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UK house movers confused over conveyancing

23rd July 2010 Print

A national consumer survey by, the UK’s leading provider of instant online quotes for home-movers, has revealed widespread confusion about conveyancing: the legal process of transferring property ownership.

More than a third (37%) of respondents did not know what the term ‘conveyancing’ meant. This rises to 57% of those who were currently renting and half (51%) of adults living with parents. Surprisingly, this also accounts for a quarter (23%) of homeowners who have actually been through the process.

A quarter of all respondents wrongly believed that a surveyor could carry out the process instead of a conveyancing solicitor and one in five (19%) believed it could be done by an estate agent.

The majority of confusion appears to lie between the concept of surveys and searches. While 60% correctly answered that it was the conveyancing solicitor’s role to carry out searches, over half (54%) wrongly believed they were also in charge of surveys, which are commissioned by the mortgage provider to confirm the value or the buyer to determine the condition of the property.

Top 5 activities respondents mistakenly believe are carried out by conveyancing solicitors:

Arrange a survey (54%)
Negotiate the price of a property (16%)
Negotiate mortgage rate with broker (11%)
Recommend a removals firm (4%)
Arrange your will (4%)

Due to the greater complexity of leasehold conveyancing, the process is more costly than it is with freehold property. However, more than three quarters (81%) were unaware of the price discrepancy between freehold and leasehold.

In a bid to cut through the confusion, is launching a step-by-step guide to offer comprehensive advice on each stage of the conveyancing process, available free to download from the website.

Rosemary Rogers, Director, comments:

“While most people realise that there is a lengthy legal procedure when buying and selling property, many are unaware of the actual legal process and who is responsible for actions at which stage. Although you might expect this from non-homeowners, our survey shows that this lack of understanding extends to those who have already bought a property.

“It is important that people know who to chase and when, to make sure their sale is progressing, as well as a breakdown of costs involved. The conveyancing market is very competitive so it is possible to get a good deal for your move if you shop around for quotes to get exactly what you need, if not you may end up overpaying for a service.’s step-by-step guide to conveyancing helps to steer home movers through each stage of the process. Visitors to the website can receive instant quotes from conveyancing solicitors directly to their inbox, saving time and money right at the beginning of the process. surveyed 900 people in June 2010. Guide downloadable from: