You will come in contact with a variety of professionals when buying or selling your property, so make sure you are clued up as to who does what.
You will interact with quite a few people over the course of buying or selling a home, but the first will most likely be an estate agent. An estate agent handles advertising properties for sale, finding buyers and often performs other services as well.
One who specialises in managing or letting rental properties may call themselves a management agent or letting agent.
This is typically a bank, but it could technically be another type of financial institution or even an individual. They provide the money to purchase the home, and the buyer pays them back according to the terms of the mortgage.
A land or property surveyor is typically hired by the buyer (or one of their agents) to examine a property and report on its fitness, condition and approximate value. The detail of this report depends largely on whether the buyer pays for a ‘homebuyer’s report’ or a ‘full building survey’.
Both buyers and sellers of property in the UK typically get legal help with the purchase of land. In England and Wales, this can be done by either a conveyancer or a solicitor.
The conveyancers will perform searches to make sure that the property in fact belongs to the seller, and can be sold to the buyer. They make sure of the property boundaries, and what fixtures are part of the sale. The buyer’s conveyancer also makes sure that the property can be used as the buyer intends.
Outside of England and Wales you must use a solicitor rather than a licensed conveyancer. Even in England and Wales, solicitors can perform conveyancing duties. It may be advisable, though, to choose one who specialises in conveyancing, if you go that route. Most large or medium-sized firms have a conveyancing specialist.
This is not an exhaustive list. The cast of characters in your home sales drama may be a lot more extensive, but it will almost certainly feature most of the titles above.