SPECIAL FEATURE: Use conveyancers, not solicitors
Purchasing a property is one of the most complicated, stressful and largest financial commitments that a person can make in today’s society so it is important to ensure that the professional you have appointed to undertake the necessary legal formalities on your behalf is appropriately experienced and understanding of the pressures involved during the process.
Prior to 1985 potential home owners had little alternative than to use a Solicitor, but the Administration of Justice Act enabled licensed conveyancers to supply conveyancing services.
Licensed conveyancers and solicitors come in a variety of shapes and sizes from the sole practitioner to the multi partnered company. Some operate to very basic conveyancing procedures utilising the postal service. Modern conveyancing practices operate with state of the art case management systems, pro-active communication and online case tracking facilities allowing their clients access to the up to date position on their transactions 24 hours a day seven days a week without the need to attend their offices.
What’s the difference between a licensed conveyancer and a solicitor?
There are a number of advantages to appointing a Licensed Conveyancer, which include:-
1. Specialisation and Accessibility
The main difference between the two property professionals is that a licensed conveyancer is specialised, experienced and solely focused in property law. Solicitors will often have trained in a variety of areas of law such as criminal law or litigation and once they have finished their training they can choose to specialise in a particular area of law or continue to cover a range of areas. This often means that they can be at court or out of the office which can cause frustration in relation to client communication.
2. Specialist Regulation
Licensed Conveyancers are also subjected to unique and specific regulation by the Council for Licensed Conveyancers who ensure that licensed conveyancers deliver the following outcomes by acting in a principled manner:-
• To act with independence and integrity;
• To maintain high standards of work;
• To act in the best interests of Clients;
• To deal with regulators and ombudsmen in an open and co-operative way; and
• To promote equality of access and service.
3. Dual Representation
Licensed conveyancers are able to act on behalf of both parties to a property transaction, i.e. they can represent both the buyer and the seller. This is subject to the approval of the relevant parties and enables greater ease of transparency and efficiency to the process.
4. Lender Panel Membership
As Licensed conveyancers are solely focused property lawyers they are more attractive to mortgage lenders who limit the property professionals who can act on their behalf in relation to mortgages.
When deciding upon their preferred property lawyer, a prospective homeowner wants someone that they can easily communicate with without the need for legal jargon, someone who is there to hold their hand through the process and act in a proactive fashion and also understands the necessary due diligence and legal formalities required to effectively process a property transaction to a successful conclusion. As specialist lawyers in property law, licensed conveyancers are driven to excel in such circumstances!