Top Tips on How to Choose a Good Conveyancer

31 August 2016

You have found your dream property, your offer has been accepted and you are ready to move forward with the conveyancing process but how do you choose the right Conveyancer to support you through the move?

There are many things you'll want from your conveyancing firm. You'll probably want to build a rapport with them, trust them to provide you with a quality service, understand your concerns, communicate effectively with you from start to finish and also to meet your timelines too. But can you really find all of these things and if so, how do you go about it?

There are various options you can choose from contacting a local Conveyancer, using a comparison website, using the estate agent's nominated Conveyancer or instructing your own Conveyancer online.

Whatever way you decide to choose your Conveyancer, think about our top tips to choosing the right Conveyancer for you in our checklist:

  1. You don't need to use a local Solicitor. Most property conveyancing transactions are now dealt with by post, phone, email and even Skype. Some law firms also have extended opening hours to meet their client's needs and are available later in the evening or even at weekends. If this type of flexibility is important to you, ask the question before you make a final decision.
  2. Ask for a full fee breakdown. Your quote should list and outline all items included in the conveyancing fee. Check there are no hidden extras and the fee you are quoted is the fee you pay. This is also known as a fixed fee, but be aware that some Conveyancers can add hidden fees on top of your initial quote. These can include fees for:

  3. buying with a mortgage

  4. buying an unregistered property
  5. completing a Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) form
  6. purchasing a new build property
  7. for verifying your identity and identification

  8. Make sure you give the Conveyancer all the necessary information when asking for a quote and ask for confirmation no additional fees will be charged on top. Don't get caught out half way through the transaction or before exchange with a bill you haven't budgeted for.

  9. It's also really important that you fully understand what your Conveyancer will do for you and also what they won't do for you. Take time to understand what you are being charged for and what is excluded from your quote. This Guide from the Legal Ombudsman on Conveyancing costs may help you.
  10. Do your research. Choose a firm that either specialises in conveyancing or who has specialist Conveyancers to work on your transaction. You should also make sure they have a good market reputation. Ask them about how many conveyancing transactions they handled last year as this will give you a good feel of their expertise. You should also find out if you will have your own experienced Case Handler to manage your transaction. Check that your Case Handler will be available throughout the whole transaction and doesn't have any holidays booked. You don't want to build a rapport with your Case Handler only to find out the day before exchange they are going on holiday for two weeks.
  11. If you have an unusual property purchase or need specialist advice because you are buying additional land or need an extension to the lease, make sure you ask the Conveyancer for confirmation they have enough time in their caseload to manage the additional workload, but also that they have the technical experience to manage your transaction.
  12. If you are buying with a mortgage, ask the Conveyancer to confirm whether they are on the lender's panel of Solicitors and if they are, check that they can act on your behalf and also on your mortgage company's behalf.

Making the decision about which Conveyancer to use can be a difficult one, so do your research well. Speak to friends and family for recommendations but more importantly, use this checklist to ask the right questions.

At Co-op Legal Services we know how stressful moving house can be, so we want to make life as easy as possible for you.

We offer a Fixed Fee Conveyancing with a No Sale No Fee Guarantee for properties across the UK, including Scotland and Northern Ireland; so you can be certain that whatever happens, you won't pay more than you budget for.

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