Looking At Buying A House?


01 November, 2011

I am looking at buying a house and need to instruct a solicitor, should I just go with whoever quotes the cheapest?

The answer is clearly no, cost should be something you consider but there are a number of other factors which you should also take into account:


You can look at price comparison websites and be tempted by offers but it is vital that you check the small print as they are often provided on the bare minimum. They may be riddled with disclaimers e.g. do not include variations to the work, mortgages, or disbursements.

Who will deal with the work

From October 6th non lawyers have been allowed to provide legal services. Dubbed "Tesco's Law" it allows Banks, Supermarkets etc to offer legal services along side their traditional business. In addition there are the larger providers of conveyancing services, but in both cases, you are unlikely to meet the person dealing with your purchase.

Ask who will be handling your file, is it a qualified solicitor and what experience do they have? If you want a face to face meeting make sure that is included.

Customer service

It's important that whoever you instruct is proactive and responsive. Check they have the technology to help make the process smoother and can contact you via your preferred method, e.g. telephone, email, post or face to face. Also, do they provide a broad range of legal services, so if any other legal issues arise there are specialist professionals that you can be referred straight through to.

Lenders panels

Most Banks and Building Societies will only allow their portion of the legal work for your mortgage to be carried out by an approved solicitor who is on their panel. It's therefore important to check at the outset that the solicitor you appoint is able to act for your Lender as well, otherwise there may be additional costs for you if a second solicitor has to be appointed to represent your Lender.

For further advice or to obtain a quote please email Michelle Thompson or call 01254 222399.


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