5 Benefits of Using an Online Conveyancing Solicitor

You have just had your offer accepted on your dream home. For those of us who are not fortunate enough to purchase the property with cash, you'll have a mortgage offer in principle. You are now debating whether to use an online conveyancing solicitor or a local one. Which one is the best option?

Well, there is no straight forward answer. If you prefer convenience and speed over (in most cases) the ability to meet your appointed conveyancer in person, then online conveyancing is certainly the way forward. Times have changed and the days where ‘a Solicitor if for life’ are all well and truly over. 

The legal landscape is changing rapidly and so are the expectations from lawyers. With abortion rates of property transactions at an all-time high (over 30%) where speed is of the essence, a recent the survey found that each abortive transaction costs each party in excess of a thousand pounds.

We have therefore summarised five key benefits we see are good enough reasons for you to shop around the online conveyancing market before deciding on a conveyancer -

  1. Speed

Conveyancers (and conveyancing) generally receive a lot of bad press for being extremely slow. Well, it doesn’t have to be. Though each individual transaction must be treated individually, the overall process more or less remains fairly consistent.

So why are conveyancer’s slow? 

Imagine this scenario –

Your local Solicitor’s office has 3 Solicitors, all carrying out everything from Conveyancing to Family Law matters. You instruct them to advice you on your property transaction. Your Solicitor will be allocating what time he has on you case with of course, more urgent and pressing matters taking always taking priority. Unfortunately, this means that though your appointed Solicitor is perfectly capable of handling your transaction, they just do not have enough time to commit as much time to YOUR transaction as you would like.

Also imagine this scenario –

You appoint an Online Conveyancing Firm whose sole specialty is Property Law. With sufficient systems in place and with the help of online case progressing systems, emails over letters etc, they are able to progress matters far more quickly than the firm we have seen on the scenario above. There are firms online such as Express Conveyancing who claim to complete transactions as fast as 4 weeks while the industry average is 12.

That said however, because they tend to me specialist property law firms, and your circumstances are far more complicated, you might under the circumstances be better off instructing a Full Service Firminstead.

  1. Ease of Access 

This really is a trivial point when instructing an online conveyancer. Generally, a majority (if not all) of your formalities will be conducted by electronic means. Unless specifically requested to do so by your conveyancer, you are not required to return any wet ink documents. 

With todays’ busy world, making appointments during office hours to see your Solicitor is really not practical. You should also keep in mind that most appointments with your Solicitor in traditional firms will incur a charge, usually at the Solicitor’s hourly rate. This fee of course will be charged on top of whatever your conveyancing quote has already been supplied.

  1. Local Information 

You might or might not be aware but Her Majesty’s Land Registry has been collating title information for a long period of time and having been making them available on the public domain. Regardless of whether you now instruct a local firm of solicitors or an online conveyancer, both will be obtaining information from the same source. What this means in other words is that you could be selling your property in Cornwall using a Solicitor in Newcastle.

The same applies to property searches. Since property searches are carried out by the Local Authority, an application made to them by a Solicitor (wherever they are in the Country from) would produce the same results.

Does this mean the death of Local Knowledge? Absolutely not – but what it does mean is that you are no longer limited by just having to use the local firms of solicitors you are familiar with.

  1. The Convenience Of Casual Meetings   

Though we have covered this point in detail in a previous section, most of your correspondence will be carried out over the telephone or on email by whoever you appoint.

That said, if being able to visit your Solicitors is an important requirement for you, you will be better off instructing a local firm. Please do bear in mind the additional fees this privilege usually attracts.

  1. Other Legal Solutions 

Once again, this really comes down to individual circumstances. Most online firms are now evolving and fine tuning the services they are currently offering. The firm we have noted earlier on this article also offer free mortgage advice and a Will’s service which would all otherwise cost extra.

Conclusion

Conveyancing is the most important element in any property selling or buying transaction. It is therefore crucial you instruct both a competent and efficient Conveyancing Solicitor who understands your individual needs and offers the level of service required. Do not feel pressured in to committing to the first solicitor recommended to you by your estate agents. Take your time to do your research and ask questions/check reviews before making a decision.

This article is designed to give you guidance and information.  There is no substitute for proper direct advice, particularly as everyone’s circumstances are different.  If anything in this article may affect you, please contact the reference websites directly for advice that is specific to your circumstances.