Conveyancing Solicitors – 3 Golden Rules!
With over 14 years in the property sector, I have nearly seen it all and come across a wide variety of situations, however there will always be scenarios which continue to surprise! A regular one of these tends to revolve around conveyancing solicitors – or rather the lack of one being instructed.
An estate agent (and indeed home owner) will go to great lengths to market the property, call buyers about it, negotiate and put a deal together. However both parties soon realise that having been caught up in the adrenaline of the campaign, they have forgotten to appoint a conveyancing solicitor to handle the next part of the transaction. This can lead to some serious issues, whereby home owners are put on the back foot and then quickly appoint any conveyancing solicitor they can, to ensure that their potential sale goes through. By doing this, they can rapidly find that they are heading for disaster.
A lot of stress and pitfalls can simply be avoided, by these 3 Golden Rules when looking to instruct a solicitor to handle the sale of your property.
1) Instruct them early on
Believe it or not, as a home owner you should ideally look to instruct your conveyancing solicitor at the same time as your estate agent. By doing so, you have plenty of time to get your client identification signed off with them and get the file opened. Many solicitors at this point will obtain the title deeds, check them for anomalies and if there is an issue, they can look to resolve and more importantly have the time to do so.
2) Appoint a good one!
It sounds obvious, but so many home owners feel that on their asset of X-hundred thousand pounds, it is worth them cutting a corner on price when it comes to their solicitor. As with many things in life, you get what you pay for and no more so, than with solicitors.
You need a collaborative solicitor (ie will work with the home owner and the other side to get a transaction through), who runs a sensible number of files and has the time to take your calls. Any less than this and you can often find yourself in trouble and the deal falling through. Regular communication is key.
3) Give them warts and all!
Seriously! Never hold anything back from your solicitor or guess an answer to a question – remember they are on your side! If you “accidentally” forgot to get building regulations for that loft conversion or inadvertently tried to move a footpath across your land or share your drains with the neighbouring property and have had issues – tell your solicitor. The earlier they know, the sooner they can try to resolve it.
Remember, that whilst you the home owner (and possibly the purchaser) are happy to “take a view” on a certain situation, a solicitor with a legal mindset is less likely to do so. A solicitor will look at a situation effectively in black and white and not from a personal perspective – a big difference!
Overall, do not underestimate the importance of a good solicitor. They are equally as important as your choice of estate agent, as without them, a transaction never happens. If in doubt on who to instruct – ask!