In theory at least, you can do your own conveyancing. The reality though, is that it’s simply not worth the risk (not to mention the sheer hassle). When you’re taking ownership of what’s likely to be the most expensive item you’ll ever own, it makes sense not to take any chances.
We have to admit that we’re obviously biased here – and of course we’d be more than happy to have a word with you when the time comes to instruct a solicitor.
Perhaps it’s something to do with being over 250 years old, but we’re not ashamed to say we’re somewhat old-fashioned when it comes to client care. There’s nothing quite like being able to pop into your solicitor’s office to deal with an issue – or even just to drop in some paperwork.
It’s also rather reassuring if you’re dealing with a solicitor who knows the local area, the estate agents, and, very likely, the seller’s solicitors.
Wherever you’re based, “think local” for convenience and personal service. Even then, quality can be mixed. Look for the Law Society Conveyancing Quality Accreditation (this tells you that lawyers in the firm are expert conveyancers).
Also, keep an eye out for the Lexel quality mark (this tells you the firm is managed to a very high standard – which means your calls are going to get answered and your file’s highly unlikely to go astray!).
A handful of other awards are a pretty good indicator of quality too, and if your conveyancers have picked up any prestigious awards then you know you’re in the right hands!
There’s no excuse for a firm of solicitors not to give you a realistic quote right from the outset.
Cunningtons, for instance provides a quote via their website. This is a quote, not an estimate: i.e. it is the figure you will pay barring unforeseen complications.
In a small minority of cases, issues may arise which means there is an inevitable costs overrun. If this is the case, you will be told in advance, and asked if you wish to proceed.
Costs will no doubt be an important factor in determining who to instruct – but look at expertise and reputation too. Ask yourself, “Do I feel at ease handing over the legal side of my house purchase to this firm?”
You should instruct a solicitor at least as soon as the offer is agreed. The seller will want to move fast, so instructing will show you mean business. At the same time, tell your lender which solicitor they will be dealing with.
There is a reason that the best time to sell property used to be the spring: after the dark days of winter, everyone wants to live in a cheery and bright home.
These days the spring effect isn’t so pronounced, with autumn now a hot contender for the title of peak housing sales time, but people are still more drawn to property they’ve seen in the sun. And natural light bouncing around the interior of your house helps too, glinting off pristine surfaces through newly-washed windows and not being banished from dark corners.
When your house goes on the market it can be easy to concentrate on the look of the place, as this is obviously vital when the photos are being shot. And the photos are genuinely how potential buyers first meet your home.
However, when the fabulous photos have done their job and you have people booked in to actually visit the property, remember that they are bringing all their senses with them – and ideally you need to appeal to all 5, and not just sight. So let’s have a quick word about smells.
All the guides we looked at advise a seller to declutter before showing potential buyers around their home.
In the real-life example of Patrick – our conveyancing client in Hove – the decluttering process was undertaken earlier, before the photographs were taken and as part of the moving process.
It looks like exciting times for the homeowner with itchy feet: the housing market’s looking buoyant, with demand far outstripping supply (they say).
The economy’s on the up, interest rates are still at a historic low – it’s a perfect time to sell your home! Pretty much wherever in the country your home is, there are buyers panting to take it off your hands.