If you are buying or selling a property, you will need to instruct a conveyancing solicitor. We take a look at how to do this, what to think about when choosing a solicitor and how soon you can approach them.
Moving house is acknowledged to be stressful, so it is important to have an efficient conveyancing solicitor representing you. A good conveyancer will not only deal with the legal aspects of your sale or purchase, but will also move the transaction along, deal effectively with issues that could otherwise cause delays and make sure they are available to speak to you as needed to let you know how your move is progressing and to answer your questions.
You can ask family and friends for their recommendations if any of them have moved recently. At Lockings Solicitors, we receive a high number of word-of-mouth recommendations from our clients because of the service we provide. We always work hard to progress sales and purchases as quickly as possible, while also paying attention to detail.
Testimonials from former clients will also give you an idea of how the firm performs. You can see what some of our clients have said about us here.
You may also want to choose a firm that is local to you, if you want to be able to drop off paperwork, sign documents and have help filling in forms.
Finally, if you instruct a solicitor who provides a clear costs estimate from the outset, you can avoid nasty surprises later on. We always supply a full breakdown of the likely costs as well as a no-sale, no-fee guarantee.
It is sometimes more important to look at the experience a lawyer has than whether they are a solicitor or conveyancer. Solicitors are members of the Law Society and have extensive legal training. If you use a solicitor, you should ensure that they have experience in conveyancing.
Conveyancers may have other qualifications and will specialise in conveyancing, meaning they often have an excellent depth of knowledge in this complex area of law. At Lockings Solicitors, our residential conveyancing team includes expert property solicitors as well as conveyancers with many years of experience. Our clients find that this offers the level of expertise they need as well as the backing of solicitors with Law Society membership and the access to mortgage lenders that this provides.
As a law firm committed to a high level of service as well as the provision of excellent legal advice, we have been awarded the Law Society’s Conveyancing Quality Scheme accreditation and all of our team adheres to these high standards.
You can instruct a solicitor early on in the buying or selling process, for example, at the point that you put your property onto the market. This will allow them to carry out initial identity checks in readiness for opening a file. They will also be able to let you have the necessary forms for completion, including property information and fixtures and fittings forms.
This will avoid any delay once you have found a buyer. Similarly, if you will be purchasing a property, you can instruct a solicitor early on in the search and they will be able to let you have their initial engagement letter. You will also be able to provide them with your identity documents so that the checks that are required by law can be carried out.
If you have any questions about instructing a solicitor to carry out your conveyancing, we will be happy to answer them. Below are answers to some of the more common questions that we are asked, but if you would like to know anything else, please feel free to give us a ring.
To see a breakdown of the likely charges involved in your conveyancing transaction, see our conveyancing costs page, where you can also download a free guide to conveyancing fees.
We will provide you with a comprehensive quote at the outset so that you know exactly what to expect. If you would like us to go through the costs with you and give you an estimate over the phone, please call us.
Conveyancing generally takes between 8 and 12 weeks to complete. If there is a lengthy chain of related transactions, then your case could take towards the upper end of this range to complete, as everyone will need to be ready before contracts can be exchanged. If there is no chain or only a short chain, then your completion could be sooner.
Issues that might cause some delay include problems revealed during a survey of the property, queries regarding the legal title, missing paperwork such as planning consents or waiting for a mortgage offer.
If you want to complete your sale or purchase without avoidable delays, there are steps you can take to prepare.
If you need a mortgage, approach your choice of lender as soon as possible and ask them for a mortgage decision in principle. They will be able to go through most of the checks and do the necessary work with you to prepare their offer in advance of you finding a property to buy. Once you have found somewhere, it is then a much quicker process for them to issue the formal offer.
There are frequently delays in obtaining local searches as local authorities struggle with substantial workloads. Ask your solicitor how they will be dealing with this. At Lockings Solicitors, we use an insurance-backed personal search company to carry out searches on our behalf. This is generally more accurate than relying on the local authority and also avoids delays.
Once you have found somewhere to buy, try to arrange for a survey to be carried out as soon as possible. This will give you time to obtain quotes for any works that might be needed to the property and renegotiate the price if necessary without holding up the transaction.
Finally, instruct a solicitor as early in the process as you can so that they can carry out the identity checks and open a file. They will be able to let you have the initial paperwork to be completed so that your sale or purchase can get off to a flying start.
At Lockings Solicitors, our expert conveyancing solicitors in East Yorkshire represent clients in residential sale and purchase conveyancing as well as in a full range of other property matters.
If you are buying or selling your home and you would like to speak to one of our property team, ring us on 01482 300 200, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or fill in our contact form and we will call you back promptly for a FREE initial chat.