Why It’s Essential To Compare Conveyance Solicitors
When the time comes to find a conveyancing solicitor you will have a lot of information thrust your way, all of it designed to entice you to use a particular service or practitioner. Interpreting it all and making the correct decision on who to use is vital. You will often find yourself comparing several conveyancing quotes in order to choose the best conveyancer and it’s important to look beyond simply the cheapest quote.
Cheap legal fees often mean that there are additional costs hiding in the small print. Some firms may offer a lower “legal fee” and list other fees separately. Other firms may bundle all of these into a single, larger fee on their quote. However, the transparency laws that were introduced in December should make it all a bit clearer and all fees should now be displayed up front.
Fees and disbursements should be made clear from the outset and the cost of each item made explicit. “Cheaper” search packs offered by one solicitor may not include the same searches as those offered by another.
When researching something that is unfamiliar to us it is second nature in this day and age to turn to the internet to provide us with the information we need. Quite often we will check several different sources to make sure the information we have found corroborates with that available elsewhere. The same is true now you are looking to find the best and most suitable conveyancing solicitor. This could even be what brought you to Conveyancing Supermarket, and this is where we could be the most use to you on your conveyancing journey.
So you don’t have to, Conveyancing Supermarket have done the research for you, shopped around online if you like, to find the best quotes and make sure you are provided with information from the companies that best suit your needs.
To keep yourself further informed, see our guide on the conveyancing process to give you an idea of what you should be offered. Once you have a few quotes, speak to the firms directly and they should clarify anything that wasn’t made clear and you will get a feel for the company.
Your conveyancing solicitor quote will include basic fees, disbursements and expenses.
Basic fees are the general solicitors fees that cover time and materials used. Disbursements and expenses are costs that are incurred by external processes and procedures that get passed onto you.
These might include:
- Local Authority Searches
- Stamp Duty Land Tax
- Land Registry
- Environmental and Local Searches
- Expenses have VAT added and include; electronic ID verification, telegraphic transfers and shared ownership issues or new build properties.
How Do I Choose A Conveyancing Solicitor
Unlike an estate agent, it is not essential for your conveyancing solicitor to know the area you are in. Local area knowledge is usually available easily online. Problems or issues such as local developments or flood risks that might affect your purchase will show up during the searches.
The most important point to ensure is the reputation of your conveyancer.
Don’t fall into the trap of going for a cheaper offer only to find there are lots of add-ons that push up the conveyancing costs considerably. You might also find that the level of service is not up to the standard that you expect as well. Choosing a solicitor based on cheapness alone is rarely the most wise choice. Many things including price should be considered.
However, when it comes to price, ask for a list of all charges upfront so you can make a fair comparison with other companies. Also ask whether they have indemnity insurance and what it covers, just in case they make costly errors.
Are you happy to exchange emails with your solicitor and to speak on the phone or do you feel safer having face to face access to them? Remember, it is not vital that you share a locality with your solicitor but it is important that you feel comfortable with how you communicate.
A lot of online conveyancers operate a call centre which can be useful if you want to contact them outside normal office hours. Others might have an online system which you can use to view the progression of your case from your own home. On the downside, you might have to deal with several people rather than just one point of contact.
If you choose to use a local firm you could might be able to pop into the office to check on progress and you are more likely to be assigned to an individual conveyancer or solicitor, but you will probably be restricted to 9-5 opening hours.
You should look at solicitor’s accrediations. For solicitors, this is the Quality Conveyancing Scheme, run by the SRA (Solicitors Regulation Authority) and for Licensed Conveyancers, it’s the CLC (Council for Licensed Conveyancers). We check our partners thoroughly, as we’re very choosy as to who we work with.
Successful conveyancing solicitors should be happy to display their reviews to the public. Have a look at the different solicitors and see what is being said about them. Consider reviews on Google, Trustpilot or the social media channels.
Time scale is always a question that is important to homebuyers. Everyone wants their purchase to be processed in a specific time frame which is not always possible. The average time for completion is 8-10 weeks. Some very simple processes can take around 6 weeks but more often than not this is not the case. Converse with your solicitor to get a clear idea of how likely your move date is.