If you’re buying or selling a property you will naturally want to make the process, go as quickly and smoothly as possible. The question of whether the same conveyancer can be used for buying and selling is one that comes up frequently as many people believe this can be a good way to make things easier and faster.
Yes, it is possible for the same conveyancer to be used for buying and selling a property, but there are stipulations to that. Strict criteria need to be met in order for that to be permitted, there must not be any conflict of interest, and it comes with risks that you should be aware of. This guide will explain the conditions in which the same conveyancer can be used, so you will have a better insight into whether it is the right option for your purchase or sale.
What criteria needs to be met in order for the same conveyancer to be used?
Criteria is in place to ensure that both parties are protected from any risks that could occur from using the same conveyancing solicitors Newcastle. If it has been determined that there isn’t any conflict of interest, it needs to be confirmed that the below criteria can be met before buyers and sellers can use the same conveyancer:
- Both parties know and accept the risks involved
- They have provided their written consent to proceed
- The buyer and seller have a strong common interest
- They are competing for the same goal
- The solicitor is happy that the circumstances are right to act on behalf of the buyer and seller
- Each party has a separate fee earner or team within the firm of conveyancers and effective safeguards have been implemented to protect the buyer’s and seller’s confidential information from one another
What is considered to be a conflict of interest in this situation?
A conflict of interest occurs when two or more clients that are being represented by the same company have different intentions. Or they might not agree on the outcomes of the sale, which is often the main obstacle that prevents buyers and sellers from using the same solicitor. The biggest risk with this is that the solicitor can’t give one client complete, effective advice without it negatively impacting the other – known as client conflict. The other main conflict of interest is called ‘own interest conflict’ which describes when the conveyancer’s obligation to act in the best interest of their clients, conflicts with their personal or financial interests.
Who decides if a buyer and seller can use the same conveyancer?
Due to the factors described above it isn’t very common for a buyer and seller to use the same conveyancer. The decision is with the conveyancer and if they feel that the full criteria has been met and the circumstances are right for them to take on your case. Another option is for a different conveyancer working from the same company to represent each client, as this can reduce the risk of possible complications arising.
What are the benefits of using the same conveyancer?
As long as there isn’t a conflict of interest and all the criteria is clearly met, it can be beneficial if the same conveyancer acts for both the buyer and seller. These benefits include:
- Saving time and money – the conveyancer will be using the same processes, systems, and timetables for both the sale and purchase. So, the need to regularly communicate and work with another firm is removed, reducing the time and money being spent on legal fees.
- Reduces the number of parties involved – the less people that are involved in the transaction, the smoother it will go for everyone. Therefore, both parties only working with one solicitor could help to avoid confusion and bumps in the road.
- Fewer negotiations required – as long as both parties share interests, it likely won’t need as many negotiations. It might even be as brief as agreeing on the same completion date.
What the regulations say about using the same conveyancer
The most up to date regulations list out the criteria and circumstances in which it is acceptable for buyers and sellers to use the same conveyancer, as mentioned above. In the event that none of the criteria is met or it is determined that there is a conflict of interest, the conveyancer must choose one party to represent. Failure to do so would breach the regulatory Code of Conduct. If you believe that your circumstances meet the criteria whether you’re buying a house or selling, then speak to your conveyancer. They will be able to offer extra guidance and discuss whether representing both parties would be allowed in your case.
Whilst both buyers and sellers being represented by the same conveyancer is allowed, there are risks involved and it can only be successful under specific criteria. If you’re looking for professional online conveyancing in Cramlington, the team at Toomey Legal can help. We offer experienced and affordable fixed fee conveyancing that will ensure you get the best possible outcome, whether you are buying or selling a property. Contact us today to discuss your needs and one of our team will work quickly and efficiently to guide you through the process.