Your solicitor will conduct a range of tasks on your behalf, whether you are buying or selling, or both. General tasks include:
- Drafting and reviewing sale or purchase contracts;
- Dealing with Land Registry;
- Managing the collection and transfer of funds; and
- Providing legal advice and recommendations.
If you are buying a property your solicitor will also carry out additional tasks including:
- Conducting searches on the property (these can include Local Authority search, Environmental search etc.); and
- Managing Stamp Duty charges and payments to HMRC.
Here are some tips you should consider when choosing a conveyancer, whether you are buying or selling a property
Solicitors charge their clients in a variety of ways, a full list of the various options you may encounter are below:
- Fixed fee basis;
- Fixed fee for conveyancing and extra fees to cover the cost of any complex issues or additional work, or if the process requires more time and attention than anticipated;
- Percentage based on the value of the property;
- No completion, no legal fee (but please note disbursements are payable); or
- Hourly basis.
Cheap conveyancing ‘factories’ are notoriously slow as they juggle high caseloads and fail to push the conveyancing process along.
Instead, consider opting for a more personable conveyancing lawyer who is committed to providing the highest level of customer service and comes highly recommended. These solicitors are far more likely to try and meet your demands, be proactive and keep you up to date with what is happening.
Chain and chain free transactions
One common cause of delays in a property transaction involves a chain of transactions. A chain is a line of buyers and sellers all involved in linked transactions.
Always be wary of conveyancing firms guaranteeing fast completion times. Instead, ask the average time it takes for them to complete a conveyancing transaction and how willing they are to work towards a speedy completion. Let your solicitor know if the transaction is chain free or in a chain. All conveyancing lawyers should be more than happy to work to your deadlines and should be honest at the earliest possible date if they are not feasible deadlines.
Recommendations from family members or friends or colleagues who may have been through the process before is one good way to find a solicitor.
Also, estate agents, your mortgage broker, financial advisor or accountant should be able to recommend one or more solicitor’s firms.
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