For many first-time buyers, finding the right solicitor to help with the conveyancing process can be an intimidating task.
When looking for a solicitor to help you with conveyancing, it’s a good idea to have several questions ready to ask them before you begin the process. After all, it is important you work with an experienced and reliable property solicitor who will ensure everything runs smoothly.
With that in mind, we outline some of the questions you should ask before making an appointment.
“How much will you charge, and what is included in the cost?”
The cost of conveyancing will vary according to the value of the property you are buying and the nature of the lease, as well as the solicitor you have instructed.
Most quotes will be made up of different elements: the solicitor’s basic fee, which covers their time and labour, as well as disbursements, additional expenses and Stamp Duty Land Tax, which are costs incurred by the solicitor and passed on to you.
It is always a good idea to shop around to find a conveyancer who offers a thorough and trustworthy service for a good price.
“How long will the process take?”
The time conveyancing takes will vary depending on the buyers, sellers and mortgage lenders involved.
Once contracts have been exchanged, buyers are legally obliged to purchase the property: from this point, it usually takes between four and 12 weeks until completion, when the keys are finally handed over.
It is always best to be flexible. Unexpected delays can be incurred at any stage, especially when there are long and complicated chains.
“How can we keep things moving efficiently?”
Although the conveyancing process is primarily conducted between solicitors, there are some parts that will require your input, such as signing and returning contracts.
With conveyancing taking between eight and 12 weeks when there are no delays, keeping things going efficiently is essential to a speedy and successful house move.
“What happens if the sale falls through?”
Unfortunately, planned house sales and purchases can fall through for a variety of reasons. Check with your lawyer from the beginning how much you’ll need to pay if the move doesn’t go ahead.
Even when a sale or purchase falls through, your lawyer might still have done a substantial amount of work. Law firms are businesses – their product is legal advice, and they’ll want to be paid for the work they’ve carried out.
Some lawyers might offer “no move, no fee” deals, but if they do you should double check what this means.
When it comes down to is that, if you’re unsure about something, you should ask. Your lawyer is the legal expert, and that’s ultimately why you’re paying them.