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When you are buying or selling a home, you need to choose a solicitor or conveyancer to take control of the legal process of transferring the title of a property from one party to another. Traditionally, homebuyers have used local solicitors for this purpose, but over the past decade online conveyancing has become increasingly commonplace, and this is having a significant effect on the industry.

Choosing between the two can be extremely difficult, particularly for those who aren’t aware of the difference in services offered by each. With that in mind, Howells Solicitors has put together this five minute guide, to highlight the pros and cons of both traditional and online conveyancing, so that you can make an informed decision.

Online Conveyancing

By putting their services online, conveyancing solicitors have cut their costs as they no longer have to pay significant overheads.

In order to maintain these low prices, web conveyancing services don’t offer the face-to-face meetings offered by traditional conveyancing solicitors. This means it is likely that you will never actually meet your online conveyancer, as most use standardised web tracking, call centres and SMS systems to keep their customers up-to-date with the conveyancing process.

Online conveyancing tends to mean a ‘one size fits all’ service. The way in which some online conveyancing businesses are set up means that your details may be held on a centralised file and you may speak to a different person every time you contact them. This can be frustrating.

As margins are tight in online conveyancing, they also need to have large volumes of work in order to make a profit. This means they often employ a large team of case handlers supervised by one Conveyancer/Solicitor. With simple transactions this works well, however when a complex issue arises this can cause problems as those with the experience to resolve issues quickly are simply  unavailable. These types of delays can lead to purchasers pulling out of transactions over perceived problems. When using an established firm with experienced staff, any issues can be can be dealt with quickly and the case progressed.

How Much Does Online Conveyancing Cost?

Online conveyancing is usually significantly cheaper than using a local solicitor. However, if you are offered a particularly low fee by an online conveyancer, you should check your paperwork for extra or hidden fees.

If you have received any other quotes for your transaction please send these to us! We operate a free service where we can check them to make sure that there are no hidden extras. For example, if you are purchasing with a mortgage you might not have been charged for all the searches your lender requires. If selling a leasehold property, a leasehold supplement may be hidden in the small print.

Traditional Conveyancing

Traditional conveyancing with a high street solicitor offers a more bespoke, flexible service to those who prefer a personal approach and a single point of contact when making such a significant financial transaction.

Local solicitors are able to deal with all areas of conveyancing no matter how complex, including shared equity purchases, transfers of equity and lease extensions. Their services also often come with a wealth of local knowledge which can be invaluable in the conveyancing process.

As most large solicitors firms are extremely established, they tend to have good links with estate agents and mortgage lenders. It’s usually the case that mortgage lenders will only deal with certain solicitors and conveyancers or will charge representation fees if you choose to use alternatives.

How much are solicitors fees for buying a house?

Whilst traditional solicitors are usually slightly more expensive, they often offer a no-sale, no-fee policy. Howells Solicitors offers fixed fees with no hidden costs and gives all customers a full breakdown of fees which lists all associated costs and disbursements.

Find out More about Howells Solicitors Conveyancing Services

Howells Solicitors is one of the leading conveyancing law firms in England and Wales. We are multi-award winning firm and property experts. Our dedicated team of experts are on hand to make moving home as straightforward as possible, and always ensures that our clients receive a personalised service.

We achieve fast completion times and communicate well with clients. We are not a call centre. Contact us today on 0808 178 2773 to speak to one of our expert solicitors.

With effect from 15th February 2015 EU Regulations on Consumer Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) allow consumers who bought our services online to submit their complaint via an online complaint portal.

We are required under the regulations to provide our clients the following information:-
  1. Link to the ODR platform - please follow the following link for further information (
  2. Our contact email address in case of a complaint under the ODR regulation – Andrea Coombes