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When moving house one of the first things on most people’s agenda is to find a solicitor, but with their fees adding hundreds and sometimes thousands of pounds to the cost of the move, there are people who choose to try and carry out the conveyance process themselves. So do you really need a solicitor to move house? Let’s take a look.
What do solicitors do?
For those moving houses in England and Wales, Solicitors handle a number of jobs most of which involve communicating with other solicitors within the moving chain. Some of the things they do include:
- Helping to request a settlement figure for the mortgage
- Liaising with your buyer’s solicitor and negotiating the moving date
- Preparing the contract for sale and sending this to the buyer
- Supporting with legal paperwork and questionnaires
- Receiving the house deposit
- Organising your final sale accounts
- Paying off any remainder of your mortgage using the sale amount
- Providing the new house owners with the property deeds
- Organising and sending over any outstanding balance from the sale of the property
Can you do these tasks yourself?
In short, the answer to the question ‘do I need a solicitor’ is down to whether you think you can effectively handle the above tasks yourself alongside all the other things you will need to be handling during your house move. Although on paper these things may seem fairly straight forward they can get a whole lot more complicated very quickly, and you may also find that the language used by the solicitors chosen by your buyers is hard to understand, potentially leaving you in deep water. It’s important to remember that by handling these things yourself you are leaving yourself uninsured against mistakes or errors, leaving you open to being sued and as a consequence spending even more money on legal fees or representation. For the sake of saving a bit of money, the vast majority of people would rather use a professional with experience and understanding of the sales process to make their move more stress-free.
Are there instances when you have to use a solicitor?
Believe it or not, yes, there are instances where you will be required to use a solicitor whether you want to or not including:
- If you are selling a leasehold property
If you are selling a leasehold property then the owner of your leasehold could insist that use a licenced solicitor. Even if they do not insist then it is still often best to leave leasehold property sales to the professionals such as Slater Heelis as they often come with a whole lot more complexities.
- If your mortgage provider insists
Some mortgage providers may insist that the sale is conducted by a solicitor and some may even request that it is done by their own legal team.
If you have some of your mortgage left to pay
If you have an outstanding mortgage on your property then your buyer’s solicitors may insist that you use a solicitor of your own to act as a legal go-between.