While it is certainly true that the vast majority of buyers and sellers contract a conveyancer to carry out the various necessary processes of a transaction, there is absolutely no legal requirement to do so. You can be your own conveyancer, but is DIY conveyancing worthwhile?
A site like ours is first and foremost designed to help people understand conveyancing so that the stress of buying or selling a house can be lessened, and conveyancers can be better monitored and held to account. The information we present would certainly make the process of doing your own conveyancing work easier, but it we would never recommend DIY conveyancing if the sum of your knowledge was garnered from a website.
Buying a property is totally unlike buying a pair of shoes, a new microwave or even a car. It is not simply a matter of expense, but the first thing that must be considered is just how much of your money it will set you back.
The fact is that you will almost certainly not be in a position to buy a property with cash and, for reasons we won’t go into here, it is hardly advisable even if you could. The borderline certainty that you will have to agree to a legally enforceable agreement with a bank or mortgage lender to raise sufficient funds is the first reason you should think hard and think again about whether going the down DIY conveyancing route is the best option.
A car or kitchen often require financing. What makes a property and different? Well, ignoring the usually significant gaps in price between a home and the two examples above, the second major consideration is that no building, and therefore no home, is the same as another. There is no conveyor belt that a property comes off, and the idiosyncrasies of any house or flat makes them a potentially dangerous thing to buy.
Then there is the question of whether the person selling you their property has the right to do so. Hardly a consideration you need to worry about when buying a digital camera before you head off on holiday, but definitely one when you and your mortgagee are giving someone hundreds of thousands of pounds. With that outlay, you would want to be sure that no one was going to knock on the door and tell you that they are the rightful owners of your home.
Through their searches and interactions with mortgagees, valuers and surveyors, conveyancers are basically taking on the responsibility of ensuring the transaction is first viable and then executed in such a way that you are the undisputable owner of a property’s freehold or leasehold. Through the qualifications and licences they hold they have shown themselves to have a quantifiable knowledge of the legal processes and language that make conveyancing the murky process it is.
A DIY conveyancer might be able to save themselves a couple of thousands in costs and VAT, and may even fancy themselves to get things done quicker, but with all the complexities and huge amounts of money involved it is not something we would recommend. And the other parties in a transaction do not like it either. Mortgagees can withdraw their offers if they find out you are doing your own conveyancing, and sellers often reject an offer or pull out of the sale.