How Do I Choose a Solicitor for Buying a New Home?

Posted: 19 December 2017 by Higgins Homes

If you’re buying a home for the first time, a solicitor – or conveyancer - is going to play an important role in ensuring that everything goes to plan. So, how do you decide whether to opt for a solicitor or conveyancer and what factors are involved in choosing the right one?

Choosing a solicitor or conveyancer

Both a solicitor and conveyancer will handle the same aspect of your property purchase: the legal transfer of ownership. Solicitors tend to be more expensive and have much broader experience of property law. Conveyancers, on the other hand, are specialist property lawyers who focus on residential property transactions. Which option is right for you will depend on how simple the purchase is likely to be and whether you need anything other than basic transaction support.

Check their credentials 

Solicitors are regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority and conveyancers by the Council for Licensed Conveyancers. When you’re making choices about solicitors and conveyancers check each one out first with these bodies so that you know the professional that you’re working with is properly regulated and has the right insurance.

Consider a few options 

Before you make a choice about who you want to handle the legal transfer of ownership, consider a few options. Shop around and compare the service and prices on offer. Solicitors will always be more expensive than conveyancers but that doesn’t necessarily mean that they are the best choice. It’s important to look at the service you’re being offered, from the fees and timing, through to the level of support you’ll get with questions and the seniority of the person you’ll be dealing with.

Local can be better 

If you don’t have any attractive local options then it’s probably worth looking further afield. However, as a property purchase is such an investment, it can be comforting to have a local office that you can go into if you want to find out how the sale is progressing or ask questions.

It’s also worth looking online

Both solicitors and conveyancers operate online and you can save significantly on your fees by working with a digital provider. Plus, every step of the transaction is digitally recorded so you’ll have a record of absolutely everything that has taken place and you won’t need to keep asking for updates.

Don’t just choose the cheapest 

Yes, fees play a big role in who you work with. However, the cheapest option is not always the best when it comes to such an important transaction. Look for some online reviews and make sure that whoever you’re going to work with has the right skills, qualifications and experience. If you have to pay a bit more for a solicitor or conveyancer who ensures the property purchase is stress free and smooth then it could well be worth it.


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