How should I choose a solicitor for my house move? Conveyancing and Property

Once you’ve accepted an offer on your property your estate agent will ask you for your solicitor’s details. Your choice of solicitor can make a big difference to how smoothly your move goes.

Here are five things to ask when choosing a solicitor:

  1. Are you paying a referral fee to my estate agent?
    Just because your agent recommends a law firm, it might not mean they’re the right firm for you. It could simply be that your estate agent is receiving a financial payment from that firm for referring you to them.
  2. What will the total cost be?
    Make sure you request a comprehensive breakdown of all the payments that you will be required to make. This should include fees paid to third parties for searches, stamp duty, bank and Land Registry fees and any additional legal fees charged for leasehold, Help to Buy or shared ownership properties.
    The basic legal fees alone might look reasonable, but nobody likes nasty surprises when additional charges crop up that you haven’t budgeted for.
  3. How will you keep me up-to-date with progress?
    You need to feel confident that your chosen representative is keeping the process moving efficiently and keeping you informed every step of the way.
  4. Will I be able to speak to you direct if I have questions or problems relating to my move?
    You need your solicitor to be accessible, taking your calls and answering your emails promptly. Dealing with solicitors who won’t take your calls or where you feel like a number, rather than an individual, can be a real source of stress and frustration.
  5. Are you recognised by The Law Society’s Conveyancing Quality Scheme?
    This scheme provides a recognised quality standard for residential conveyancing practices. Membership demonstrates that your chosen firm follows best practice, meets the required standards of technical expertise and client service and is able to satisfy regulators, lenders and insurers.