By Frances Traynor
11th December 2017
Thu 26 Oct 2017 by Ellie Pierpoint
Moving house is confusing enough without the added pressure of finding a conveyancer, and for the average person a conveyancer’s role is pretty confusing in itself. It would help if we knew what we were actually looking for, and what questions to ask once we find one…
A conveyancer specialises only in property, and works through the Council for Licensed Conveyancers, whereas a solicitor is a qualified lawyer with the Solicitor Regulation Authority (SRA), and so has the authority to deal with more complicated cases like boundary disputes, lease extensions or dealing with more than one lawyer due to a seller’s divorce proceedings. Despite these differences, whether you book a conveyancer or a solicitor won’t have too much impact on the final outcome and the more important factor is whether or not they do a good job.
When buying a house with a mortgage, your lender will usually only work with certain approved conveyancers and solicitors who are on the mortgage lender’s ‘panel’. If you choose to work with a solicitor/conveyancer not on this list, you’ll have to pay the lender’s representation which could be expensive and complicated. Online conveyancer search engines like The Solicitor Finder can make this step easier by only giving you the details of conveyancers and solicitors that your mortgage lender is prepared to work with.
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While a local solicitor or conveyancer may have been the first choice several years ago due to their extra knowledge of surrounding areas, nowadays the internet allows for most conveyancing cases to be organised remotely, and a non-local solicitor/conveyancer can do just as good a job as a local one. The majority of customers will search for a solicitor or conveyancer online, then correspond via email and telephone. If you need to pick up and drop off paperwork or sign documents, many firms will have an office nearby, but in general the solicitor/conveyancer will be out doing the actual conveyancing, which is surely a good thing.
There are so many solicitors/conveyancers out there it can be difficult to choose one, and while reviews can tell you a lot about what kind of service you’ll be getting, it’s important to be careful of whose recommendations you’re taking as some may not be in your best interest. Your estate agent, for example, will probably recommend you a solicitor/conveyancer but this is often in the interest of their commission and may not be the best choice available to you.
Do your own research and you’ll often find a cheaper and more suitable option elsewhere. Check online reviews, read case studies and ask around for personal experiences. If a solicitor/conveyancer has a good reputation and is happy to discuss processes, prices and completion times with complete transparency, you’re in with a winner.
Homeward Legal can walk you through the conveyancing process from start to finish and offer a fixed fee service with a ‘No Move No Fee’ clause and extensive local experience from CQS-accredited Solicitors. Call Homeward Legal today on 0800 038 6699 for an instant conveyancing quote.
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