“Would it be possible to complete the purchase of my home without using a solicitor?”. A fellow reader asked me this. The purchase of a home is costly enough and you may be looking to cut the cost where you can. But purchasing without legal and professional help was not something I had considered before. If you are a barrister/solicitor or you feel confident in the ways of the law, then, by all means, go ahead. But if not, don’t play yourself. There are times when some cost is worth taking. This is the one time I will tell you not to save your money. For one I am not an expert in this field, it will require not only to learn but make sure I go through everything with a fine-tooth comb to not miss anything. Below are a few things that will need to be completed by the solicitor if you wish to do it yourself although it is something that I would not recommend.
Protect Your Interest
As I have already said, if you are not an expert in this field, you must spend time learning from scratch. You do not want to make a costly rookie mistake. The last thing you want to find out in the future is that the council has plans to build a tramroad right in front of your house.
Level of Expertise
Whoever the solicitor is, they are experts in that field. This means that they will have a much better understanding of what is essential. They should receive the contract drawn up by the seller’s solicitor, as well as the title deeds. Should the house be a leasehold property, they will also require a copy of the lease and protocol forms which is to be completed by the seller. It will include the following:
- An information about the property (history).
- List of items which is included/excluded from the sale; this is known as the Fittings and Contents Form.
- Gas and electrical certificates, and any copies of planning consents.
- Leasehold information should the property one. A leasehold property enquiries (Form LPEI) will be raised by your solicitor. This is to be completed by either the Landlord or the managing agents.
- Once your solicitor has all of this, copies of the documents should be sent and explained to you. From this, the paperwork will be checked and any enquiries as well as request searches.
Another thing that the solicitors will do is to conduct searches on the house and other things. For those of you who may be a cash buyer, you are not under the same stipulation as those who will be lending (mortgage). Due to this, you are not subject to undergo the searches but again I would recommend that you do.
The type of searches that will take place is usually dependant on the type of property and land where it is situated. However below are the standard ones.
- An Environmental search
- Local Land Charges
- Local Authority Search
- Drainage Water Enquiry
- Flood Risk Report and many others.
Still, want to do it Yourself?
As you can see there is a lot that is required for the purchase of a house once the initial offer has been made. Can you do the conveyancing yourself? Yes, however, this is a big and important purchase. I understand the need to save money where you can, so I suggest if you still want to do it yourself, try to have a professional with you. Don’t go with the estate agent solicitors just because they offer it, shop around for the best price. But don’t just go with the cheapest either. “As they say buy it cheap by it twice”.
I will leave below some links that I recommend you read. Hopefully, they will give you a lot more information. Also please keep the below in mind.
“It is a criminal offence for an unqualified person to draw up or prepare a contract for sale, transfer, conveyance lease or mortgage relating to land for a fee. Solicitors are qualified to undertake work called conveyancing, which is a mixture of land law, contract law and trusts.
There is a National Conveyancing Protocol which must be followed when you buy or sell a house. Your solicitor will ensure that this is adhered to or varied as required for the specific transaction and will ensure your interests are protected at all times while dealing with any complex issues that may arise throughout the transaction”.
“Don’t play yourself if you do not know the rules just to save some coin”