Buying or selling a home can be stressful but a good solicitor can make a big difference. Your Solicitor plays a big part in the house-buying process, and once you’ve had an offer accepted on a property they’re one of the first people you call.
Your Solicitor will manage the legal side of house-buying for you – they’ll check different aspects of the property, work with the seller’s solicitor, arrange the transfer of money and draw up contracts. You’ll also need a Solicitor to sell your home, although less work is usually involved for this process.
You may want to consider choosing a company that use an online case management system, like we use at Convey with Me. This enables you to ‘check in’ at any time to see where you are in the process.
When you receive your quotes make sure the costs are listed individually and includes costs that don’t go directly to the Solicitor, called disbursements – these include searches, stamp duty and land registry fees. Double check whether disbursements are included and query any that aren’t shown.
Make sure your quote includes VAT and question any quotes that are significantly lower than others, it might be because something has been left out.
Are they no move, no fee? At Convey with Me, you don’t pay legal fees if you don’t complete.
Unfortunately, house sales fall through frequently and it’s usually the buyer who ends up out of pocket. At Convey with Me we also offer Buyer Protect…
In the event your purchase doesn’t go ahead, Buyer Protect will reimburse the following;
Solicitors Disbursements (Searches)
Non-refundable mortgage arrangement fees
Check with your Solicitor how much you’ll pay if the sale doesn’t happen. Some disbursements – such as searches – need to be paid up front and are sometimes non-refundable, although some solicitors offer to conduct searches on your next property for free.
When you have chosen your Solicitor
When you’ve found a solicitor you want to instruct, they’ll send you a letter of engagement to confirm they’re acting for you.
Let your estate agent know who’s working for you, as they’ll need to send a memorandum of sale.
The solicitor will then receive the property information form and the fixtures and fittings form – these will detail everything related to the property. They will go through this with you and make sure nothing is amiss.
Once this is done, they’ll organise searches. These will check different things, including local authority information which will detail local land charges, whether the building is listed and so on.
Your lender will supply your conveyancer with details of your mortgage loan offer and deposit.
Signing your contract
Once all enquiries have been replied to, your solicitor will ask you to sign the contract and transfer your deposit funds in their account, so that they can be cleared in time for the exchange.
Exchange of contracts
At this point your lender will need you to have a buildings insurance policy in place, before you can exchange.
Once everyone’s happy, the buyer and seller will sign and exchange contracts and decide on a completion date. At this point things become legally binding.
Your deposit will be sent to the seller’s solicitor and your solicitor will let you know how much you owe them in fees and when you need to pay.
Your conveyancer will draw up a transfer deed, which you’ll need to sign, and this will then be transferred into your name upon completion.
On the day of completion your solicitor will work with your lender to ensure that the money makes its way to the seller. Once this has happened the seller will then usually drop the keys off at the estate agent where you will go and pick them up, then the hard work begins!
Taken from How to find and choose a conveyancer
by Emily Bater