When it comes to conveyancing we always encourage our customers to be smart and know their choices before going ahead and appointing their legal representative. After all, we are a nation of savvy shoppers, however, we’d stress that shouldn’t necessarily mean choosing a solicitor because they’re cheap. It’s important to know that you have the right to choose your conveyancer, therefore, finding one that serves your needs best should be your starting point.
Choosing a solicitor or licensed conveyancer
When it comes to property buying and/or selling you’ll need to appoint a conveyancer to manage the legal aspect of the purchase and/or sale. To recap: a conveyancer is a legal representative who deals with the legal process of the transfer of property ownership.
At the point of making an offer, the estate agent will also ask for the details of your legal representative. So what’s the difference between a conveyancing solicitor and a licensed conveyancer?
To put it simply a conveyancing solicitor will have trained in a variety of legal fields before making their decision to specialise in property law. Therefore, they may not solely handle property-related cases but on the other hand, they can provide wider legal advice.
Yet, licensed conveyancers are only trained to deal with property transactions and cannot offer advice relating to other fields. A conveyancer will have undergone a series of rigorous examinations to obtain their qualification and are regulated by the Council for Licensed Conveyancers.
Whoever you choose both solicitors and licensed conveyancers are both experts in their respective fields and it will more than likely come down to choosing one whose services best suit your needs.
How to go about choosing your legal expert
If you’re new to the house buying process finding a conveyancer is going to be unchartered territory and you may be unsure how to go about it.
First and foremost you’ll more than likely seek advice from friends and family on who they will have used in the past, whether good or bad.
Your mortgage lender or mortgage advisor may also be able to give a recommendation on a firm as well as the estate agent you’re dealing with. But it’s worth noting that estate agents may receive a referral fee from the firm they work with.
Finally, you may research local, as well as national conveyancers, as more and more businesses instil an online case management approach. This means you don’t necessarily need to appoint someone that is close by if you’re happy to converse with your solicitor over the phone, email and via their case tracker system.
With such an important role, do your due diligence by obtaining several quotations and bear in mind some firms will charge you even if you don’t complete therefore the cheapest isn’t always going to save you the most money in the long run.
For added peace of mind make sure your solicitor is a member of the Law Society of England and Wales and a member of the Law Society’s Conveyancing Quality Scheme. Conveyancers must be members of the Council for Licenced Conveyancers.
What are the typical costs involved?
The costs are more than likely going to vary, however, to help inform your decision when getting a conveyancing quote you should expect to get this split into two parts:
- Legal fees: This is the basic charge for the work which a conveyancer does
- This could be priced as a fixed fee, an hourly rate or a percentage of the property price
- Disbursements: These are charges made by third parties such as local authorities (for searches) and the Land Registry
- These should be costed out individually
Unlike a lot of solicitors, our fees at enact conveyancing are fixed, so there are no hidden surprises and if, for whatever reason, your move does not go ahead, there is no fee.
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