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Can I Change My Solicitor During The Conveyancing Process?

Changing your solicitor or conveyancer mid way through the purchase or sale of your home is certainly possible.

Dependent on the stage you are at in the process determines the ease of doing this.

Perhaps you’re unhappy with the level of service you’ve received, the speed at which they are working or feel they’re unable to carry out their duties effectively. Moving home can be a very stressful time and changing solicitor may add to this but could also help ease your stress and worries significantly. Generally speaking it’s simpler to change earlier in the transaction.

You should try to resolve any issues with your current solicitor first by asking for another member of the team to look after the work, or elevating your concerns to a senior member.

If you decide to go ahead here’s some things you need to know.

1.Paying For Work Already Completed

Check your contract. If the contract is ‘no completion no fee’ then you might not have to pay anything. If this is not in your agreement you will be liable to pay for work already done.

2. Can Paperwork Be Transferred?

Sometimes the old solicitor will transfer paperwork to the new one. Usually they won’t do this until you have paid them for the work done. This is normal as they have a lien, a right to possession of the documents until money for them is paid.

3. My Solicitor Is Holding Money

The old solicitor should transfer these funds without issue to your new solicitor. The money you passed over must be held in a separate bank account and easily transferred.
This is not the case if the money is an advance from your lender, in which case it remains their money until the purchase is complete.

4. Will I Be Penalised?

In short NO, you should not have any penalties for changing solicitor,so long as you have not exchanged contracts. In this scenario penalties may be incurred if completion is delayed.

Penalties to be aware of if completion is delayed,

  • Interest is payable at contract rate, usually 5% above base rate
  • Seller can cancel contract entirely and keep any deposit paid
  • Seller/Buyer can sue for losses
  • Buyer can deduct interest from purchase price

Whilst penalties are unlikely it is possible you may face additional fees.

What Next?

Move Quickly, the sooner you put the wheels in motion the better.
You will need to get a new conveyancing quote, get it Fast and Free now.

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