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Choosing the right conveyancer

Picking a local firm and easily being able to track the progress of a property transaction are among the top tips being offered by an expert when choosing a lawyer.

Sarah Barnes, head of Residential Property at regional law firm Napthens, warns that moving home can be a daunting prospect, whether buying, selling, transferring or even remortgaging.

She has given her top tips on how to choose the right conveyancer – the lawyer who will deal with the legal matters involved in a property transaction.

Sarah said: “Asking yourself these types of questions, will go some way to helping you to make a decision. Only by asking detailed questions of the service, can you make an informed decision.”

Sarah’s top tips include considering:

  • Whether you would prefer a local firm, in order to easily visit in order to sign paperwork or just catch up with your lawyer as to the progress in relation to your matter.
  • How would you like to communicate with your lawyer – face-to-face or through telephone calls, emails, text messages?
  • Whether you would prefer one lawyer to deal with your matter from start to finish as opposed to a team of lawyers.
  • Whether you would like direct contact details for the lawyer working on your matter so you can contact them easily.
  • Whether the lawyer you work with has a good working relationship with the estate agents and other professionals in the local area.
  • Does the firm have a good reputation with people you know and/or other local professionals?
  • Are you able to log on the firm’s website and track the progress of your matter?
  • What happens when the lawyer working on your matter is away from the office? Is there cover in place so your matter is not delayed?

Sarah added: “Do not be afraid to ask the same questions of the person providing you with the conveyancing quote. If they can’t provide you with clear answers as to the type and level of service provided, then this will not provide you with the confidence you need to instruct them.

“When you are approaching a lawyer or a firm to request a conveyancing quote, think about whether the firm offers a fixed fee enabling you to keep an eye on your budget, or whether there are elements of the work where the fee is not altogether clear.

“Try and avoid conveyancing fees based on hourly work, as your fees could easily escalate.”

Click here for a process guide to conveyancing, or contact me or a member of my team.