How To Find A Good Solicitor

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Once you agree on the offer for the property, you will need a solicitor or conveyancer at the ready as they will process the legal ownership of the property. But you will need a good solicitor or conveyancer to transfer the legal titles quickly and create a hassle-free process for yourself and the property chain. To find the best solicitor for you, you should find one that will specialise in your property type, as they will have the best knowledge available.

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Why Should You Find A Good Solicitor Or Conveyancer?

On the whole, the conveyancing industry in the UK can be a slow and expensive process – which is why finding an effective solicitor is vitally essential when you are looking to buy or sell a property. It will allow you to have a bank of legal advice to provide reassurance, support, and help you during the process. It will also help you make sure you can move house legally and promptly and not hold up any property chains.

Spending just a few days before you start the house conveyancing process and finding a good solicitor will reduce the chances of any deals falling through, as you can speed through the transaction with accuracy and efficiency.

You can tell the difference between a good and lousy solicitor by using the following:

A Good Solicitor Will…A Poor Solicitor Will…
Work efficiently and provide you with expert guidance and support.Fail to read important documents properly and fail to let you know of any problems.
Take a proactive role and work independently while keeping you informed.Fail to answer your questions with real answers and ignore your phone calls.
Help you negotiate with other parties, especially during legal issues and speed up the time it takes you to complete.Cost you money and waste your time by taking longer than necessary to complete parts of the conveyancer process.
Be on your mortgage providers panel of approved solicitors and carry a professional indemnity of at least £1,000,000.Put your house transfer at risk and put you under a lot of undue stress.
Be registered with either The Law Society or The CLC. 

What’s The Difference Between A Solicitor And A Conveyancer?

A solicitor is regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority, whereas Conveyancers are regulated by the Council of Licensed Conveyancers – both are insured. They will work interchangeably similarly during the practices and procedures of the conveyancing process, but they do differ slightly:

  • Experience – A solicitor is a professional lawyer with extensive experience in many different areas of law, whereas a conveyancer is a specialist property lawyer who focuses mainly on residential property.
  • Cost – Due to a solicitor’s broad experience, they tend to cost significantly more than a conveyancer.
  • Expertise – A solicitor may be able to give you better expertise in complex transactions as they can give you knowledge outside of residential property law. Most conveyancers, however, will be able to handle your conveyancing as they do it day in and day out.
  • Priorities – Solicitors may take many complicated cases at once and may lower your case’s importance while dealing with other matters. Whereas conveyancers will prioritise your conveyancing as it’s their responsibility.

When Should You Use A Solicitor Over A Conveyancer?

You should use a solicitor over a conveyancer when buying or selling a property that has a more complex sale, for example, if you are the seller and are going through a divorce and need help with divorce law and property law.

How To Find The Right Solicitor Or Conveyancer

There are many mistakes or tropes people fall into when choosing a solicitor or conveyancer to handle the legal service of moving house. Be it selecting local solicitors over specialists or listening to recommendations from people that have yet to use the recommended services. In this section, we will be busting some common misconceptions… Let’s bust some conveyancer solicitor myths:

    Does The Conveyancer Have To Be Local To You?

    The right solicitor or conveyancer for you doesn’t need to be local. Many homeowners and first-time buyers often choose a local solicitor for their ‘local knowledge’, but for most conveyancing processes, this isn’t relevant. In most cases, you won’t even need to physically meet your solicitor. You are better off finding a specialist solicitor for your type of residential property instead of a general solicitor from your local area.

    The only exception is if the conveyancing involves altering existing boundaries or creating new rights of way; finding a local solicitor may be more beneficial.

    Should You Use An Estate Agent Recommended Solicitor?

    No — a common mistake people make when they choose a solicitor or conveyancer is they use the recommendation from their estate agent. When you select an estate agent’s solicitor, they will receive a commission for acquiring you instead of being recommended for their quality. You are not obliged to use their service and should do your research when choosing a solicitor.

    Can I Trust An Online Conveyancing Service?

    Definitely! You are more likely to find a genuine specialist solicitor online than from word of mouth or recommendations. Many online conveyancing firms offer a fixed fee and no-completion, no-fee basis. This means you only pay the solicitor if the property transaction is successful.

    However, some online conveyancers can be sneaky and have hidden fees once you sign up, so check their negative reviews for any comments from previous customers!

    If I Choose A Solicitor, Do They Need To Be In A Large Law Firm?

    If you’re looking to find a solicitor, it’s worth ensuring they have a legal team to support them as often one solicitor may have vast general knowledge but also specialise in a particular area of law, like personal injury or family law. So, to make sure you have all the bases covered, it’s a good idea to instruct a qualified law firm.

    Are Cheaper Solicitors Better?

    Whatever you do, do not choose a conveyancing firm based on their price – as when it comes to solicitors, you should follow the rule of quality over quantity. The cheapest firms tend to be the busiest and can be the slowest as they struggle to keep up with the demand of conveyancing cases.

    However, as a rule of thumb; a decent or good conveyancing service, you should expect to pay anywhere from £600-£1000 for selling and £700-£1,500 for buying.

If you have any other questions you would like answering, be sure to contact us!

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Tom is a Digital Content Writer passionate about sustainable property & property trends. Regardless of the subject, he will always write blogs of the best calibre. Read more about Tom here.

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About Tom Condon 127 Articles
Tom is a Digital Content Writer passionate about sustainable property & property trends. Regardless of the subject, he will always write blogs of the best calibre. Read more about Tom here.

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