A Helpful Hardisty guide to Solicitors | Hardisty and Co

When it comes to buying or selling your home, finding the right solicitor for your conveyancing needs is key to ensure your transaction makes it over the finishing line. Instructing the right solicitor is a very important part of moving home in making sure that all the legal formalities are dealt with professionally, and within the timescale you wish to work.

We’ve put together a Helpful Hardisty guide to Solicitors to help you navigate the world of conveyancing.

What is conveyancing?

The term conveyancing refers to all the legal and administrative work associated with transferring the ownership of land or buildings from one person to another.

The conveyancing process begins after you have had an offer accepted on a property. It ends once the final contracts have been signed and the money has been transferred to complete the purchase.

Who does my conveyancing?

You can hire a solicitor, property lawyer or a licensed conveyancer to do your conveyancing for you.

All solicitors are qualified to undertake work of this kind, but not all are experienced in it.

It could therefore prove sensible to hire a solicitor who specialises in residential property transactions, or a dedicated licensed conveyancer who only works on cases of this kind.

You may, however, find that you have to choose from a list of conveyancers approved by your mortgage lender, or pay a fee to go elsewhere.

What exactly will a solicitor do for me?

One of the first things a solicitor or conveyancer will do when instructed is to conduct vital searches with organisations such as local authorities and utility companies to ensure that there are no building plans afoot – an enormous factory next door, for example.

These searches will also reveal if there are sewers running close to the property, if the area is categorised as a flood risk and whether it has any financial liabilities hanging over it from past inhabitants.

They will also advise you of any “incurred costs” such as stamp duty, check the contracts drawn up by the seller’s solicitor – which set out vital details such as the sale price and the property boundaries – and liaise with your mortgage lender to ensure it has all the information it needs to proceed.

Once the process is at an end, they will then pay all the related fees on your behalf (with money you have transferred to the company account) and register you as the new owners of the property with the Land Registry.

How much will it cost?

The cost of conveyancing services depends on the value of the property you are buying – even though there is not necessarily any more legal work involved in buying a £3 million mansion than there is with a £100,000 flat purchase.

However, the conveyancing required for the average property purchase generally costs around £850.

This amount includes the charges for the conveyancer’s time, calls and letters, as well as the fees for the council searches and registration with the Land Registry.

You may find you can save money by opting for an online conveyancer, some of which charge as little as £500.

Remember, cheaper isn’t always better

Over 37% of conveyancing transactions fall through because of the conduct of the conveyancer. This could be that the solicitor doesn’t keep you updated or is dragging their heels when it comes to handling your case. Either way, if you’re paying for a cheap online solicitor, chances are, you’ll pay for what you get:

  • Your process may not have a dedicated conveyancing solicitor assigned to your case;
  • You may not even have someone legally qualified to carry out the work until it comes to signing off;
  • There might be a need for reassurance that all the work is carried out professionally;
  • You also need to appreciate that you will not be able to pop in to have a word with the solicitor should the process get bogged down;
  • Larger, cheap conveyancing firms will be operating from call centres and will not have facilities for dealing with personal callers.

Using a recommended solicitor

Whether you decide to use a solicitor that has been recommended to you by a friend or family member, or even your estate agent, or a cheaper online solicitor, our best advice is to consider carefully whether you trust the recommended firm to complete quickly and for a reasonable fee. We have a panel of solicitors who we work closely with, who provide competitive rates to our clients and all of their costs are quoted upfront so you have peace of mind in knowing your matter will be dealt with at the agreed fee.

Using solicitors recommended by your estate agent has many merits especially if your agent has an existing relationship with the solicitors, which should make it easier for your agent to chase them for any updates or progress reports. For estate agents like ourselves here at Hardisty and Co, it is in our best interests to recommend a firm to you that will be professional and complete the process as quickly as possible and who will be responsive with updates and answers to potential questions as we don’t earn a penny from you until the purchase has been completed.

Using a local, recommended solicitor is also highly beneficial because over the years they have developed lots of local information that may prove invaluable, particularly if you’re looking to buy a flat with a potentially complicated lease or a house on a new development.

Need help in finding a solicitor for your conveyancing needs? Get in touch via our website here and we’ll get back to you with a quote.

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