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What is a conveyancing solicitor and why do I need one?

It may not be the first thing that springs to mind when buying or selling a property but having a conveyancing solicitor is essential to any property transaction in Scotland. When it comes to buying or selling a home, the laws and regulations in Scotland differ slightly to the rest of the UK so it’s a good idea to have some knowledge and information on the process before diving right in. Our guide explains exactly what a conveyancing solicitor is and why it is so important to have one onboard with any decisions you make when it comes to property and mortgages. Their advice and expertise can put your mind at ease to make the process of buying or selling that little bit less stressful.

What is a conveyancing solicitor?

It may sound fancy but conveyancing itself is simply the legal process that takes place before any property transaction. This ensures that the property ownership is transferred from one person to another, with a conveyancing solicitor or chartered account being responsible for paperwork and handover. While all solicitors are qualified to carry out this type of work, some choose to specialise in this area or have more experience than others so it’s a good idea to do your research to find the solicitor that will be the best fit for your situation. In Scotland, conveyancers are much more involved in the house selling process than in the rest of the UK. Another difference in Scotland is that it is the seller’s legal responsibility to provide the home report ahead of the sale rather than the buyer.

Why do I need a conveyancer?

So, what will a conveyancing solicitor actually do for you during the buying or selling process? Firstly, once you have found a property you are interested in the solicitor will formally submit a note of interest to the selling agent. Again, this is a stage which is very specific to Scotland. A note of interest does not mean that you are committed to buying the property but does ensure that you will be kept up to date with any important information such as when offers need to be made and if there is a closing date. At this point having a conveyancer will make your life much easier and take the stress away from the house buying process and legal jargon.

Your conveyancer will also help you with regards to the home report. It is a legal requirement for anyone wishing to sell a property to provide a home report so again your solicitor can advise you about this. If you are the prospective buyer, the home report will highlight all the basic information on the house and include details such as the property’s energy efficiency in an energy report, the council band tax and a property questionnaire. If you have any queries with what you find in this document, your solicitor can go through the information and contact the selling agent. For example, there may be some information missing such as paperwork to a previous renovation on the property which could affect the home’s valuation if not included. You can also ask your conveyancer to arrange your own home report as a buyer if you feel this is necessary. Your conveyancer will always be thinking ahead and making sure that you have everything you need should you later want to sell the property.

What can I expect to pay for a conveyancer in Scotland?

The cost of using a conveyancer will vary depending on the value of the property. Conveyancing fees for both buying and selling will roughly the same in Scotland and depending on the size and property price you can expect to pay around £600 to £1000. It is important to factor this in when you are thinking of moving, particularly if you are perhaps a first time buyer and money is tighter. There are also often some additional fees that may crop up such as fees for property searches which find out any additional details about a property. In Scotland, the full property buying or selling process can be as fast as 4-8 weeks which is much shorter than that of the time taken in the rest of the UK and using an experienced solicitor will certainly help to streamline this process.

So there you have it, whether you are a first time buyer or looking for new property for investment, it is essential to use the services of a conveyancing solicitor in Scotland. Take your time to find the right solicitor for you and you will find that the process is as stress free as it can be. If you are looking to buy or sell a home contact us today for more advice.