The Right Legal Support Takes the Stress Out of Moving
Buying a house is a huge commitment and can be fraught with stress. Choosing the right solicitor to help you is not a decision to be taken lightly.
Moving house frequently features in those lists of “most stressful life events” that seem to be so popular on the internet at the moment. In fact, it falls only a short way behind family bereavements, getting divorced or getting fired from your job in terms of the most stressful things you can go through.
Nevertheless it is something we all do from time to time. While the physical aspects of finding the right house, packing up your belongings, finding new schools for the kids and so on are bad enough, it is the legal aspects of the transaction itself that often cause the most worry. In part, that is because we feel these aspects to be out of our control. Contracts, searches, stamp duty, it is all another language and while it is all in a day’s work for conveyancing solicitors, the rest of us can soon feel overwhelmed. That’s why it is essential to choose the right conveyancer for your needs. Here are some factors to keep in mind when making your choice.
You’ll develop a personal rapport with your solicitor, in fact it is not so different to the relationship between a doctor and patient. So a personal recommendation from a family member or friend goes a long way. If someone’s worked with a particular individual or firm before and had a good experience, that’s all you need to know. The estate agent will probably recommend someone – they might even have an in-house conveyancing team – but you are under no obligation to go with their suggestion. Keep in mind that they probably have a vested interest.
It’s a small world thanks to the online age, and you could appoint a conveyancing firm from anywhere. But is that a good idea? In general, a company with local knowledge will provide added value as they know the local authority and will be aware of common issues. Also, keep in mind that much of the documentation involved in conveyancing is still in hard copy and needs ink signatures. So using a local firm where you can easily pop in definitely makes sense.
The personal touch
Choose a firm where you know exactly who you will be working with and how to reach them. There is nothing wrong with dealing with their assistant, receptionist or PA sometimes, but what you want to avoid is one of those anonymous firms where you seem never to speak to the same person twice.
Qualifications and accreditation
Of course, you need to be certain that the conveyancer you use is properly qualified. Choose a firm that is accredited under the Conveyancing Quality Scheme. That way you will know they follow best industry practice and meet the highest benchmarks when it comes to customer service and legal expertise.
While it would be a mistake to make it a deciding factor, you do, of course, need to be clear about how much the conveyancing services will cost you. As a general rule, it is better if you can agree an all-in price rather than an hourly rate, as the latter can cause costs to creep up alarmingly if there are complications.