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How to choose the right conveyancing solicitor

09.06.2014

Let’s be honest, buying a house is a pretty daunting prospect. It’s a huge financial commitment and will easily be the biggest purchase that most of us will make in our lifetime.

We all recognise the need to keep costs under control when budgeting for our new home, so it’s no surprise that one of the most important starting factors when we come to choose a solicitor is price.

But when it comes to quality, there’s a big difference between ‘value for money’ and ‘low cost’ conveyancing. The cheapest solicitor is unlikely to be the most efficient, whilst high prices don’t necessarily equate to top quality.

So when buying your home, to what extent can you budget on your legal costs? We take a look at some of the key factors to consider when selecting your conveyancing solicitor.

Charges

When choosing a solicitor, it’s important to look at how they charge their client. Some (including us) charge fixed fees, whilst other firms charge a percentage based on the purchase price of the property.

When you request a quote, it’s important to ask for it to show all additional costs, such as stamp duty, searches, VAT etc. These charges are known as disbursements.

You should always be cautious of firms who advertise low conveyancing prices as it’s likely that they’ve excluded integral costs. A conveyancing quote of £199, for example, will only cover the solicitor’s basic fee.

Communication

Communication is the key to making your dream move a reality.

With us, your transaction will be managed by one experienced conveyancer so you’ll always have a point of contact. They’ll provide regular updates throughout the process and will be on hand to answer your questions.

Sounds straightforward, doesn’t it? But we live in a technical world and almost anything can be done online. Even conveyancing!

Type ‘cheap conveyancing‘ into a search engine and you’ll be presented with a list of online and bulk conveyancers.

But you’ll likely find that your transaction is being dealt with in a call centre and your case passed between people. As a result, communication can be slow going and quality of service often suffers.

Recommendation

If you’ve never used a solicitor before, a personal recommendation from family or friends is a good starting point and can be an indicator of quality.

Alternatively take a look at the client testimonials published on your solicitor’s website or consult the Law Society’s regional directory for a list of solicitors in your area.

Knowledge of the local area

Whilst the majority of dealings with your solicitor can – and often will – be done over phone and email, we believe that there’s no substitute for instructing a solicitor that’s local to you.

Not only will they have a good knowledge of the local area and understanding of the market, you’ll have the option to drop into their office in person to leave documents or sign paperwork.

Feeling comfortable

Of course, there’s no substitute for instinct, so if you find a solicitor that you trust, then go with them.

They’ll be handing what is probably your largest investment to date so it’s important that you feel comfortable enough to ask questions.

Further information

For a free quote, complete our short form. Our charges are transparent and we quote for all fees and disbursements up front, meaning that you’ll understand the full extent of your conveyancing charges from the very start.

If you’d like further advice from our conveyancing solicitors in Bristol about buying or selling property, call us on 0117 325 2929.

You can also visit our downloads page for more advice and information about the conveyancing process.

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