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.
For more advice on buying a house, get in touch, or read our full guide:
Finding the right property – What do you want and how to find it
Costs – Before you make an offer consider all the associated costs
Making an offer – Out tips on securing your property
Choosing a solicitor – A vital part for an efficient purchase
Building survey – Why you need one and what to do if issues are raised
Measuring – Start planning your space before you move
Arranging to have work done before you move
Moving in – Practical advice to help organise your move
Settling in – Helping you get your house exactly as you’d like it