DIY conveyancing in Scotland?

Am I right to think that DIY conveyancing is legal in Scotland?
I.e. that the buyer or seller of a house can act in person.
And would e.g. a seller's solicitor be guilty of obstruction if they refused to deal with a buyer who was acting in person?
Cheers,
John
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Not wishing to sound negative here, but if you don't know the answer that basic question, would you trust your knowledge of the law enough to do the conveyancing? There's an awful lot at risk if you screw up - seems wiser to spend the 500 quid on a lawyer to me...
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I'm not planning to buy anything, but you are quite right - I personally don't at present know how to do it in Scotland (although I have done it in England several times).
I'd agree that anyone doing it should be damn sure they know what they're doing.
It just came up in a discussion.
John
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In Scotland a solicitor would usually charge several times that figure - about 1% of purchase price for a purchase, i.e. 2000 to buy a 200,000 house. Sometimes 1.5% for either a purchase or a sale.
Why do they get away with it? Because their quasi-monopoly, dependent on widespread ignorance, was never broken in Scotland - something which happened in England 30-35 years ago.
Not that anyone else helps in Scotland. In England anyone can buy conveyancing forms for 1-2 pounds. You can also go to the Land Registry office and come away with an Official Copy of your (or for that matter, anyone else's) title, for two pounds, if I recall the price correctly. You won't even get a funny look when you do so. You can also download a copy for two pounds. In Scotland the authorities ("Land Registers Scotland" as their PR advisers told them to call themselves) put as many obstacles as they can in the way of your doing this, even if theoretically they'll serve anyone. If you just want a copy as a private individual, they'll say OK, pay for it by BACS bank transfer. As if they couldn't have accepted payment by WorldPay or Paypal or whatever. Meanwhile of course the middlemen charging charging up to 20 times as much flourish...being members of you-know- what profession :-)
John
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When I last used a solicitor for conveyancing, they advised that their fees were sometimes almost doubled when having to deal with a DIY conveyancer. Also, the process generally took longer which increased the chance of it falling through. [This was England though.]
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Andrew Gabriel
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On Jun 29, 9:19 pm, snipped-for-privacy@cucumber.demon.co.uk (Andrew Gabriel) wrote:

I doubt that's the sort of advice they would give in writing!
In my experience it has taken far less time than it would have done if the DIY conveyancer hired a solicitor, mainly because a DIY conveyancer, if they've got any sense, will maintain direct contact with the other party (and any other parties in the chain, if necessary), as well as with the other party's solicitor. A solicitor is not allowed to do that; their professional rules perceive it as like giving instructions to someone else's dog in the park - a social no-no. Most of them don't like it either when a DIY conveyancer on the other side speaks directly to their client, although there is absolutely no rule, law, or convention against it, and it's a good idea for people to keep in touch so that small problems can be prevented into growing into the sort of big ones that can arise when people don't know where the other party is coming from. Also DIY conveyancers tend to reply to letters within a day or two. At least that's how I've done things.
When both sides use solicitors, it's quite common for things to foul up at a late stage, owing to solicitor error, without the actual parties knowing anything about it, because problems are sorted out between the solicitors who obviously a) have a shared interest in getting their money, and b) do not want to do the dirt on their brother. It's like with the medical fraternity - murder is one thing, but bringing the profession into disrepute is considered to be far graver. DIY conveyancers don't tend to cover up for solicitors. (In parenthesis: it's normally the office clerk who does the conveyancing work anyway).
The solicitors' "argument" that you shouldn't do your own conveyancing because you aren't insured against making a mistake (or can't sue yourself if you do) is ridiculous. You shouldn't make a mistake! It isn't hard to do. You don't get bricklayers saying don't build walls. Building a wall actually is quite hard, but their attitude is, if you know how to do it, do it.
I haven't heard of a case where a DIY conveyancer causes unnecessary delay. In my most recent sale, my buyers were two people, each of whom had their own sale, and each of whose buyers also had a sale, and it was definitely yours truly who pushed the pace all the way through. Must have saved about 4 weeks. Which isn't to say it doesn't happen that a DIY conveyancer can slow things down. But most unnecessary delays are caused by solicitors, unbeknownst to clients kept in the dark, who don't even see all of the correspondence. Some delay is also caused by local councils.
John
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My move before last. The bloke two down the chain from me was doing his own conveyancing. He was a buffoon, with no idea what he was doing. In the end I got my solicitor to help him to prevent the chain collapsing.
DIY conveyancing should be illegal.
--
"If only I had known, I should have become a watchmaker." ~ Albert Einstein
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Following your idea through... There are two distinct phases: getting to contract, and completion.
1] If some twit hasn't got the sense to get to contract, that's simply tough on the other parties. Many contracts fall through in business. Would you apply your law to all contracts?
Property chains fall through all the time
- because one of the parties is an idiot (whether or not they employ a solicitor) - because one of the parties' solicitors is an idiot (but someone who continues to employ a solicitor who's an idiot is an idiot themselves), or - because of some idiot estate agent, surveyor, loanshark, etc. - because of some local council manager who's deprioritised getting searches back quickly because he wants more staff hours spent on the upcoming computer contract, etc.
2] If the twit does get to contract, and hasn't got the sense to complete, well, his buyer or seller will have recourse.
Without getting into notices to complete: if they're the seller, they'll have the deposit (or someone will be holding it on their behalf), and if they're the buyer, the should damn well have made sure that the seller owns the house, so they know where the seller keeps a big asset for starters (without getting into with-priority searches). And if they haven't got proper recourse, then they themselves are an idiot for not making sure it was written into the contract.
What would you do when a solicitor causes a chain to collapse because he doesn't answer a letter the same day (when many DIYers would do), or doesn't pick up the phone and get stuff sorted direct with the other party when only that would work (because he isn't allowed to). The person who's lost out would currently be extremely unlikely to get any support from either the Law Society or the courts.
John
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That makes it OK, does it?

Yeah, right.

You got that bit right.
--
"If only I had known, I should have become a watchmaker." ~ Albert Einstein
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