How to Choose a Property Conveyancing Solicitor
Moving house can be a very stressful experience, and that’s without the worry of the sale falling through. A conveyancing solicitor can help take the strain off by managing the legal requirements and ensuring that all is in order for a smooth transaction. But with so many solicitors providing a property conveyancing service, how can you possibly know how to choose? Here are some tips to help:
Although cost is a very important factor, it’s not always wise to let it dictate how you choose a conveyancing solicitor. As with most things in life, the cheapest way isn’t always the best way. You should think more in terms of getting value for your money.
Hiring a conveyancing solicitor can cost anything from £200 to £1,500, all depending on the value of the property and the amount of work involved. But bear in mind that if you’re given a quote for conveyancing, this won’t necessarily account for any additional costs such as postage, VAT and third-party services.
As the expenses involved could greatly vary, it’s very important that you clearly understand how your conveyancing solicitor will charge you. Solicitors work either on a fixed fee or time-costed basis. And in the case of a fixed fee, they must give an estimate of the cost and inform you if there will be any changes.
Be confident about discussing all the costs up front. Professional conveyancing solicitors at even the most prestigious law firms are accustomed to this and will do their best to ensure that you are clear about what you’re paying for. Head to the Law Society website for more information about solicitors’ fees.
Regulation and Insurance
You must choose a conveyancing solicitor who is regulated and has indemnity insurance for peace of mind that you will be protected in the incident of any legal defects. The official regulating body for solicitors is the Solicitors Regulating Authority and you can complain to these and seek compensation if a mistake is made.
Not all solicitors have experience with property conveyancing. Do your research to find out about the background of your select few, to get an understanding of their familiarity with the service. You can also check the Law Society website to find out if your chosen solicitor is accredited as a specialist in the field of property conveyancing. If you cannot find this information online then you may want to get in touch with the law firm or the solicitor to ask a few questions. These may include:
- How long has the solicitor been working with conveyancing projects and how many clients have they represented?
- What arrangements does the solicitor have in place, in case of his/her absence or unavailability for a period of time?
- If the solicitor works as part of a team, how much of the work will be carried out by other team members? Who are these team members and what experience do they have in property conveyancing?
Availability and Affability
One of the main complaints people have about hiring solicitors is that they can be slow responding to clients. You need a conveyancing solicitor who will meet your needs promptly so choosing a specialist solicitor who works alone may not always be the best choice.
Well-established conveyancing solicitors usually work within a team which includes more junior professionals and other well-trained staff. Not only does a team provide more hands for a quicker response but may also be more cost-effective, as the lower value tasks are delegated away from the main professional.
It’s also important that you have a comfortable relationship with your conveyancing solicitor. Hire someone you get on well with and feel you can trust. And don’t be afraid to afraid to change your mind after your initial meeting. You shouldn’t feel pressured to work with someone who seems unhelpful, unclear or dismissive.
It’s usually advisable to choose a local conveyancing solicitor as they should know a lot more about the property in the area. This means they are more likely to be aware of any pending developments that could affect your decision to purchase a property. Choosing someone local also makes meeting up much easier, saving the money and time of travel and postage.
Find out more about property conveyancing at: www.martynprowel.co.uk/property-conveyancing