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3 Golden Rules for instructing a conveyancing solicitor

By Guest Blogger on in Selling

3 Golden Rules for instructing a conveyancing solicitor

By Alex Goldstein MNAEA, Property Consultant at AlexGoldstein.co.uk

With over 14 years’ experience in the property sector, I ‘ve nearly seen it all. I’ve come across a wide variety of situations, however there will always be scenarios which continue to surprise! A regular one revolves around conveyancing solicitors – or rather the lack of one being instructed.

An estate agent (and indeed homeowner) will go to great lengths to market a 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 homeowners are put on the back foot and then quickly appoint any conveyancing solicitor they can, to ensure their potential sale goes through. By doing this, they can rapidly find that they’re heading for disaster.

If you’re looking to instruct a solicitor to handle the sale of your property, a lot of stress and pitfalls can be avoided by following these 3 Golden Rules:

  1. Instruct them early on
  2. Believe it or not, as a homeowner 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. At this point, many solicitors will obtain the title deeds and check them for anomalies. If there is an issue, they can look to resolve it and more importantly have the time to do so.

  3. Appoint a good one
  4. It sounds obvious, but so many homeowners feel that on their asset of X-hundred thousand pounds, it’s worth cutting corners on the price of a solicitor. As with many things in life, you get what you pay for and no more – this applies with solicitors too.

    You need a collaborative solicitor – one who will work with you and the other side to get a transaction through, and someone 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.

  5. Give them warts and all
  6. Seriously! Never hold anything back from your solicitor or guess an answer to a question – remember they’re on your side. If you ‘accidentally’ forgot to get building regulations for the 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 while you (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, don’t underestimate the importance of a good solicitor. They’re equally as important as your choice of estate agent, as without them, a transaction never happens.

If in doubt on who to instruct – ask!