How to become a Conveyancer
Licensed conveyancers are the vital legal link between people and the property ladder, bringing ambitions of buying and selling homes, business premises and land to life. They’re specialist lawyers who make sense of the administration and finances needed to transfer ownership of all types of real estate – from workplaces to green spaces to your clients’ very own Grand Designs.
Looking to start a career in conveyancing? You’ll need a passion for property law, engaging people skills and an eagle eye for detail.
The nine to five
Day to day, you’ll take care of the legal concerns, finance issues and countless queries that are part and parcel of a real estate purchase. This involves some pretty pivotal paperwork – from drafting critical documents for signature to agreeing contracts, mortgages, leases and transfers. Essentially, without your expertise behind the desk, there’s no deal.
You’ll be relied on to:
- Counsel clients on every step of the buying and selling process, demystifying documentation and handling legal hurdles along the way
- Draw up contracts, including leases and transfer documents
- Link in with local authorities, mortgage lenders, estate agents and solicitors to gather property information
- Research legal ownership of real estate
- Deal with mortgages, re-mortgages, lease extensions and transfer of equity
- Pay stamp duty and other taxes
- Ensure contracts are signed and exchanged
Starting out and moving up
To crack into conveyancing, you’ll need to pass the Council for Licensed Conveyancers (CLC) exams. (If you’re already a qualified solicitor, you’ll simply need to apply to the CLC for a licence to practise as a conveyancer, rather than sitting extra exams.)
You’ll also need to hold a minimum of 4 GCSEs (A* to C), including English or English literature, and offer up a precise list of personal attributes:
- Excellent communication, organisational and relationship skills
- Outstanding attention to detail
- Ability to manage your own caseload, remain calm under pressure and work to tight deadlines
- A conscientious, personable and enthusiastic approach
- Proven client experience and a flair for negotiation
- Stellar problem-solving, research, maths and IT skills
You’re likely to earn from £18k - £24k (depending on location) when starting out and have a wide choice on where to make your mark as a trainee or newly-qualified conveyancer – from specialist firms and established legal practices to land-owning estates, local authorities and housing associations. From there, expect to bring home a £25-£40k salary as you sharpen your skills in mid-level conveyancer positions and £60k in more senior conveyancing roles, such as practice partner.
There’s plenty of flex in conveyancing too, with many professionals eventually going it alone as self-employed specialists and freelancers. It’s also common to top up your total earnings with tidy commission payments, take further training to become a solicitor or – after proving your worth in-house – build your own practice from the ground up.
Ready to see how it works in the real world? Plan your next move with TotallyLegal’s conveyancing opportunities.