In this day and age, most services and products are available online. There is every chance you found the house you want to buy online and you can check the online details of your own house for sale. So when it comes to conveyancing you will probably be unsurprised to hear that many conveyancing firms offer online conveyancing services throughout England and Wales and are available for instruction wherever you are in the world and whatever your proximity to them.
When you appoint, or instruct, an online conveyancing firm, what this means is that you communicate with your solicitors by email, business portals and other online tools. This is particularly useful as you can complete the entire legal process of your property purchase from the comfort of your home, from work even, all at unconventional times of the day should you wish. Whilst this can save you a lot of time and effort, you might be worried that handling such an important high value, online, transaction might be unsafe. However, if you pick a reliable conveyancing firm and take some basic precautions, online conveyancing is as safe as the more conventional approach.
Let us look at a few important issues that might help explain the process in more detail and put your mind at rest should there be anything you are unsure about:
What is Online Conveyancing?
Firms that offer online conveyancing, such as the ones who offer their services through Conveyancing Store, operate a nationwide service, meaning they take business from any part of the UK. The term ‘online conveyancing’ doesn’t mean it is a completely digital process; not much is actually done through ‘the web’ at all. Online conveyancing means you never actually have to visit your conveyancer in person, rather you complete the process through emails, phone calls and by post. The only difference between a high street conveyancing solicitor and an online conveyancer is proximity and the need to attend their premises in person.
The Online Conveyancing Process is a pretty simple process for you, the customer. The process should run something like this:
- You instruct your conveyancing solicitor to handle all legal aspects of your property transfer.
- They will send you some forms to fill out concerning fixtures and fittings etc…
- They will complete the property searches and checks after which they will alert you of any issues you need to know about.
- You will review the sale contract and once you’re happy, instruct your conveyancer to exchange contracts.
- You will agree a completion date after which, the property is yours.
Of course, there are many variables that might complicate a property transaction (especially if there is a chain involved), but online conveyancing firms deal with many property sales and are qualified to know what to do should any complications arise. It is neither more or less likely that a complication should arise whether you use an online conveyancing company or not.
Let us talk more about some of the most important issues regarding the safety of online conveyancing and hopefully put your mind at rest if there is anything you are unsure about.
Choosing a reliable conveyancing firm
First of all it is important that you choose the right company to handle your property transaction. This means ensuring their reliability. It is important to check that the firm you intend to use is a member of the ‘lenders panel’. If they are not, there is a chance your mortgage company will refuse to collaborate with them meaning starting all over again and perhaps losing money in the process.
You must also check whether the company is accredited by the Law Society’s Conveyancing Quality Scheme. This scheme establishes the firm abides by a set of minimum professional standards for law firms offering conveyancing. Accredited firms should offer a safe, responsible conveyancing process.
Make sure the conveyancer you instruct is real. If you’re instructing a conveyancer, check they’re listed as a licensed conveyancer. If you’ve chosen a solicitor, check they’re on the Law Society website.
Luckily, Conveyancing Store only work with accredited conveyancing companies so selecting a conveyancer through our search engine will take care of the above steps for you.
Avoiding Conveyancing Fraud
Always be aware of the danger of conveyancing fraud. The most common way this could occur involves fraudulent or fake ‘companies’ sending you an email that appears to be from your solicitor, asking you to pay your deposit into a specific bank account. The account turns out to be that of the fraudsters and if you pay the money into it, it can be very difficult, if not impossible to retrieve.
Fraudulent emails can be very convincing. Your details may have been retrieved from hacking into your solicitors’ email, allowing them to send emails from their account. Or they may have “spoofed” your solicitors email, making it appear to come from your solicitor’s account.
Fraudulent online activity can be hard to spot, however, there are two simple rules to stick by that can help to keep you safe. First of all, do not send any money to a bank account without first confirming with your solicitor over the phone that they are expecting it and the account you are about to pay into belongs to them. Second, you can transfer a small amount of money to the specified account first as a test. You can then check with your solicitor that they have received it before sending the full amount.
Conveyancing store associate with accredited lender panel solicitors. Search our database to find reliable online conveyancing firms ready to take your instruction. Our highly experienced conveyancing firms offer online conveyancing for customers anywhere in the UK (and across the world), making straight forward and affordable to safely buy property in England and Wales.
While technology does help speed up the conveyancing process, the SRA advises confirming bank details in writing using the traditional postal system. Conveyancing firms and solicitors are also extremely vigilant now in ensuring identity fraud is minimised. They carry out documentation checks to confirm that a seller or a seller’s solicitor is indeed who they say they are and entitled to sell a property.