When you are buying or selling property in England & Wales, there are two crucial professionals involved in the process: conveyancing solicitors and estate agents
While their roles may occasionally overlap, these two professionals serve distinct functions, each contributing to a successful property transaction.
In this article, we’ll delve into the roles of conveyancing solicitors and estate agents, helping you understand who does what.
Your estate agent: finding your dream property
Estate agents are often the first point of contact for people looking to buy or sell property. Their primary role revolves around marketing, promoting, and facilitating the sale of properties.
Here’s what estate agents do:
Property Valuation: Estate agents assess the value of a property, considering factors such as its location, condition, and market trends. They help sellers determine an appropriate asking price.
Marketing and Listing: Once the property is ready to go on the market, estate agents create listings with professional photographs and detailed descriptions. They then market these listings on property portals, their website, in their shop windows, and through other advertising channels.
Viewings and Negotiations: Estate agents arrange property viewings for potential buyers and represent the seller’s interests during negotiations. They aim to secure the best possible price for the seller.
Sales Progression: After an offer is accepted by the seller, estate agents help oversee the sale’s progress, liaising between buyers, sellers, and their conveyancing solicitors. They work to ensure a smooth transaction.
Local Market Knowledge: Estate agents should have in-depth knowledge of the local property market, providing valuable insights to both buyers and sellers.
Your conveyancing solicitor: getting the legal side right
Conveyancing solicitors are legal professionals who specialise in property law. Their role is crucial in ensuring that the legal aspects of a property transaction are carried out correctly. Here’s what conveyancing solicitors do:
Title Checks: Conveyancing solicitors run comprehensive checks on the property’s title to verify its legitimacy and uncover any legal issues, such as disputes, restrictions, or outstanding debts.
Contracts and Documentation: They draft and review the legal documents required for the transaction, including the contract of sale and the transfer deed.
Searches: Conveyancing solicitors conduct various property searches, including local authority, environmental, and drainage searches, to identify potential issues that could affect the property.
Financial Co-ordination: They work closely with mortgage lenders to ensure that funds are in place for the purchase and oversee the financial aspects of the transaction.
Stamp Duty: Solicitors calculate and arrange for the payment of stamp duty land tax, ensuring compliance with HM Revenue and Customs regulations.
Exchange and Completion: Conveyancing solicitors facilitate the exchange of contracts and oversee the completion of the sale, including the transfer of funds and legal ownership. They will also after completion then register the title changes at Land Registry.
Collaboration makes for a successful transaction
In most property transactions in the UK, estate agents and conveyancing solicitors work together to achieve a successful outcome.
While estate agents focus on marketing and negotiations, solicitors handle the legal intricacies. Communication between these two professionals is essential to ensure that the process runs smoothly. Most successful transactions tend to be those where the estate agent and conveyancing solicitor work in harmony for the benefit of all parties to the transaction.
In the end, estate agents and conveyancing solicitors each play vital roles in the property market. Estate agents help you to find your dream home or sell your current one, while solicitors ensure that the transaction complies with the law and is legally sound.
When buying or selling property in England or Wales, enlisting the services of both these professionals is a key part of navigating the complexities of the property market with confidence.
Finding the right conveyancing solicitor to work with
There are various ways you can find your conveyancing solicitor, including searching online, receiving a recommendation from your estate agent, or advice from family and friends who have had a good experience.
It is usually best to use a solicitor who is local to you, and ideally one who has been recommended by a trusted source. That way you should find someone who is approachable, contactable and who gives you the right level of service.
We also recommend you look at their online Google reviews; these give a true picture of the feedback a conveyancing solicitor has had from real customers. Our article takes you through choosing a conveyancing solicitor.
Contact your local branch of Cunningtons
Cunningtons solicitors may have an office that is close enough to you: our branches in Braintree, Brighton, Chelmsford, Croydon, Hornchurch, Solihull and Wickford are all ready to help with your property needs.