The benefits of using a local conveyancer with the right expertise and contacts
You have found the house of your dreams and secured the funding necessary to buy it. All you need to do now is find a conveyancer, but who should you use? The one recommended by the estate agent or your bank or building society? What about an online provider? There are numerous possibilities, but as Jane Bohill, residential property expert at Warners Solicitors in Sevenoaks, explains in her view there is no substitute for using a local conveyancer with the right expertise and contacts
WHEN you are buying a property, you want everything to proceed as smoothly as possible. The chances of this happening will be greatly improved if you choose a conveyancer who is familiar with the local area and who has a good working relationship with the local estate agents. The potential for problems to arise can also be reduced by selecting a suitably qualified conveyancer who commits to carrying out the work themselves rather than delegating it to someone else.
All too often in conveyancing transactions, delays and extra costs can be incurred because the person handling the purchase does not have the knowledge or experience to be able to quickly identify the searches and enquiries necessary to ensure what you are buying is in good order and worth the money you are proposing to pay, and to ensure that everybody involved in the purchase is progressing matters as they should be, including the seller, estate agent and mortgage lender.
Conveyancing in Sevenoaks is a prime example. In this area for instance, there have been known cases of Japanese knotweed which can damage property if left untreated and result in some mortgage companies refusing to loan money. Our specialist conveyancers, all of whom are qualified solicitors or legal executives, are aware of this problem and know what to do if a property may be affected.
By using a local, well connected conveyancer you can rest assured that they will:
- have knowledge of the local area and any issues that might affect your purchase;
- have knowledge of the local property market and its degree of buoyancy;
- have established relationships with local estate agents which can be utilised to keep the transaction moving;
- be available to meet face to face to discuss any concerns and to sign the necessary paperwork;
- be alert to the risk of property and mortgage fraud and have robust systems in place to counter this; and
- be able to refer you to other professionals you may need to speak to, such as surveyors, accountants, tax specialists, wills, trusts and probate lawyers and family law practitioners.
The fees charged by competing providers can often have a big influence in determining which conveyancing service to go for.
Many of the costs associated with buying or selling a house are fixed, because they are charged by third parties, such as the Land Registry and Local Authority. The proportion of costs made up by legal fees is relatively small, and when it comes to these it is, I am afraid, a case of ‘you get what you pay for’. An online provider may be able to do it cheaper, but it may take longer and everything will usually have to be done over the telephone or via email or post. Another high street conveyancing firm may be able to offer the personal touch you want, but unexpected problems may arise if they operate under a model which sees a lead solicitor take on the case, but unqualified members of staff handle the bulk of the work.
The advice when looking for a conveyancer has to be: shop around if you want to, but make sure you choose the right fit for you, bearing in mind the type of service you want.
If you are thinking about buying a house or flat, please contact Jane Bohill, a partner in Warners’ Residential Property team, on 01732 747956 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
* The contents of this article are for the purposes of general awareness only. They do not purport to constitute legal or professional advice. The law may have changed since this article was published. Readers should not act on the basis of the information included and should take appropriate professional advice upon their own particular circumstances.