Your guide to choosing a conveyancer

Exploring the 3 options available with HSBC

Once you've had an offer on the property you want to buy accepted, your estate agent will ask for you the details of your solicitor Tooltip: A solicitor is qualified lawyer who may be able to offer a range of legal services. Solicitors are regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority. or licensed conveyancer Tooltip: A licensed conveyancer is a qualified lawyer who specialises in conveyancing and property. Licensed conveyancers are regulated by the Council for Licensed Conveyancers. .

What does a solicitor or licensed conveyancer do?

A conveyancer's job is to take care of all the legal aspects of buying your new home. These include:

  • Investigating the legal title to the property and carrying out all necessary searches
  • Dealing with Land Registry
  • Payment of Stamp Duty and other charges and payments
  • Collecting and transferring money during the sale
  • Providing legal advice and recommendations
  • Drawing up contracts

With HSBC, you can choose to use a solicitor or licensed conveyancer from our managed panel, a solicitor's firm which is accredited or a licensed conveyancer firm, or appoint a solicitor who is not accredited. Here we explain the different options open to you.

Option 1: The HSBC managed panel
Acts for both you and HSBC

Countrywide Conveyancing Services manage a panel of solicitors and licensed conveyancers for us. They select and introduce you to a firm on the panel and oversee your case to ensure it is progressing.

What to expect if you choose this option:

  • Fixed legal fees
  • No legal fee if your purchase does not proceed because the seller pulls out
  • The option to track your case online

What to do when you're ready to apply:

  1. Call Countrywide Conveyancing Services on 0161 3334605 to obtain a quotation
  2. Tell your mortgage advisor that you'd like to use a Managed Panel firm
  3. Speak to the solicitors or licensed conveyancer firm when they call you and confirm you'd like to instruct them

Option 2: A CQS-accredited solicitor firm or a firm of licensed conveyancers
Usually acts for both you and HSBC

Some solicitor firms are accredited under the Law Society's Conveyancing Quality Scheme (CQS). This gives you peace of mind that they'll follow the CQS Client Service Charter and Conveyancing Protocol. Alternatively, you can use a firm of licensed conveyancers who are regulated by the Council for Licensed Conveyancers and comply with the Code of Conduct.
Note: A CQS-accredited solicitor or a licensed conveyancer who is a sole practitioner can only act for HSBC where the loan does not exceed £150,000

What to expect if you choose this option:

  • Fixed or variable legal fees, dependent on the chosen firm
  • You'll agree individual terms with your chosen firm
  • If you've chosen a solicitor, we'll tell you if your chosen firm is not CQS accredited so you can reconsider

What to do when you're ready to apply:

  1. Find details of CQS firms on the Law Society website
  2. Find details of licensed conveyancer firms on the Council for Licensed Conveyancers
  3. Check whether the fee includes them acting for both us and you
  4. Tell your mortgage advisor that you'd like to use a CQS Accredited Solicitor or licensed conveyancer firm
  5. Give us the contact details of your chosen firm

Option 3: Separate legal representation
Acts just for you

You can also decide to use a solicitor who is not accredited under the CQS Scheme.

If you choose this option, you'll have to pay for the legal work carried out on behalf of HSBC, in addition to the fees of your own solicitor or licensed conveyancer fees for representing you.

What to expect if you choose this option:

  • Fixed or variable legal fees, dependent on the firm
  • You'll agree individual terms with your chosen firm
  • We'll instruct a firm from the HSBC Managed Panel which will also cost you £295 (including VAT)

What to do when you're ready to apply:

  1. Tell your mortgage advisor that you'd like to use your own solicitor
  2. Give us the contact details of your chosen solicitor

Things to ask your conveyancer

Once you've instructed your solicitor or licensed conveyancer, ask them for details about other upfront costs you'll have to pay, such as; searches, Land Registration fees, Stamp Duty and any special reports.

5 top tips when dealing with conveyancers

  1. Get them to explain exactly what they will and won't do on your behalf
  2. Check they'll be available when you need them for the next three months
  3. Ask for a full fee breakdown to check there's no hidden extras
  4. If there's something you don't understand, just ask
  5. Check they're regulated by the relevant legal body

The content of this article is believed to be correct at the time of publication and is provided for general information purposes. When buying or selling a property you should obtain appropriate professional advice and this article is not intended as any substitute for or supplement to that advice and must not be relied upon as such