Property Saviour logo
Call Me Back, Please

Can Same Solicitor Act For Buyer And Seller? 🤔

Property Saviour » Empty Properties » Can Same Solicitor Act For Buyer And Seller? 🤔

When it comes to buying or selling a property, solicitors can be a real pain, so can the same solicitor act for buyer and seller?

In property transactions, a conveyancer or solicitor provides an essential service. They are there to safeguard your interests.

In many ways, they protect you as you move forward. This raises the question, can the same solicitor represent both the buyer and the seller? How does this work? Is it a conflict of interest?

In this article, we will answer the question – “Can a solicitor act for both the buyer and seller?”

Table of Contents

Can the Same Solicitor Act for Buyer and Seller?

If there’s no conflict of interest and certain conditions are met, the same solicitor can act for the buyer and seller.  It makes perfect sense: if one party needs a solicitor to buy a house and the other to sell a house, why not use the same person?

This could speed up the process, simplify document preparation and review, save time, and potentially reduce legal costs for both the buyer and seller. Right?

However, the answer to the question, “Can the same solicitor act for buyer and seller?” is usually no unless specific conditions are met.

Let’s take a step back to understand why. What does a solicitor do when buying or selling a house? Conveyancing is the process of transferring property ownership from one party to another.

A conveyancing professional will provide legal advice and guidance, handle contracts, conduct local council searches, register the property with the Land Registry, and transfer the money from buyer to seller when the sale is completed.

What is a Conflict of Interest?

A conflict of interest occurs when two or more parties, represented by the same firm, have conflicting interests or disagree on outcomes. This conflict often deters buyers and sellers from using the same conveyancer. The primary risk of using the same conveyancing firm is ‘client conflict’, where the conveyancer is unable to provide full legal advice to one party without it being detrimental to the other.

There are two types of conflict of interest:

  • Client Conflict occurs when the best interest of the buyer and seller clash or there’s a significant risk that they will.
  • Own Interest Conflict arises when the conveyancer’s duty to act in the best interest of the buyer or seller conflicts with their own interests.

It is best to have independent firms of solicitors representing buyers and sellers when selling an inherited property.

This is because beneficiaries can question whether there was a conflict of interest in the event of a contested Will.

Can a solicitor firm act for both buyer and seller?

If there’s no conflict of interest and the following strict criteria is met then a solicitor firm can act for both buyer and seller:

  1. Buyer and seller are aware of the risks.
  2. Both parties have provided written consent and have a substantially common interest. They are competing for the same objective.
  3. Each client is represented by a separate fee earner or team within the conveyancers’ firm.
  4. Effective safeguards have been implemented to protect both the buyer’s and seller’s confidential information from each other.
  5. The solicitor is satisfied that it is reasonable to act for both the buyer and seller.

The full criteria can be found on SRA’s website.

Is it OK to use the same solicitor for buying and selling?

Yes, most of the time both the buyer and seller can use same solicitor or conveyance on the basis that there are no conflict of interest and certain criteria is met to protect both parties’ interests.

It is important to note that when using the same firm, the solicitor is not allowed to negotiate on behalf of either party. The estate agents must address any issues related to the price, completion date, survey results, searches, fixtures, fittings and contents.

How To Use The Same Solicitor For Both Buying & Selling
If your transaction is complex (e.g. involving wills or litigation), or you already have a solicitor you trust, it's best to go with them.

What are the benefits of using the same solicitor?

These are some of the benefits of using the same solicitor:

  • Reduces the number of parties involved – Working with just one solicitor reduces the number of people involved in the transaction.
  • Saves time and money – The solicitor using the same systems, timetables, and processes helps save time and money by eliminating the need to liaise with other parties.
  • Fewer negotiations are needed – Shared interests between parties mean fewer negotiations are required. This could be as simple as agreeing on the same completion date.

At what point do you engage a solicitor when selling a house?

Once your offer has been accepted, you must instruct a solicitor.  You can do so by opening a file and paying their fees.  You can ask your friends, family, or a local estate agent for recommendations.

Do some online research, check out their websites, read reviews, and ask questions if you have any. When you find a professional you trust, you can relax a bit!

Although having a conveyor or solicitor when buying or selling a property is not mandatory, it is highly recommended. Taking the DIY route may lead to costly mistakes, for which you can be held personally and financially responsible.  Plus, no other solicitor will deal with you.

A conveyancer or a solicitor is essential for property transactions. This is why the Law Society and Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) have strict rules and standards that these professionals must follow.

Any thoughts about selling your home?

Are you looking to sell your house? We buy houses in any condition. Get in touch if you are thinking of selling.

auction hammer

Property Saviour Price Promise

  • The price we’ll offer is the price that you will receive with no hidden deductions.
  • Be careful with ‘cash buyers’ who require a valuation needed for a mortgage or bridging loan.
  • These valuations or surveys result in delays and price reductions later on.
  • We are cash buyers.  There are no surveys.
  • We always provide proof of funds with every formal offer issued.

We'll Pay £1,500 Towards Your Legal Fees

  • No long exclusivity agreement to sign because we are the buyers.
  • You are welcome to use your own solicitor. 
  • If you don’t have one, we can ask our solicitors for recommendations.
  • We share our solicitor’s details and issue a Memorandum of Sale. 

Sell With Certainty & Speed

  • Our approach is transparent and ethical, which is why sellers trust us.
  • 100% Discretion guaranteed. 
  • If you have another buyer, you can put us in a contracts race to see who completes first.
  • Complete in 10 days or at a timescale that works for you.  You are in control.

Sell with certainty & speed

Share This Article:

Related Articles

Skip to content