Conveyancing - is the legal work carried out undertaken on behalf of a property purchaser, this work can be completed by solicitor, a conveyancer or you can even do it yourself.
This process makes sure that the property you are buying has proper legal title and that there are no legal problems for the new owner. As part of this process a number of local authority searches are completed to find out about any developments nearby or problems such as mines, motorways etc.
Until fairly recently most property buyers tented to use solicitors to complete this work. Solicitors are generally more expensive than conveyancers and in many cases a conveyancer can do equally a good job. Its just down to personal preference and who you trust to do the job.
During the 80's and 90's their was a huge rise in firms specialising in conveyancing work. Due to increased competition and the benefits of scale these firms could often undercut traditional solicitors.