Picking a solicitor for buying and selling houses
There’s nothing to stop you getting quotes and ringing round local solicitors as soon as you are ready to buy a house. In fact it’s best to do it carefully and take some time about it.
To get quotes solicitors often want to know the price you’re going to be paying. A vague idea is usually enough if you’ve not had an offer accepted yet though. If you’re planning on buying for about £110,000 then tell them this. You will have to give them the full details of the property when you’re ready for them to start acting for you anyway – including the address, so don’t worry about an exact figure at this time.
If you’re ringing up for quotes make a note of who you’ve rung, who you speak to and ask if it includes all searches and any mortgage related charges, and bank transfer fees.
You could get quotes from local firms, online firms or not so local firms. Ask how they want your documents to prove who you are. A local firm is easiest for this – you may have to factor in costs of getting documents certified and sent to them otherwise. Apparently the post office has this as a counter service for a small charge.
When you make an offer an estate agent will normally ask for your solicitors details so have them to hand when you’re ready for making an offer.
Solicitors will send out a letter stating their terms and conditions and what the charges are and what any extra charges may include.
If you’re buying repossession then make this clear and ask about how fast the process can be done. Sometimes a solicitor who is used to dealing with auction properties is a good bet if you want a fast exchange.
If a solicitor is slow at answering the phone to get a quote or doesn’t ring you back when they say they will, it might not bode well when they’re working for you. Ask about email enquiries as this can be easier for some people than dealing with phone calls.
When you’ve got a few quotes compare them – did one stand out as being more efficient? If you’re not convinced by any of them, get some more quotes.