Time and time again, prospective homebuyers and sellers discover that the conveyancing process is full of challenges. More often than not, they are surprised by all the unexpected documents they need to request or provide, the charges they are faced with, and so on. This can result in costly delays throughout the procedure and might even cause deals to fall through.
As such, it is important for you to understand the process as much as you can. This goes beyond just checking out costs on an online conveyancing calculator, and involves a discussion with your conveyancing solicitor. After all, their role is to make sure the process runs as smoothly and efficiently as possible.
It might be confusing to try and determine what questions you need to ask, so we’ve done that for you with this list of questions you need to ask your solicitor before making decisions. With no further ado, here they are:
1. How much will it cost me?
In addition to all the fees involved in conveyancing (which can be computed using online conveyancing calculators), you will need to pay for the services of a solicitor. Depending on the property and various circumstances, different solicitors might quote different rates for their fees.
Try to get different quotes from different firms and professionals. Try to understand the scale of the process for you. How many properties are involved? Are they underlying conditions and extenuating circumstances? More than that, is there a level of service that you are hoping for? Answering these questions can help you decide what you’re willing to spend on a solicitor.
2. Who will handle my case?
Even if the most senior members of a firm give you the quote, your case might actually end up in the hands of a junior member. While this might not be a bad thing, it is still important to be aware of who you will actually be working with. Larger firms might also have bigger teams handle your case if the need arises.
A smaller firm, on the other hand, may assign a single person to handle your case. In some cases, this is preferred as they are likely to familiarise themselves with every single detail of your case and property, making for the perfect point of contact.
The most important thing to remember is that you must build a relationship with whoever will handle your case. In the event you encounter issues and need clarifications, you will need someone with whom you have a good working rapport. Make sure you have the name and the contact details of the person assigned.
3. How often can we expect to communicate?
One of the reasons a solicitor is necessary is that it reduces stress throughout the process, but this is rendered moot if your solicitor is not a good communicator. After all, nothing is worse than radio silence when it comes to this procedure. The firm you work with should promise a level and frequency of communication that you are comfortable with, even if this means daily updates.
It is also important to make your expectations more realistic. After all, communication is a two-way road. You must also be open to receiving news, whether it is good or bad. The more easily your solicitor can communicate with you, the better the chances of this becoming a smooth partnership.
4. Which bodies and organizations are you a member of?
The conveyancing solicitor you choose should be a member of many professional bodies such as the Law Society and the Council of Licensed Conveyancers. This means they are backed by a good network of professionals, which can make this process easier and smoother. The wonderful thing about this is that it can be confirmed by contacting those organisations.
5. How have you dealt with cases like mine in the past?
Every home sale and purchase has its own set of unique circumstances, and as such, its own complications. It is important to use a conveyancer who is experienced in handling cases like yours to make sure that they have a good grasp of what to do should issues and problems arise.
The greater the familiarity your solicitor has with cases like yours, the smaller the chance of the process being delayed or held up at a certain point.
6. What will it cost me if the sale fails?
Not all conveyancing deals are successful. Should the deal fall through for whatever reason during the process, you should be aware of what that entails. There are plenty of firms, for example, that provide a “No move, no fee.” policy, but it is still important to understand what that means. Make sure to examine your contract carefully before signing anything.
More often than not, for example, disbursements and out-of-pocket expenses incurred by the firm used for searches and other related endeavours might be excluded from the “No move, no fee.” policy.
If you have not yet made a decision about the process, are still finalising your financing, or are waiting for the results of surveys, you can instruct your firm to hold off on incurring purchases until your decision is final. You can prevent charges from being incurred this way should you decide against conveyancing.
7. Are you approved by my mortgage lenders?
One of the important things to remember is that many mortgage lenders sometimes only work with solicitors that are on their list of approved collaborators. While many conveyancing referral services do ask about this upfront, it is still important to confirm with both your lender and your conveyancer before proceeding.
It is also fully possible to work with a firm that isn’t approved, but this might entail extra costs.
8. Where can I ask for feedback on your services?
More often than not, you will be directed to testimonies by a prospective firm. They may even offer references from past clients and deals. A good conveyancing firm should be fully willing to comply with your desire for such information.
It is also important to examine independent reviews, such as on Yelp, Google, LinkedIn, Facebook, and certain industry-specific websites.
The only way to properly navigate a difficult and complicated procedure is to do your research and increase your knowledge of it. While not everyone is equipped with a license to practice law, it is still up to you to familiarise yourself with whoever is handling your case so that it can have a higher likelihood of success.
If you’re looking for a way to gauge the costs you might incur throughout this process, send us at Conveyancing Calculator a message. You can save a large amount of money and a lot of time by comparing prices from nationwide property solicitors instantly.