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Your Home = Your Choice of Conveyancer

Posted by: Mim ClaridgeJul04

How do you choose who to use?

Often, when buying or selling a property, people feel under pressure to use a conveyancer recommended by their estate agent. Or if they are purchasing a new build property, a conveyancer recommended by the developer. In the case of the latter, use of a developer’s recommended solicitor is often tied in with the developer agreeing to pay legal fees. The other option, of course, is to use a solicitor sourced by you. So how do you choose who to use?

Most estate agents with a national presence will recommend a conveyancing firm which deals with a large volume of transactions. In such cases, the usual internal set-up within such firms means that transactions are dealt with by large teams, with the consequence that you may speak to one person one day and another person the next. Additionally, whilst each team will have a team leader, the sheer volume of calls received means that it is often difficult to speak directly with that team leader about a problem or concern that you may have.

As for conveyancers recommended by developers – there can be advantages; such as the conveyancer having a more in-depth knowledge of the development site due to the large volume of transactions they will have acted on in relation to a particular development – but you have to wonder if this will lead to blinkered advice. Consider, for example, the news over the last few years regarding new build leasehold properties rendered un-saleable due to their rent escalation clauses. Had the conveyancers not had such a close relationship with the developers would they have scrutinised the set-up and the leases more thoroughly and would their advice to their clients have been different?

At the end of the day the choice is yours…and when making your decision, keep the following things in mind:

  • Don’t make your decision purely based on price or incentives; do some research. If your conveyancer doesn’t do the job properly, the costs of rectifying a problem or mistake could cost you more in the long run than the money that you will initially save.
  • Where a recommendation is made by an estate agent, ask the estate agent if they are receiving a referral fee from the conveyancer.
  • If your conveyancer is too busy, they will find it difficult to deal with your case as quickly as you may want them to. If you have timescales for exchange and completion in mind, let your conveyancer know from the outset and ask if they can meet these timescales.
  • Above all, the best way to make sure that you make the right choice is by speaking with the person who will be acting for you, and asking any questions that you may have regarding the process.

 

Lana Farrell, Head of Property

This article does not constitute legal advice and is for general information purposes only.

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