Buying a property? How to find a better solicitor or conveyancer
The law, it seems, is a lot like every other service. You get what you pay for… You’ve found your ideal North Fylde home. Now you’re at the business end of your house hunt, the point at which searches need completing, contracts need exchanging and stamp duty needs paying (if the price is £125,000 or above).
It’s time to instruct a conveyancer or solicitor to do the job for you. But how do you spot good from, well, not so good? It’s not simply a matter of choosing a solicitor over a licensed conveyancer (or vice versa). Solicitors may have covered a broader scope of the law during the course of their training, but either should be perfectly capable of managing the legalities of buying or selling your home in Fylde.
It’s not a question of protection either. Both solicitors and licensed conveyancers are required to have indemnity insurance, so if, for example, they fail to spot that the council wants to build a link road through your garden you’ll be entitled to compensation. Of course, the better solicitor/conveyancer will spot the link road in their local authority search before it becomes a problem…
Which neatly leads us on to our top tips for choosing the right conveyancer to help you buy or sell your property in North Fylde:
1. Conveyancing ‘factories’?
Increasingly, conveyancing is handled by big brands operating on a mammoth scale. Many have argued that high volume, low fee operators tend to treat customers as numbers, not people. The production line process that demands ever greater ‘efficiency’ can, it is suggested, make it more likely things get missed. That could, at the very least, delay the process. At worst it could leave you seeking compensation (like the link road in the example above).
Choosing a ‘factory’ doesn’t automatically mean poorer service, (although it can be more difficult to speak to the same person twice, or to a human being at all) but if caseloads are bulging at the seams, how confident can you be that due diligence is as diligent as you’d hope?
Be sure to review your local, smaller firms too so you can make an informed decision about who’ll do the job best for you.
2. Be wary of the cheapest deal
Cheaper upfront deals can mean lots of additional fees that crop up later. They can end up costing you hundreds of pounds extra, so whatever deal you opt for, make sure you know exactly what’s covered.
3. Fixed fees
Beware of any solicitor or conveyancer working on hourly rates, as you’ll have no real indication of your final bill until you see it. Fixed fees ensure you know what you’ll get – and how much you’ll pay for it.
4. Join the 21st century
Surveys continue to show that the majority of us would prefer to have our conveyancing handled by a high street practitioner rather than a big brand, but that high street solicitor should still be technically savvy enough to send an email.
If you want to be kept up to date with the progress of your house sale, choosing someone who can text or email you can make the process far less stressful.
It’s also worth remembering that the modern conveyancer or conveyancing solicitor specialises. So make sure that, whatever else your law firm does, the person you’re dealing with works in conveyancing and nothing else. You don’t want errors or delays creeping in because your solicitor “doesn’t do much conveyancing these days” or because they’re pulled in half a dozen different directions.
5.Serious about service
Buying or selling your Fylde home is always going to come with a degree of stress. But you can make the process an awful lot easier when you choose a conveyancer:
You know by name
You can actually reach
Is able and willing to communicate regularly
As with any other service, you’re the customer, and it’s not unreasonable to expect to be able to ask questions and receive answers in plain English. Ask around for personal recommendations for solicitors and conveyancers who don’t just ‘do the job’ – they make the whole process easier.
Need help in finding the right conveyancer to help you buy or sell your North Fylde home? Call us and we’ll be happy to point you in the right direction.