Finally, there’s some good news for the UK’s housing market; the National Association of Estate Agents is reporting a 41% increase in house hunter numbers in December 2012 since their lowest December level in 2008 and, according to Moneyfacts.co.uk the cost of a two-year fixed-rate mortgage is now at a record low. But if you want to buy a property how do you choose the right conveyancing solicitor?
Kerry Baldwin, from Tallents Solicitors in Newark, offers some advice for house hunters.
House buying is expensive and it can be all too easy to cut corners, but when it comes to conveyancing, this is one area where you shouldn’t just pick the lowest price. Sadly the reasons can be very clear if things go wrong:
- – You might end up paying more in ‘hidden extras’ that are added to your final legal bill.
- – You never actually speak to your solicitor and instead deal with staff in a call centre.
- – In a worst case scenario, you might miss out on the house of your dreams because another solicitor exchanged first.”
We would always recommend that people do their research and look for a conveyancing solicitor with an established local reputation for providing fast and efficient property transactions. Perhaps ask friends or colleagues whom they would recommend or visit your local law firms personally and ask for quotes.
A local law firm will always have an advantage since they are likely to know and have a good business relationship with the estate agent or builder selling the property. If things don’t quite go to plan, this relationship could prove invaluable in getting things sorted and the sale back on track quickly.
I would also ask your conveyancer to fully explain their quote to you so you know, and can anticipate the full conveyancing costs, and what disbursements will also be incurred such as: search costs, land registry fees and bank transfers. You shouldn’t be charged for items such as photocopying or phone calls.
A cheap conveyancing quote can be very tempting but it will be cheap for a reason. It’s not worth losing your dream home for the sake of a couple of hundred pounds. Always choose an experienced conveyancer who you can rely on to complete your transaction quickly and efficiently.
Even if you’re just looking for a house at the moment, you should find and instruct a solicitor as soon as possible to allow them to be ready to act when you do find your dream home.
At Tallents we understand that buying a home can be an emotional and stressful time so we will always work hard to keep our clients fully informed during the process. We’ve been helping people buy and sell houses since 1774, so have a wealth of local experience to draw on.