In the first mini blog in this series of FAQs about Residential Conveyancing, Jessica Castella explains what to consider when hiring a solicitor.
Instructing a solicitor early on in the process will give you a significant advantage when agreeing a sale because you will be in a good position to get matters moving quickly. Conveyancing is also an important aspect of buying a new home, therefore finding a good solicitor is crucial. So how do you go about this?
- Seek personal recommendations
Word of mouth is a reliable method of ensuring you get a good service, like in any trade. Start by asking friends and colleagues, who have recently bought or sold property, for recommendations of solicitors they have used.
Your estate agent selling your home may also be able to recommend a good solicitor. They deal with solicitors on a day to day basis and will know which firms of solicitors are more proactive than others.
- Consider a local solicitor
It is not imperative that you choose a local solicitor, however, a solicitor’s local knowledge of the area can prove useful and benefit your sale. If your solicitor is not accustomed to cases like yours this could hold up the process and your level of service.
It can also be reassuring to know that you can deliver documents and ID by hand, especially if there are time pressures later on down the line.
- Communication is key
There is nothing worse than ‘radio silence’ when you are in the process of buying and selling. This frustration can be avoided by having a conversation with your solicitor at the beginning of the process to find out what you can expect in terms of contact and speed.
It’s a good idea to obtain quotes from different firms of solicitors to ensure that you are getting a good deal, and fully understand the costs involved. Request an itemised quotation to confirm your legal fees inclusive of VAT together with third party disbursements such as the cost of local authority searches, land registration fees and stamp duty land tax. Be aware of hidden costs.
Do not compare quotes on costs alone. Buying a house is most people’s biggest single purchase of their life so it is vitally important to have the best quality legal advice.
If you have any questions, please contact our Residential Conveyancing team today on 01225 750000 (Bath), 01749 342323 (Wells) or 01935 813691 (Sherborne).