Want to Exchange your Property Fast? Choose the Right Solicitor.
Are you already scared by the sound of “find the right solicitor”?
Selling a property can be a long and arduous process. Marketing the property, hosting viewings, negotiating with different potential buyers; all of it can take plenty of time. There’s a lot of paperwork and legal processes that have to be completed, as well. Being ready to sell as soon as possible can help, but there’s only so much you can do as the property owner.
That’s where a solicitor comes in. Choosing the right solicitor can help you ensure that the process is not only as efficient as possible but also that the contract and funding transfers go without a hitch. How do you make sure you choose the best? Is it wise to only go for the cheapest or fastest, or are there other factors that should play in your decision?
The difference between a conveyancer and a solicitor
Functionally speaking, the role played by the conveyancer and the solicitor is practically the same as far as you are concerned. They are there to manage legal contracts, to ensure the transfer of ownership, as well as the transfer of payment, as well as to offer any necessary legal advice. The primary difference is in price. Conveyancers deal primarily with property law and the conveyancing process, so they deal with property sales all the time. Solicitors who don’t market themselves as conveyancers, on the other hand, are likely to practice in other areas of law. Since they don’t specialise in conveyancing, they may charge more for helping in that particular process.
One reason you might choose a solicitor over a conveyancer, however, is if your sale has some difficulties with it. Boundary disputes or selling as a couple that is getting divorced could make the extra legal advice beyond conveyancing a necessity.
Make sure they have the right certifications
Both solicitors and conveyancers are regulated by different bodies that they must be members of. If you find their website, brochure, or visit their offices, make sure you keep an eye out for them. For instance, you want to make sure that conveyancers are members of the Council for Licensed Conveyancers and that solicitors are backed by the Solicitors Regulation Authority. There are other certifications you want to see, such as ensuring that they are members of the Law Society of England and Wales or the Law Society of Scotland. That’s a good assurance that they are equipped to handle your needs suitably.
Going with the cheapest option isn’t always necessarily the best and should be considered alongside the other points we detail below. However, it’s still important. You don’t want to be unnecessarily overcharged. Make sure you understand how much you stand to pay before you sign anything. Know whether you’re paying a fixed fee, hourly fee, or if they want a percentage of the property price. Then, ensure they can provide transparent, detailed quotes on exactly how much they charge for all of their services. From dealing with bank transfers to stamp duty to land registry fees, there should be no hidden charges. Don’t be afraid to ask if their quotes include all fees and charges. If they turn out to have missed a fee, it’s a good sign that they are not as transparent about their costs as they should be.
Google can be your friend
It’s becoming much easier to see what kind of reputation and past dealings a solicitor has by looking online. If you spot a solicitor or firm you are interested in working with, use the internet to find reviews on them. Customer reviews, found on Google Reviews and other sites, can help you understand not only how effective they were, but how their customer service, communication skills, and other important details are.
Pay attention to how they communicate
Conveyancers and solicitors can be busy at the best of times, but that doesn’t mean they should just leave clients hanging. If you have trouble getting in contact with anyone at their office or it takes days for them to reply after you’ve left a message or had your first phone call with them, that’s a bad sign. An uncommunicative solicitor can slow down the conveyancing process significantly, so pay attention to how effectively and quickly they get in touch with you.
A good solicitor or conveyancer is crucial to the process of selling the home. Hopefully, the tips above help you find one that’s effective and efficient without making the process any pricier than it needs to be. However, it’s wise to be prepared for the costs and to budget in advance for your conveyancing needs.