Are all conveyancing solicitors the same?
When you are looking to purchase or sell a property the first thing you have to think about is who will manage the legal aspects of the transaction. In the internet age there is a wealth of information about how to buy and sell your own home and even do the conveyancing yourself and save yourself the legal fees that a solicitor may charge (you still have to pay the land registry fees, searches and stamp duty).
The most common way of finding a solicitor is either by doing a search on the internet, using a conveyancing comparison website or via a recommendation from a friend. There are many excellent conveyancing solicitors in Manchester and just as many awful ones so making an informed decision about which conveyancing solicitor you use becomes even more important.
What should you look for in a conveyancing solicitor?
Are they a member of the Conveyancing Quality Scheme?
The Conveyancing Quality Scheme is a law society accreditation scheme for solicitors that practice residential conveyancing. The scheme ensures that solicitors follow best practices, meet the highest technical standards and meet the requirements of lenders and insurers alike.
How many reviews do they have?
Customers are quicker to post a negative review when they have received poor customer service than they are to post a positive one. Does the conveyancing solicitors have reviews on one or more of the following sites:
- Review Solicitors
- Rated Solicitors
Reviews offer you a good indication of how good a practice is from the people that have used their service. Look out for standard identikit responses that may be fake reviews and also be wary of those companies that don’t have any negative reviews. Things do sometimes go wrong and a company with a healthy positive ranking with the occasional negative ranking that responds to the reviewer in order to solve any problems displays a company that is proactive in maintaining good customer relationships.
Are they fully transparent on their fees?
Many people are attracted to low headline prices such as “Sell your home for only £99”. Whereas this price is attractive to those looking to save on their conveyancing fees the reality of this is often a false economy.
These prices are often followed by asterisks where you can find caveats to the service offered. The law requires conveyancing solicitors to be fully transparent on the fees they are charging. They are required to detail ALL the fees they intend to charge in their client care letter. The £99 conveyancing deal is often littered with additional charges for any additional checks required, fees for letters being sent out, vital searches and fees to the land registry.
Do they have a physical office or do they employ home based solicitors?
Whenever you do a search on a conveyancing price comparison site or low cost conveyancing website you can expect to get a call from one of the websites sales representatives asking if you need any additional information or help. They will tell you about their service and how to instruct them. What they won’t tell you is that they will not be dealing with your claim themselves – they have a network of freelance solicitors around the country to which you will be referred to.
These solicitors often work from home hence giving you no face to face contact should you need it. When you are dealing with hundreds of thousands of pounds you should look to employ a firm that has a strong online and physical presence to you. Knowing where they are based and knowing they have an office with an established team will give you a level of security and option to meet face to face.
Will you be dealing with the same person every time?
When you establish a relationship with a conveyancing solicitor you want to know that the person dealing with your transaction will be with you from the inception of the transaction through to its completion. Having to deal with a different person every time that may not know the intricacies of your property deal can lead to mistakes being made and deadlines missed. Ensure that you know the name of your file handler and ask for them by name if you ever need to call.
Are they regulated by the SRA and displaying the SRA Logo?
All members of the SRA (solicitors regulation authority) have to display the SRA logo on their website. This is a clickable logo which should take you to a website confirming that the company that owns the website is a member of the SRA.
- Don’t fall for headline figures – ask questions about the additional fees you may incur and insist on them in writing
- Do check Google and Trustpilot reviews
- Do ask to speak to one of the partners if you have any issues or things go wrong
- Do ensure the solicitor is a member of the Conveyancing Quality Scheme
- Do send all of the documents requested in a timely fashion – this makes the process of buying or selling your home as seamless as possible
- Do shop around and get a handful of quotes to use as a guide to expected costs.
Interested in learning how we can help you manage your conveyancing? Get a FREE consultation with one of our conveyancing solicitors by contacting us today on 0161 249 5087 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you prefer, you can use our online conveyancing calculator.