Considerations When Looking for a Conveyancing Solicitor
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Choosing a conveyancer is an important task. You might want to:
- Ask friends and family.
- Ask your lender, mortgage broker or Independent Financial Adviser.
- Read our in depth guide so you are fully informed before making a decision.
Estate agents might recommend a solicitor. They may work in partnership with property specialists. However, this could be an expensive option. Do your homework.
Online conveyancing is a growing area. You’ll deal with them by email or phone but it’s often cheaper. However you might not talk to the same person each time you call. Be aware they can’t deal with complex legal problems.
- Your conveyancer must be a member of the Law Society of England and Wales. In Scotland: Law Society of Scotland.
- They should be a member of the Law Society’s Conveyancing Quality Scheme.
- Conveyancers must be members of the Council for Licenced Conveyancers.
- Choosing a solicitor based just on price could be a big mistake.
There are two types of conveyancing lawyer:
Solicitors: Licensed Property Lawyers. They can offer other legal services in addition to conveyancing. This will depend on their area of speciality. If you stumble upon any unforeseen issues, they may be qualified to help. Solicitors are governed by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) under the Law Society.
Specialist conveyancers are qualified to practice conveyancing law. They deal with buying or selling property and land. Conveyancers are governed by the Council for Licensed Conveyancers (CLC).
Service levels vary a lot between solicitors. Some offer a proactive service employing the latest technology. Others are ’traditional’ and work at a slower pace. Slow conveyancing increases the chance of the transaction falling through.
Choosing the cheapest firm might save on conveyancing fees. However, the cost of losing your new home isn’t worth it.
Bear In Mind:
A ‘quote’ is as an offer to do a job at a certain price. It should remain the same.
An ‘estimate’ constitutes a rough idea of what the job will cost. It isn’t a final price.
Choose a solicitor offering fixed fees rather than an estimate. Solicitor’s fees can range from £200 to £350 per hour. Some firms work on a No Move, No Fee basis; so if your purchase or sale falls through you don’t pay expense of legal fees. It should say in the quote.
Choose the best conveyancer for your move. Check the level of service delivered by each solicitor on your shortlist. No two moving chains are the same. Some are relatively straight-forward, others are more involved. Many transactions require additional work by the solicitor. If you have a quote the solicitor shouldn’t charge any additional fees; for work that falls within the agreed scope of ‘standard’ conveyancing. Check for any additional fees prior to agreeing to a contract.
Some un-reputable solicitors hide additional fees in their T&C’s. The Law Society has introduced measures to address this problem.
Estate agents often have links with law firms and mortgage brokers. Whether you’re buying or selling, the estate agent might recommend a firm they know. If you use them it’s going to be to their financial benefit. But it mightn’t be to yours. Make sure you do your research.
Do your homework to find the right conveyancing firm for you. Don’t assume that the lowest price is going to be the best deal. Those offering low fees could be excluding the essential additional fees and taxes. These known as disbursements. See our conveyancing costs post for info on fees.
What Does Conveyancing Cost?
The breakdown of the total conveyancing costs may include:
Local Authority Searches Fees
Land Registration Fee
Online ID Checks
Bankruptcy Search Fee
Registration of Title
VAT at 20 Percent
Third-party costs and legal fees can pop up. Our solicitors are transparent on costs. With a quote from Conveyancing Supermarket all costs are up-front. No Hidden Extras. The price you receive is the price you will pay.
Deal With Only One Solicitor or Conveyancer
Some online conveyancing quote sites will direct you to a large-scale operation. This is known as a “conveyancing factory”. Each separate element of your transaction goes through different people. You won’t have a single point of contact. There is no one to answer urgent questions. There is no trusted relationship with a legal professional.
Distance Isn’t An Issue
Your property solicitor doesn’t need to be local. You can go through the entire sales process without ever meeting your solicitor. You don’t need to go into an office to sign anything. Your transaction will proceed fine.
Don’t choose a local firm because their office is at the end of the road. Instruct through Conveyancing Supermarket to access the best property law firms. They all have a wealth of knowledge, expertise and quality customer service.
The service you receive can make a huge difference to your moving experience.
Find out the best times to contact your solicitor. Find the best ways to contact them. Do they have a system allowing you to track how the purchase is progressing? Check if they are going to be away from the office for a long time. Who will stand in if they are away?
Are there any aspects of conveyancing that you find particularly confusing or frustrating?