Do you need a solicitor to buy a house?
The short answer is ‘No, you do not need a solicitor to buy a house’. The long answer is…
When you buy a house in the UK you’ll need to go through a legal process called conveyancing. Every property or plot of land has a title of ownership, transferring this ownership from one person to another requires a contract of sale.
This legal process does not necessarily require a solicitor. You have 3 options:
- Use a Licensed Conveyancer
- Do it yourself
- Use a Solicitor
1. Use a Licensed Conveyancer
If you’re buying, selling or remortgaging a residential property, I recommend that you use a licensed Conveyancer. They’re cheap and get the job done.
2. Do it yourself
This is an option, but I DO NOT recommend it. I’ve written about diy conveyancing before, even if you’re a clever person with a lot of time on your hands… It’s not worth it, just pay a conveyancer to do it! There are far easier ways of saving money when buying or selling a house (use an online estate agent).
3. Use a solicitor / property lawyer
If you’re buying a commercial property, agricultural land or any property that isn’t a standard residential leasehold/freehold property, use a property lawyer. Licensed Conveyancers don’t usually deal with anything other than residential property transfers.
An expensive property tends to come with extra legal work and will require a bulletproof contract of sale. That’s why I recommend that you use a experienced property lawyer if you’re buying or selling a property worth over £2 million. Conveyancers usually don’t handle transactions over £2 million anyway (depends on their insurance limit).
So in conclusion, you do not need a solicitor to buy a house, but it does require legal work. I recommend using an online conveyancer, if that’s not an option then use a specialist solicitor. Don’t do it yourself.