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Choosing a solicitor when buying or selling a house

Shop around to find the right conveyancing solicitor

Buying and selling property

Price is obviously one factor.  Locality is another if you want personal service.

However, remember that your home is probably one of your most valuable possessions and although it will be an expensive time for you, cheapest is not necessarily best.

Does the firm have expertise in Conveyancing?  Legal work is now very complex and just because someone is a solicitor does not mean that they are an expert in all areas of it. It is unlikely that someone who specialises in a commercial law work is going to be equally skilled in conveyancing.

Check the solicitor’s website.  Do they have quality marks in conveyancing?  Does the website contain lots of information about their expertise?  Have they won awards for their conveyancing work?  What reviews do they get for it?

Remember also that moving home is one of the most stressful things most of us do in our lives.  You will be speaking to your solicitor, whether in person or by phone and e-mail, quite a bit through that stressful time. 

You can use the process of gathering quotes to road test how they are likely to be.  Do they answer the phone or respond to e-mails promptly?  Are they friendly?  Do they tell you what you need to know and don’t use jargon?

Do you need to shop around?

It is probably worth getting several quotes from different solicitors’ firms just to get a feel for what it will cost you.  Firms should give you a quote without charging you or making you commit.  The process may help you form a view about their level of service and contact-ability as well as the price.