Conveyancing – can it really be done online?

Why York?

Often voted of the top English cities in which to live, the beautiful walled city of York is home to many features of historical significance including the medieval Shambles and one of Northern Europe’s largest Gothic cathedrals, York Minster.

It is also often considered to be one of the world’s most haunted cities. As the city is situated in the beautiful county of Yorkshire, residents of York and the surrounding area also benefit from access to the county’s two National Parks and also a picturesque coastline.

Today, it is estimated that more than 205,000 people live in York. In terms of the housing market, regionally Yorkshire and the Humber saw the largest annual house price growth, with an increase of 3.2% in the year ending July 2019. The average price of a house in York is currently £273,168 which is 6% higher than in 2016.

What is conveyancing?

This is a commonly asked question. Conveyancing is the area of law that specialises in the legal aspects of property transfers. When buying, selling, leasing or remortgaging a home you need a competent conveyancer in your corner to deal with the legal process for you. This is particularly important when using a mortgage. We now look at what you need to consider when looking for a conveyancing solicitor in York.

Online conveyancing solicitors

Traditionally, home buyers often relied on recommendations from friends and family for this service with many people often sticking with the same solicitor firm local to them. Schemes such as the government’s Help to Buy and Shared Ownership Schemes mean that it is becoming possible for more young people to take the first step onto the property ladder. These factors alongside the general public becoming more tech savvy as a nation has meant that it is becoming easier and sought after for conveyancing to be available online. From a practical point of view, Yorkshire is a region that is largely rural, and it may not be all that easy for home buyers to visit their local high street conveyancing firm. Now conveyancing quotes can be found online by inputting a few details. This allows you to compare a wide range of conveyancers at a time that suits you.

Conveyancing has advanced which means that information about properties are held in electronic centralised databases. Online conveyancers also use case trackers that include features such as document uploads. From your point of view, this is advantageous in that you can complete your part of the conveyancing process online, when it suits you; especially if you work 9am-5pm weekday hours. Further, unlike traditional conveyancing where the identity of a client is usually established in person, Online Conveyancing also use electronic ID verification meaning your conveyancer may be based on the opposite end of the country and still be able to represent you.

How important is local knowledge?

Homes in Yorkshire can be affected by subsidence and historical mining amongst others. In addition to this, statistically, Yorkshire is considered an area affected by flooding due to the presence of large rivers and coastline, but also a high average rainfall in the region. Therefore, it is important that your conveyancer considers these potential risks of any home you are purchasing. Being situated in an area at risk of flooding, such as areas close to the river’s Ouse, Ure, Derwent and Swale can also affect the insurability of your home.

So, you may be thinking how can an online conveyancer not based locally can help me if my house is in Yorkshire? Well actually, since all information is held centrally by the Land Registry it really isn’t a problem. While your local solicitor may know this information by default, in practice any competent online conveyancer will quickly be able to find this out online. Additionally, local authority searches which must be carried out regardless of whether your conveyancer is based locally or not would reveal all manner of information which otherwise would only have been known by local knowledge in the past.

How do I know if my online conveyancer is reputable?

The most important point when considering who to appoint as your conveyancer is to make sure that you choose a reputable professional in the first instance, as this will have much more of a bearing on the quality of advice they provide than their location.

First and foremost, your conveyancer should be recognised and regulated, either by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA), Council for Licensed Conveyancers (CLC) or Chartered Institute of Legal Executives (CILEx). If you are using a mortgage, you should also check if they are on the panel for your specific lender. You can find both of these out quickly and easily by asking the conveyancing firm you are considering. You should also consider reviews. Not just those featured on the conveyancer’s website but also consider those on independent sites such as Google and Trustpilot.

Conveyancing fees

When considering conveyancing fees, especially those online, it can be tempting to go for the cheapest quote provider. However, in many cases this is a double-edged sword as in reality there is a fine balance between good value for money and the service you will receive. You should make sure all quotes are itemised and there are no ‘hidden extras’ and there should be a list of disbursements including the quote. Things such as mortgage lender fees, leasehold specific fees, help to buy fees, searches, bank transfer fees and ID checks should all be present where applicable.

Express Conveyancing is one such online conveyancing firm that provides an itemised quotation based on your individual transaction. The fees are fixed providing your transaction remains unchanged from the time of initial quote.

All Express Conveyancing transactions are handled by a panel of carefully selected specialist solicitors and conveyancers. They have built long standing working relationships with their conveyancers and work alongside them as your transaction progresses. Express Conveyancing believe that even though you have opted for a predominantly online service, it is important that you also have a named conveyancer to speak with on the telephone, visit the office of or communicate by post if you decide to do so. In addition, you will be allocated a dedicated Case Manager from Express who will manage your transaction and act as another point of contact should you so require.

Express Conveyancing have a wealth of industry knowledge across the panel and so can help you with your transaction no matter how complicated it may be. If you are buying, selling or remortgaging, contact the team to discuss how they can help you. They will discuss your transaction in detail to ensure they have understood exactly what it is you require.

Express Conveyancing can be contacted on www.express-conveyancing.co.uk or 0800 799 9892.

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