“If you think employing a professional is expensive, try employing an amateur”
When it comes to employing a solicitor to handle your conveyancing, this phrase rings especially true. When you buy or sell your property, you want complete confidence in the professional that you employ. After all, for most people, buying a property is the single biggest investment that they will make. This is precisely why it is money well spent to employ a solicitor who may not necessarily be the cheapest. The right solicitor can be the difference between a smooth, trouble-free house move and a time-consuming, stressful one.
Break down the costs
When considering which firm to employ, make sure you receive a full breakdown of costs. If they state that there could be additional costs, make sure you are aware of what these could be. For example, handling “Help to Buy ISAs” or completing SDLT returns may incur additional legal fees. These fees could see your overall fee being not too much less than a quote from a ‘pricier’ solicitor.
Anticipating the unexpected
Remember, in any conveyancing transaction there may be unanticipated costs. For example, the cost of obtaining an indemnity policy or, in leasehold purchase transactions, the costs of sending the Notice of Transfer to the Management Company. Many of these unanticipated fees are charged by third parties. Your solicitor should be able to advise you more fully once they have received the contract paperwork.
Top tip for time saving
Consider instructing a solicitor before finding a buyer for your property or a property to purchase. There are a number of processes that need to be completed between yourself and the solicitor prior to beginning the legal work. For example, ID checks and the completion of initial paperwork. This may give you a competitive advantage over another party. Completing these processes ahead of time can help speed up the legal process once you find a buyer or a property to purchase.
As a time-saving tool, when selling, you may also wish to consider keeping all your documents in a handy bundle to hand over to your solicitor, i.e:
building regulation completion certificates
Check that you have all relevant planning consents and building regulations approval in place for any works you may have undertaken to the property. This will enable your solicitor to quickly answer any inquiries raised by your purchaser’s solicitor.
Getting in early with the searches
On a purchase, consider instructing your solicitor to put in hand your property searches as early as possible. Local authorities will often have delays of several weeks in turning these searches around.
If your solicitor is juggling a high number of cases, he may overlook more complex issues. Even if this does not delay your potential purchase, it may well cause issues and affect a later sale of the property. Remember that a good solicitor will always be able to advise you on any side issues which may be associated with property transactions, i.e:
handling lease extensions
advice on restrictive covenants
settling boundary matters
If you are moving to the countryside, Godwins also have a wide-ranging expertise in matters such as rights of way, basic payment schemes, and grazing agreements.
Who are Godwins Solicitors LLP?
Godwins Solicitors LLP are based in Winchester. We serve clients in London and the Home Counties. We have exceptionally talented lawyers who can help you through every step of the buying or selling process. We pride ourselves on keeping you fully informed and guided throughout the process. Our lawyers are proactive rather than reactive. This allows us to progress transactions as quickly and efficiently as possible.
For further information, please feel free to contact any member of our property team. You can call 01962 841484, or email us at the following addresses:
Rupert Morton-Curtis (Rupert.Morton-Curtis@godwins-law.co.uk)
Lorna Secker (Lorna.Secker@godwins-law.co.uk)
Radu Herklots (Radu.Herklots@godwins-law.co.uk)
James Chaplin (James.Chaplin@godwins-law.co.uk)
Fainche Whelan (Fainche.Whelan@godwins-law.co.uk)