Is it all under one roof?

Article

17 December, 2009

When you find the house of your dreams, how do you go about making that dream a reality? It's easy to get carried away with colour schemes and furniture shopping, but what you first need is someone to guide you through the legal process to make your dreams become your bricks and mortar.

If you have never instructed a solicitor before, or you weren't happy with previous solicitors you have used, what should you be looking for?

As a starting point, it's a good idea to speak to friends and family about who they have used and whether they have been happy with the service they have received.

If you cannot find a conveyancing solicitor by recommendation then you must decide how you would prefer to deal with a solicitor. If you prefer the internet, then shop on line for a quote, but bear in mind that buying and selling a property will probably be one of the most significant financial transactions that you will ever make. If you deal with solicitors exclusively on-line you won't have the opportunity for a face to face meeting. You may find you are dealing with a call centre where you speak to a different person at the end of the line each time you call.

If you decide you would prefer the more personal approach, and want to instruct someone closer to home, then call some solicitors in your area. Talk to them, don't just ask about price.

  • Obtain a quote, but make sure you compare the quotes carefully. Some solicitors will add items to their costs, such as completing the Inland Revenue form for you so that they initially appear cheaper, whereas others will include this as part and parcel of their overall costs.
  • Check which searches they will carry out as part of the package and have they discussed optional searches with you? That additional footpath enquiry may disclose a path running through the garden which puts you off buying the property!
  • Who will be dealing with the transaction for you? Are they legally qualified? What is their level of experience? How will they contact you? You may prefer e-mails to letters, can they accommodate that?
  • If you have a timescale to work to, can they realistically meet it; can they scan documents, will they see you out of office hours, will they go that extra mile?
  • What happens when your professional is not available? Do you have another point of contact who knows your file inside out?
  • Are you comfortable talking to them or do they talk jargon? It's important to have a good rapport with your professional and that the transaction is explained to you clearly.
  • Do they give you practical advice about moving house or is it confined to the legal practicalities?
  • Can they help with other issues you may have, such as in house independent financial advice, making a will or any other legal issues you may have?

Once all these questions have been answered you should have a better idea of whether the solicitor will be the correct one to deal with your conveyancing. This is a personal choice and it is vital to consider who you wish to guide you through the process of what is likely to be the biggest purchase of your life.

For further information please visit residential conveyancing, or get an online conveyancing quote or call Forbes Solicitors on Freephone 0800 689 1358 or contact us by email

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