Cost of conveyancing sale of flat

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    Cost of conveyancing sale of flat

    I have been quoted 680 plus vat and extras total 867! And its only an investment flat with no mortgage.
    It seems a lot and I feel like doing it myself. Has anyone done that recently?

    Last year I decided to act on my own behalf after making a cash offer on a leasehold flat.
    A solicitor, who was recommended by the estate agent, was instructed by the Seller, but initially the senior partner refused to deal with me.

    Then a second firm recommended by the Estate Agent also refused to deal with me.

    I was quoted sums ranging from £800 to £1,600 after inquiring on-line to a number of different firms for representation, which made me even more determined to act on my own behalf.

    Fortunately for me I am an experience planning consultant and two years earlier I had acted for a client with an overage clause on land she had sold and I had to negotiate with the firm of solicitors acting for the client who had to pay the overage clause.

    The solicitor I dealt with was the other partner in the first firm that had refused to allow me to act on my own behalf to complete the purchase of the flat.

    I contacted this solicitor by e-mail and explained how we had worked successfully to complete the previous legal matter and was ably to convince her that I was capable of acting on my own behalf due to my years of experience in buying and selling property.

    What did have to happen was that the deposit had to be transferred into the solicitor's client account before exchange of contracts and the completion amount had to be transferred prior to visiting the office of the solicitor to receive the signed and witnessed TR1 form.

    If you do want to act on your own behalf be prepared for an objection from the Seller's solicitor based on the concept that the monopoly accorded to Solicitors and Licensed Conveyancers is not lightly breached.


      Since there is no obligation to instruct a lawyer on a conveyancing matter I do not see how a solicitor can decline to deal with a party acting for himself. The solicitor is entitled to be satisfied as to the identity of the person he is dealing with and to take such other steps as may reasonably be necessary to protect his client, but beyond that I am not sure there is much he can insist on - apart from declining to advise or assist the other party.

      However, a solicitor must not deal with a non-authorised person if he reasonably suspects that he is being paid for his services.

      The Law Society probably has advice on this question, but if it does I cannot find it online.


        It's normally more work for them because they have to keep you on track, that's the justification. I've conveyed a property for my parents but I don't think I'd want to do it for a leasehold.


          Hi Codger, in addition to Lawcruncher's response, please find below a link to the U.K. finance lenders handbook for your perusal.


          You may find the firm acting for your buyer may refuse to deal with you and insist you appoint a legal representative, BUT this may be that particular firms internal policy and not the requirement of the buyers lender.


            Some of the requirements in the handbook are unjustifiable. How can a seller acting for himself prejudice a buyer or lender?


              When it is a freehold sale with no mortgage, I cannot see any reason why after all the AML and Verification of Identity checks have been carried out on the Seller, this would prejudice the buyer or the buyers lenders position. However, if leasehold as this example provides, it can do, especially when undertakings are required of the Seller.


                I think they're frightened of Joe Public finding out how easy it is and questioning why it costs so much for a couple of hours work. I've come across the same thing, seller's solicitor first said it was illegal, when it was pointed out that was untrue he still refused. Buyer dropped the price by £1000 if I engaged a solicitor so I took the easy was out. Is it a case for the legal ombudsman or anywhere else?


                  Residential conveyancing is in straightforward cases high grade clerical work. A book can take you through the procedure of a straightforward case. If we bear in mind, as various recent posts have shown, that solicitors get things wrong there has to be considerable scope for the layman to get things wrong. If you go DIY there is a risk you will miss something and if you miss something you have no comeback. If you employ a conveyancer you buy insurance and cut down the risk of missing something.

                  Whether lawyers overcharge is a different question.


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