When you are going through the process of buying or selling a property, a conveyancer will play a vital role in ensuring everything goes smoothly on the legal side. But if it’s your first time you may need a helping hand in choosing the right one. To point you in the right direction, here are some things to consider when choosing a conveyancer.
What does a conveyancer do?
The job of a conveyancer is to manage the legal aspects of the sale and to ensure the ownership of the property is transferred from one party to the other. Before putting your home on the market, you should find a conveyancer as it will help to avoid any unnecessary delays.
A conveyancer can either be a qualified property solicitor, licensed conveyancer, chartered legal executive or a CILEx practitioner. There are some distinct differences between a solicitor and a conveyancer, which can lead to some quote disparity:
- Conveyancers are specialists able to deal with residential properties and standard transactions.
- Solicitors are lawyers qualified to deal with a variety of legal issues, as well as helping with the buying and selling of a house. This may be why a solicitor’s quote is higher than that of a conveyancer.
It is generally considered a better option to use a qualified solicitor for more complex transactions. This may be required if there are any disputes over land borders or if the sellers are divorcing. If the transaction is not as complex, in most instances a conveyancer will be able to handle the job.
Request a variety of quotes
In order to choose the right conveyancer, it helps to contact at least three companies to get a variety of quotes and an insight into the type of service they will provide. This will allow you to consider things such as:
- Cost: Are there any additional, or hidden, costs involved? Does their service include a no-move, no-fee option? Compare quotes but do not base your decision solely on price, as you should also consider the below points.
- Quality: It pays to get customer feedback about a conveyancer’s services, so take a look online at sites like Trust Pilot. Ask if they have experience dealing with more complex sales if yours is not straightforward.
- Service: You will want the conveyancer to keep you up-to-date and offer high levels of customer service. Will you have a single point of contact? Enquire if they will update via email or phone. How many local properties have they dealt with? Check to see if you are able to track the process as it happens (usually online) to ensure everything is being handled as expected.
Where can I find a reputable conveyancer?
To make sure you find a conveyancer with good experience and a fair price, you should take some time to narrow down your options.
As a starting point, it’s always worth asking your estate agent for recommendations on local conveyancers. Often, estate agents will have good professional relationships with experienced conveyancers, meaning that the process will run a lot smoother. At Oakfield, we work with selected professional conveyancers based across East Sussex and are happy to make recommendations to both buyers and sellers.
Alternatively, you can do your own research on websites such as the HomeOwners Alliance where you can find local conveyancers based on reputation and price. The CLC also has a comprehensive list that allows you to search by postcode and distance. Another option is to use Google search to find a conveyancer closest to you and start your enquiries from there.