Tue 12 Sep 2017
Solicitors are a very important part of the house buying and selling process. Once you have agreed a sale on a house, you will need to instruct a solicitor or conveyancer to transfer the legal ownership of the property from the seller to the buyer.
How to choose a solicitor - questions to ask:
- Have they been recommended?
- Are they members of a professional body?
- Are they easily contactable and do they communicate well with you?
- Are you happy with the price and what it includes?
- What is their average length of time to get an exchange of contracts?
It is important to choose the right solicitor, they will ultimately be the ones in charge of keeping a house sale on track. They handle the contracts, carry out local authority searches, deal with the Land Registry and transfer the funds when it is completion day.
Most estate agents are able to offer recommendations of local solicitors or conveyances. It is also worth asking friends and family who they have used in the past.
The paperwork involved in a house sale can be very complicated and it is important that all parties in the transaction complete paperwork as diligently and promptly as possible. It’s a good idea for sellers to make sure they have available any warranties, guarantees, planning consents or other paperwork that will be required as soon as their property goes on the market to avoid delays in finding these after a sale has been agreed. A small delay by any party can cause a substantive knock-on effect further down the line.
When it comes to the cost of a solicitor, try to agree on a fixed fee rather than being charged by the hour, and try to make sure the costs cover all the necessary steps to complete the sale. The price should include the searches, the bank transfers, any stamp duty and Land Registry fees. It is a good idea to get quotes from a few solicitors and when comparing remember to check they offer a like-for-like service.
To help speed up the sales process and avoid unnecessary delays check out: A sale has been agreed what happens next?
"I would highly recommend John German Lichfield who dealt with my simultaneous sale and purchase very efficiently. The team are very helpful and friendly and nothing was too much trouble. They held my hand all the way through what was a very stressful time and reassured me when needed. The whole process from putting house up for sale to actually moving in to dream home was less than 3 months in total. Cannot rate highly enough!"