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What’s the difference between a conveyancer and a solicitor?

Conveyancers and solicitors both handle the legal process of transferring property ownership from one party to another.

Although there are differences between the two, when it comes to buying or selling a property, conveyancers and solicitors essentially do the same job.

Both have undergone the necessary training and have the relevant experience to guide you through the entire property transaction process.

But which one is right for you? Let’s find out.

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Before getting into the differences between conveyancers and solicitors, let's first look at the definition of a conveyancer and a solicitor:

So firstly, what is a conveyancer?

A conveyancer is a legal professional who will guide you through the process of buying or selling a property. Their primary role is to handle the legal side of the property transaction and make it clear and simple for you to understand.

Conveyancers are trained specifically in the field of conveyancing and are licensed by the Council for Licensed Conveyancers (CLC). While the CLC’s regulations differ slightly from those of the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA), which governs solicitors, both bodies ensure their members adhere to strict professional standards.

Whilst Eden is regulated by the CLC, our property lawyers come from either the CLC or SRA.

And then, what’s a solicitor?

While conveyancers receive specific training focusing solely on property law, a solicitor has full legal training, earning them a license to practice law across various domains. Some may choose to specialise in specific areas like property law and may refer to themselves as “conveyancing solicitors”.

Solicitors are regulated by the SRA, which sets the rules and guidelines they must follow when interacting with clients. They ensure a consistent level of professionalism and ethical conduct.

What’s the difference between a conveyancer and solicitor?

Despite differences between conveyancers and solicitors in terms of their educational backgrounds and regulatory bodies, when it comes to what you need them for (conveyancing), you’ll struggle to find much that sets them apart.


Regardless of whether you choose to work with a conveyancer or a solicitor, you can rest easy that both are fully trained, licensed, and qualified to handle the transfer of ownership of your sale, purchase, or both.

The only major difference is that solicitors will have training or other areas of the law. But this won’t be relevant to you as a property law client.


Cost is important for everyone. There isn’t a significant difference between hiring a conveyancer or solicitor for property transactions. Their fees tend to be comparable, typically ranging from £1,000 and £2,000 for legal work related to conveyancing.

Factors related to your situation are far more likely to influence the price, such as location, property value, whether it is freehold or leasehold etc. These variables will have a greater impact on overall cost than the choice between a conveyancer or solicitor.

We have a full guide on the cost of buying a house and moving here.

When to use a conveyancer vs. a solicitor?

There is no “right” answer when it comes to choosing between a conveyancer or a solicitor. It ultimately comes down to personal preference and finding the professional you feel most comfortable working with.

Remember, the process of buying or selling property can span several months, so it’s crucial to select a conveyancer or solicitor you can trust and communicate with effectively. A property transaction is a complex process, make sure to shop around to find the right legal professional for you.

Here’s a look at some of the things to look out for when searching for a conveyancer or solicitor:

  • Communication: Assess their communication model, including frequency of updates, accessibility, and consistency in terms of who you are dealing with throughout the process.
  • Positive reviews: Online reviews offer unbiased insights into customer experiences. Compare professionals on platforms like Google, Trustpilot and social media to gauge their service quality.
  • Tech-savviness: Inquire about their use of technology for updates, document sharing, ID verification, and other processes. Outdated methods like insisting on postal correspondence can cause delays compared to those embracing digital tools.
  • Transparent pricing: Carefully evaluate fee structures, inclusions, exclusions, and potential hidden costs or VAT. Be wary of “No sale, no fee” offers that may differ from expectations. A lack of clarity in pricing can drive from unexpected costs and hidden fees, something that looks cheaper initially may end up costing more.
  • Customer focus: Ask about their current caseload and whether they rely on less-qualified assistants or handle your transaction personally.
  • Accreditation: Confirm that your conveyancer or solicitor is regulated by the appropriate body (CLC for conveyancers, SRA for solicitors). Also check which lender panels they are on, as this can indicate trustworthiness and reliability.

Check out our guide to choosing a conveyancer here.

Do I have to use a conveyancer or a solicitor?

Legally, you’re not obligated to involve a solicitor or conveyancer in a property transaction. However, if you’re taking out a mortgage, lenders will require you to hire a professional to handle the legal work on your behalf.

Even if you’re a cash buyer, we strongly recommend hiring a solicitor or conveyancer to act on your behalf. The process of buying or selling a house is complex, with numerous legal considerations and requirements to navigate.

While possible to handle independently, the complexities can be quite overwhelming, especially for those without experience in property law. Engaging a licensed conveyancer or solicitor ensures you have an expert guiding you through the process.

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Eden, conveyancing without complication

Whether you’re buying, selling, or both, Eden has your conveyancing covered.

You’ll have access to a 5-star service, your own dedicated property lawyer from start to finish, and our 24/7 online platform to ensure you’re always in the loop and up to date.

No more jargon. No more stressful chasing. No unclear fees. Just simple, transparent conveyancing.

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