Choosing the right conveyancing solicitor is arguably one of the most important things you do when you’re buying your property. A good solicitor will be reliable and communicative and allow you to focus on the exciting parts of the house buying journey.
We’re going to be debunking all the myths surrounding the process and make sure you are well prepared before you instruct a solicitor.
1. Appoint a solicitor on your mortgage lender’s panel
This should be the first thing you do before you look at fees or listen to any recommendations. If you are taking out a mortgage, like many people do, your mortgage lender will have a panel of solicitors who can act for them.
Many buyers put themselves in stressful situations by failing to ask their solicitor if they are on their mortgage lender’s panel. If your solicitor is not on the list, your lender can may charge you a fee for instructing their own solicitor who can oversee the mortgage deal, or you may be forced to find another solicitor in short notice.
Our advice is to go for a solicitor who is on your mortgage lender’s panel so that you save money and speed up the process.
2. Take your estate agent’s recommendation with a pinch of salt
You are not obliged to use the solicitor that your estate agent is recommending. Your estate agent wants you to buy your property. It’s in their interests that you move into your property and finalise the deal as soon as possible.
However, often your estate agent will be working with a law firm and receiving a referral fee every time a buyer instructs them as their solicitor.
If you go ahead with the recommendation, you may find that your solicitor will factor in the referral fees and charge you higher. Now this may put you off listening to your estate agent but we advise that you take it into consideration but also do your research.
3. You shouldn’t limit your search to solicitors only in your area
You may feel that it is natural you instruct a solicitor in your area. Your estate agents may have advised you such but we will advise you the opposite.
Of course local knowledge is important but overall, expert understanding of property is what will speed up the process for you. There is no reason for you to instruct a solicitor near you for convenience purposes because you will never need to meet with your solicitor. Most matters are handled remotely so you don’t need to limit your search to solicitors in your area only.
4. Make sure they breakdown your fees before you instruct them
What is key in this is transparency. You should feel confident in your solicitor and understand exactly what you are paying for. You can expect to pay:
- General conveyancing fee – the average is typically around £850
- Search fees – check if there are any problems or future building plans that could affect your property e.g environmental search, water and drainage search
- Stamp Duty this is a tax that you pay the Government when you purchase any property
- Property deeds – getting official copies of the deeds to your house from the Land Registry if you don’t have the deeds
other valuable tips:
5. Always do your own research!
Have questions of your own when speaking to your solicitor for instance, if you are a landlord always keep up to date with changes in regulation and the law around property.
It is very important that you take our recommendations on board because the different between a good solicitor and an average solicitor could be the difference between you quickly moving in to your new home, and you losing the deal.
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