A good, motivated solicitor will make a HUGE difference with your transaction whether you are buying or selling and cheap ones are NOT always the best bet!!
Here is our mini-guide to help ensure that the process runs as smoothly as possible.
- Phone a friend? Agent?
Get recommendations from people you know. Whether that be a close friend, family member or your Estate Agent. People are often very happy to suggest a good solicitor and just as ready to steer you away from one who caused them problems.
- Find a solicitor who is CQS accredited
What is that I hear you ask? It’s the Law Society’s Conveyancing Quality Scheme, a register of solicitors who are authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority when it comes to conveyancing (i.e. the buying and selling of houses). Read up on it at the Law Society website, www.lawsociety.org.uk
- Shop locally
Yes, you are free to choose a solicitor who is in the Outer Hebrides but it will be easier to choose a nearby firm, so you can drop into their offices and deal face-to-face if the need arises. Solicitors in the area will also have a good grasp on local issues and potential problems. Your estate agent might be able to point you in the right direction! This is an added benefit of using a traditional, locally based estate agency firm over an internet-only agent. The main thing is to check in advance that the firm you choose is experienced in handling conveyancing and has a clearly-identifiable conveyancer.
- Avoid relatives
Even if your cousin is a solicitor and giving you “mates’ rates,” don’t give in to family pressure. Conveyancing is not a social engagement, it’s a business. And when you’re in a contract race, you need a solicitor who is on the ball and not doing your conveyancing in between more lucrative jobs.
- Ask how much it will cost
A crucial question. If a firm is vague about its charges, don’t hesitate to get quotes from other solicitors. Some solicitors have their own in-house conveyancing departments, which charge lower fees than the firm’s senior partner. There’s nothing worse than, at the end of the process, getting a surprisingly large bill for “disbursements”, i.e. expenses the solicitor has incurred making enquiries on your behalf. Sometimes this is inevitable if problems arise, but at least get a written quote that will give you an upper and a lower figure. ALWAYS read the small print!
- Ring round two or three firms
When you are getting quotes, listen if one firm sounds more helpful, or keener on getting your business than the others.
- Don’t delay
Your solicitor can only work on what is provided, therefore to help them out make sure you are quick to the mark at responding to any assistance they may require from yourselves i.e. initial paperwork and replies to enquiries.
We here at Hawkins Sales and Lettings have great working releationships with a few chosen solicitors and we would be happy to offer any advice needed. Contact us today to discuss these.