Finding the right solicitor can make the difference between a smooth and a stressful move. Here are some guidelines to help you make the right choice.
The legal process of buying and selling a property is called conveyancing. A conveyancer is the generic term given to either a conveyancing solicitor or licenced conveyancer. All solicitors practising law in England and Wales must also be registered with the Law Society. As soon as you place an offer on a property, your estate agent will ask for your solicitor’s details to pass onto the seller’s solicitor. It is therefore wise to establish contact with a solicitor before you start looking for a property to avoid having to make this important decision in a rush. A solicitor’s job is to take care of all legal aspects of moving house, which include:
• Local search
• Land charges search
• Land registry
• Stamp duty
Selecting a suitable conveyancer is best achieved through personal or professional recommendations, so ask friends and family who have bought a property in the area, Blueprint Estate Agents or your mortgage broker for their recommendations. (Blueprint’s recommended solicitors are Gilbert Turner Coomber Solicitors visit www.gtclaw.co.uk or contact 0208 509 6800).
Apart from the conveyancing work there is also the lender’s legal work to be completed. Your conveyancer could act for the lender, which will save you time and money. The principal task is to draw up a mortgage deed, which sets out the conditions of your mortgage loan. The lender will hold this and the title deeds of your property until the loan is repaid in full.
Whilst conveyancy fees do differ and sometimes wildly, don’t be tempted to opt for professionals that are offering a ‘cheap deal’. This could mean that they are dealing with many clients, which will more often than not result in a slow and potentially sub-standard service and you do want the attention and professional advice that you are paying to achieve.