To prevent your property deal from progressing at a snail’s pace – or falling through altogether – you’ll need a good lawyer. Here’s how to find one.
Once you’ve agreed a deal to sell or buy a property, the next step is to instruct a lawyer to handle all the relevant searches, paperwork and enquiries.
It can be tempting to go with the cheapest lawyer you can find or the first one you come across on the high street, but it’s worth doing your research.
Property transactions can be surprisingly complicated, and a good lawyer can make all the difference in completing a deal with minimal fuss and delay.
With a mediocre solicitor, however, the process can get mired in delays. And the longer it all takes, the greater the risk that someone in the chain gets impatient and pulls the plug – leaving you out of pocket and back at square one.
Here are six tips, courtesy of property solicitors The Partnership, to help you make the right decision.
- Do your homework. Ask around for word-of-mouth referrals and get a few quotes so that you can compare offers.
- Check fee proposals carefully, so that you understand what you’ll be paying and don’t get stung by hidden costs. Some lawyers still charge the full fee even if the sale falls through.
- When contacting solicitors, gauge their responsiveness to your initial enquiry. If they take a long time to return your call, chances are they’ll be even harder to get hold of as the case progresses.
- Look into the firm’s performance figures and the average time it takes to finalise transactions. If a firm has a poor track record in completing deals, it doesn’t bode well for the timely resolution of your transaction.
- Find out how many people will be working on your case. A lawyer working solo could get side-tracked dealing with other matters, meaning your case is delayed. Work on your case could also grind to a halt when the lawyer is on leave.
- Choose a firm that uses a secure client portal to communicate, rather than email. There have been cases where fraudsters have intercepted email correspondence and conned buyers out of large sums. Secure client portals are also more convenient for out-of-hours access.
For more information on buying or selling a property, get in touch with us here at Chamberlains.