Choosing a good solicitor is paramount to achieving a quick and stress free exchange.
Our top tips for finding a good solicitor:
- Ensure your mortgage provider does not require you to use a solicitor from their list of approved companies. Large banks tend to be more flexible but smaller building societies may have more stringent rules on who you can/can’t use.
- Research local solicitors – you can even ask your estate agents for recommendations. They will have experience with local solicitors and will be inclined to advise on the most responsive solicitors as they want a smooth sale too! Additionally, you will likely have to go to their office to provide your ID in person for checking- which is easier if it is local!
- Ensure they are familiar with the type of property you are looking to purchase- listed/liable to chancel indemnity insurance/brownfield land etc.
- Read reviews online or ask for testimonials. Alternatively ask friends/family or neighbours whom they used and how good their service was.
- Ensure the solicitor works in a way which you find most effective – if you prefer emails or calls ensure they work this way. If you prefer to use post – ensure they will not charge extra for this service. If you can- speak to your solicitor in person/over the phone to get a sense of whether you can work effectively together.
- Ask who will be dealing with your case and if they are away how will your case be handled?
- Read through the full quote and ask for a list of additional costs or subsidies which you may be subject to – for example gift declarations, Government ISA handling fee etc. The clearer you are at the start about the details of your purchase – the less likely you are to be landed with unexpected fees. Remember this is business – do not be afraid to ask about costs up front.
- Appoint a solicitor as soon as possible once your offer is accepted. This shows the seller that you are proactive and keen to move ahead with the sale.