, there are several pitfalls to DIY conveyancing in comparison to consulting a professional conveyancer. There are many drawbacks to DIY conveyancing, which can lead to inadequate work and the potential risk of fines and legal action – read on to find out why you should avoid carrying out this highly specialist work yourself.
It’s simple to make mistakes
Though information on DIY conveyancing is available online, websites often only provide general guides, which do not cover the specifics of your home and sale. Even if the sale appears straightforward, you may not be able to identify all of the potential problems of a transaction with a DIY guide alone, which could lead to all kinds of mistakes in your administration and searches. If you do end up making a mistake, you can be sued by the other party, meaning you could potentially face a huge bill because of your inexperienced error. Should a solicitor make a mistake, they instead will be held liable for mistakes, not you.
Professional conveyancing is often a legal requirement from mortgage lenders
The majority of mortgage lenders will in fact require you to have your conveyancing work carried out by a professional conveyancer or solicitor, to ensure that everything is in order with their high-risk transaction. This is in order to protect against any mistakes in the conveyancing, which could mean that the property’s value is lower than expected and therefore affect the mortgage. Even if it is allowed by a mortgage lender, the seller may be reluctant to accept your offer, or if you are selling a house, the buyer may be concerned that they are not buying what they have agreed to due to DIY conveyancing errors.
It can be incredibly complicated in some circumstances
There are some specific circumstances in which DIY conveyancing should be avoided at all costs, as they involve dealing with complex and specialist legal documents which are generally too complicated for a layperson to deal with adequately. Examples of these circumstances are if the property is leasehold rather than freehold, if the land is not registered with Land Registry (meaning you’ll have to carry out more research on the property), and if an undertaking is required. A non-legally qualified person cannot give a legally-binding undertaking, where something is done on trust that the other party will follow through in due course (for instance, exchanging contracts), and so the conveyancing process will be brought to a grinding halt.
Ultimately, DIY conveyancing is hugely risky, as it can be extremely costly should anything go awry, and alongside this the process is also incredibly time-consuming for those who are inexperienced with the process. For highly professional North Devon conveyancing, searches and other services, contact us at Taylors Solicitors today, where we can arrange a free 30-minute consultation to assess your needs and go through the conveyancing process with you.
Image: Isaac Bowen, available under Creative Commons