Buying and selling a home is notoriously stressful. As a buyer or seller – or both – you will have a lot to contend with, so at the very least you want the peace of mind of knowing that the sometimes baffling legal process of conveyancing is in the hands of an efficient and reliable professional. Finding such a person isn’t always simple, so we have identified five ways you can increase your chances of getting the very best service.
It is very tempting to accept the recommendation of your estate agent. This may be made entirely in good faith; however, estate agents frequently receive commission for each referral they make. There is nothing sinister about this but you should ask your agent, as you have every right to know.
1. Shop around
All conveyancers perform the same functions but not necessarily in the same way; for example, you will come across different fee structures. As conveyancing costs can be considerable, it is important to gather a range of quotations. Most conveyancing costs are calculated according to the sale or purchase price, but you can learn more about other aspects from the HomeOwners Alliance. Ask for a breakdown of fixed and contingent costs, disbursements, third-party charges and VAT.
2. Check credentials
Always check the qualifications of a conveyancer and choose one regulated by a professional body such as the Law Society for solicitors or the Council for Licensed Conveyancers if they are a conveyancer. Don’t discount someone simply because they may be relatively new. Although experience is desirable, a fresh and energetic newcomer may have other advantages over someone who has been doing the job for decades.
Ask friends, colleagues, neighbours and relatives about conveyancers they have used, as they are likely to give very honest and reliable accounts. You can also find independent reviews online on websites such as Trustpilot. Another useful route to follow is that of a concierge conveyancing service such as Sam Conveyancing, which can put you in touch with carefully selected conveyancers and appoint a member of its own team to guide you through the process.
There is no need to engage a conveyancer local to you. Technology makes it possible for you to work with someone based around the corner or 500 miles away, so distance should be no bar.
5. No fee guarantees
Sometimes property transactions collapse. No one wants this to happen, but sometimes it can’t be helped. You want to avoid being landed with considerable fees in these circumstances, so always ask a conveyancer if they will offer you a no completion – no fee guarantee. Some will and others won’t, but always ask.