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The DIY Move - what you can do yourself and what you should leave to the experts

Buying a property should be a simple thing. You find one you like, you make an offer, the seller accepts. Job done.

If only.

The legal requirements of transferring ownership from one person to another mean you should ideally always instruct a solicitor or conveyancer to carry out this process.

There is nothing to stop you doing your own conveyancing, of course. If you are up to the challenge of deciphering the legal language used in the documents and know which searches are required for conveyancing, you could save hundreds of pounds in legal costs.

But – and it's a very big but – there is a lot of risk involved in DIY conveyancing. Property transactions can be notoriously complicated, particularly around leaseholds, and you could put your purchase in jeopardy if you misinterpret anything on a legal document.

Also, the plain truth is that anyone buying with a mortgage will have to have legal representation because the lender will demand it. At Homeward Legal, our panel of nationwide solicitors has the experience and knowhow to process homebuying transactions as smoothly as possible – and for a competitive price, too.

So if you definitely need an expert to complete the purchase, what aspects of buying do lend themselves more to a hands-on approach from you?

Some estate agents often push for you to use their chosen mortgage lender and insurer. But you might be better off doing the legwork to find your own mortgage and sort out your own buildings and contents insurance.

You can also be proactive in arranging to have a building survey carried out. Most mortgage lenders will demand at minimum a valuation report of the property you want to buy, but you should get independent advice from the likes of our sister site, Surveyor Local, on which survey best suits your needs.

The same applies to buildings and contents insurance. Don't simply settle for the option provided by an estate agent or mortgage lender. Do your own homework and you could save some essential cash.

Buying a house is likely to be the biggest financial commitment you make. Tempting as it might be to look for ways to save on the move, best stick to Homeward Legal's professionals when it comes to conveyancing for peace of mind.

If you're a first-time buyer, check out Homeward Legal's comprehensive First-Time Buyers' Hub where all your questions about purchasing for the very first time are covered in detail.​

Free Guides for First Time Buyers

Homeward Legal has put together some handy guides to help you with your first property purchase. Let us know if there is anything we've missed, and as ever, feel free to call 0800 038 6699

Whose advice can you count on
Step-by-step guide to buying
Essential checklist for moving as a first-time buyer
10 things to know when you view a property