Which Conveyancing Solicitor?
Conveyancing is the legal process of transferring property ownership from a seller to a buyer. Appointing a qualified conveyancing solicitor is essential whether you are selling a house quickly or through a standard sale. The solicitor handles formalities proving title, drafting contracts, facilitating enquiries, exchanging contracts, and overseeing completion. With so much reliance on their expertise, it is critical to choose the right conveyancing solicitor for your needs. This guide examines how to identify the most suitable solicitor for your property sale.
Get Personal Recommendations
The best way to identify a good conveyancing solicitor is through personal recommendations from those who have recently sold the property. Ask trusted contacts if they were happy with their solicitor and would recommend them. Former clients can give first-hand insight into their conveyancing experience including:
- Responsiveness – How quickly the solicitor responded to enquiries and moved the process forward. Vital for a fast completion when selling a house quickly.
- Communication – Were updates provided proactively? Was legal jargon explained?
- Availability – Could you contact your solicitor when needed? Accessibility is key.
- Rapport – Did you feel comfortable asking questions? Personality fit matters.
- Local expertise – Did they seem to understand local property issues impacting the sale? Important for identifying potential snags.
- Value for money – Did fees seem reasonable for the service provided?
Personal recommendations provide assurance a solicitor offers good service and values client relationships. This gives you confidence they will proactively work to progress your sale efficiently.
Search Conveyancing Comparison Sites
Online comparison websites allow you to shortlist potential conveyancing solicitors in your area based on client reviews and service details. Key points to review include:
- Client satisfaction – Check average rating out of 5 awarded by former clients in areas like communication, value and overall service. Look for consistently high ratings.
- Completed sales – The number of successful conveyancing transactions undertaken indicates useful experience. Look for a higher number.
- Offers local searches – Having in-house access to local searches speeds up the process.
- Quoted fees – Upfront indicative quotes allow comparison of likely costs although final fees depend on sale complexity.
- Estimate of completion time – The typical timeframe indicates efficiency. Look for 4-6 weeks for a standard sale.
Comparison sites let you filter and rank potential solicitors against your priorities whether that’s cost, speed of service, or expertise dealing with a particular property issue. Useful when selling a house quickly.
Assess Conveyancing Quotes
Once you have a shortlist of conveyancing solicitors to consider, the next step is to request an obligation-free quote from each setting out their fees and services. This allows you to make a fair comparison. Aspects to consider in their conveyancing quote include:
- Basic legal fee – This covers work provided as standard to complete the legal transfer. What does this include?
- Additional fees – What extra costs are charged for supplementary services? When do they apply?
- Disbursements – Solicitors pass on costs for searches and land registry fees. Check the offer no markup.
- Total estimated cost – Ask them to summarise the typical total cost for your property sale. But remember additional work may increase this if needed.
- Payment schedule – When are fees due – on exchange, completion, by monthly instalment etc? What payment methods can be used?
- Free elements – Some offer free services like template letters to chase buyers.
Alongside cost, assess what is realistically covered for the quoted fees and what could incur extras. Balance quote affordability against service levels offered.
Verify Professional Credentials
Only consider using a qualified solicitor registered with the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) when selling a house quickly. Check the register to confirm their practising certificate is current and if any complaints or disciplinary findings are recorded.
The Law Society database also lets you verify:
- Qualification year – Have they gained enough conveyancing experience since qualifying? Look for 10+ years of practice.
- Specialisms – Do they focus on residential conveyancing or cover a wide range of legal services? Specialist expertise is preferred.
- Accreditations – Well-regarded industry bodies provide quality marks indicating competence and commitment to high standards.
Checking credentials provides confidence in the solicitor’s skills, knowledge and professional standing to handle your sale efficiently.
Assess Their Conveyancing Process
Ask shortlisted solicitors to summarise their conveyancing process for a standard sale transaction. Key points to cover:
- Typical timescales – How quickly they can start work, complete searches, handle enquiries and aim to reach an exchange of contracts. This indicates efficiency which is useful when selling a house quickly.
- Communication methods – Do they proactively provide updates? How can you contact them? Look for options like phone, email, post and online case tracking.
- Inhouse services – Having local searches, typing and printing done in-house rather than outsourcing speeds everything up.
- Use of automation – Software that populates and checks standard documents reduces errors and delays.
- Working style – Do they tackle delays and chase progress proactively? A proactive approach keeps sales moving.
Opt for a solicitor whose process emphasises regular communication and speeding up the transaction wherever possible.
Ensure a Positive Rapport
During initial interviews with solicitors, consider how comfortable you feel discussing your needs and asking questions. Key indicators include:
- Plain English – Do they avoid over-using legal jargon and technical terms? Can they explain concepts using everyday language? This helps you understand issues impacting your sales.
- Listening skills – Do they actively listen and respond accordingly rather than interrupt? Good listening means they will grasp your priorities.
- Patience – Do they allow time for you to take in information and formulate questions? Rushing you causes stress.
- Accessible manner – Do they come across as friendly and approachable? You need to feel at ease asking for updates.
- Availability – Are they able to take on your sale in the timeframes you are working to? Do they seem too busy to proactively assist?
A solicitor who communicates openly, answers clearly and makes time to understand your needs will help achieve the quick, smooth sale you want.
Choosing the most suitable conveyancing solicitor involves assessing recommendations, credentials, costs and service style to find the best fit for your priorities. When selling a house quickly, opt for an efficient solicitor who communicates proactively, values progressing sales fast and takes time to address your concerns. Establishing a good connection boosts confidence your sale is in the hands of an experienced legal partner committed to delivering for you.