Can the same conveyancer act for the buyer and the seller?

When buying or selling a house, you’ll need to use a conveyancing solicitor to complete the purchase – but can the same solicitor work for both the buyer and seller? Read on to find out more.
Can a solicitor act on behalf of a house buyer and a seller?

The short answer is yes, as long as certain criteria are met, and there’s no conflict of interest. It’s not a common situation but both the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) and the Council for Licensed Conveyancers (CLC) permit it.

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What counts as a conflict of interest?

A conflict of interest is where two or more parties, such as a seller and a buyer, have competing interests or disagreements about what should happen in a house sale. In this situation, a conveyancing solicitor may not be able to provide legal advice to one of the parties without it negatively impacting the other.

Despite these potential drawbacks, there are some possible benefits to buyers and sellers using the same solicitor:

– It saves time and money as there will be no need for the solicitor to contact another firm. According to Estate Agent Today, the average completion period for a house sale in the UK is 240 days, so any reduction in this is beneficial for all parties.

– It streamlines the process as there are fewer people involved in the purchase.

Criteria for using the same solicitor

In order for a solicitor to act for both a buyer and a seller, the following criteria have to be met:

– Both buyer and seller must be aware of the potential risks.

– Buyer and seller must both provide written consent.

– Buyers and sellers must be represented by different staff members or teams within the firm.

– The solicitor must be happy to act for both parties and believe that no conflict of interest exists.

How to find a conveyancing solicitor

When you move, it’s important to use an established and reputable firm of solicitors. Looking at reviews, asking family and friends, and speaking to estate agents can all help you to find well-regarded companies.

It’s also a good idea to check out the range of services on offer. Some firms, such as, can even provide a concierge conveyancing service which is more personalised, whilst others might specialise in luxury properties.

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In conclusion, it is possible for a conveyancing solicitor to act on behalf of both buyers and sellers, as long as certain guidelines are met. There are benefits to doing so but the most important thing for a smooth house move is to choose a solicitor with an excellent reputation and good reviews.

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