How to Choose the Right Property Lawyer!

How to Choose the Right Property Lawyer!

Whilst the majority of our service is dedicated to helping homeowners choose the right estate agency, it has become evident that the ‘race to the bottom’ on fees and customer service applies similarly to sales progression. The legal work from acceptance of offer, to exchange and on to completion.

Previous posts on this blog have underlined the need for communication. We read of one conveyancer that claimed to never hear from the hybrid estate agency, PurpleBricks, during the legal process. Nothing at all!    And, they received their Memo of Sale to lawyers from a ‘no-reply’ email address. The advent of online estate agencies, sales people in a sales culture, has spread to the legal profession and pitfalls there are, aplenty.

We are indebted to Louise Jones, Head of Residential Property for Thursfields, Solicitors in Solihull,  for the following article:

Moving house can be one of the most stressful, yet exciting experiences you will ever encounter.

With so many different parties involved, you struggle to know who you should engage with and when. Which can make even the most laid-back person nervous. And ,at times, unclear on what to do.

That’s why it is so important to follow the advice of your property lawyer. Not only are you paying them, but there are strict rules on their professional conduct, imposed by the Solicitors Regulatory Authority (SRA)., One of which requires them to act in the best interests of their client.

Alongside the rules on professional conduct, in 2011, the Law Society introduced the Conveyancing Quality Scheme (CQS) to help determine a good property lawyer, from a bad one – by introducing annual audits and assessments for its members.

The Law Society also recognizes firms through its Lexcel Award, which ensures firms are operating to excellent practice management standards. 

Lexcel and CQS accreditation’s are a quick and easy way for you to decide whether or not to use a particular firm or property lawyer. They are awards that recognize excellence both in the service to the client and practice management.

Once you have located your CQS and Lexcel accredited firm, you should then ensure that the person who will be responsible for your transaction is a specialist in residential property.

There are many providers of residential property services on the market that offer cheap conveyancing and their business model is essentially to provide volume conveyancing at a very low cost. It is the cost that is the driving factor in these types of firms, not the quality.  Meaning that someone who is under-qualified, or junior, has the responsibility of selling or buying your property for you.

Whilst it is understandable that people want to keep costs down, bargain hunting is not the best approach. You should choose your property lawyer because you know them personally, because they have been recommended to you, or because they are a specialist with an excellent reputation in their field.

It is extremely unlikely that you will find a good residential property lawyer that is very cheap. And, at the same time very good. Usually if the fees are very low, so too will be the service.

If you are obtaining a mortgage, you need to ensure that the firm is a panel member for the particular lender you intend to use. Your property lawyer will be working for both you and your lender. The work for the lender can only be done if the firm is a member of their panel. If they are not, then the lender will need to use another lawyer. This may result in you paying higher, or even two sets of legal fees.

Remember. Buying a house will likely be one of the largest financial investments you will ever make and your money & stress levels will be in the hands of your chosen professional.  Choose wisely.

 

Sound advice from Louise. As with estate agents, the cheaper the fee, the lower, often, is the service.

” Skilled labour isn’t cheap and cheap labour isn’t skilled”.

If you have any questions on appointing the best Property Lawyer for your sale/purchase,

Contact: Louise Jones, Head of Residential Property. Thursfields

Tel: 0121 7964021 or email: [email protected]

 

 

3 Replies to “How to Choose the Right Property Lawyer!”

  1. My brother is having some issues with his move. He has been confused at to what actions he should take to ensure his finances aren’t compromises. I didn’t realize that a property lawyer can help provide options for their clients while following a strict rule of conduct. That’s something my brother could use right now.

  2. Hi Tomas,

    It would be difficult for me to comment on this without knowing the full extent of the issues. I will drop you an email and then perhaps you can explain the position to me and I can see if I can help.

    Kind regards,
    Louise Jones
    Thursfields

  3. I appreciate you talking about the importance of choosing a conveyancing lawyer that is properly certified and has experience with cases like yours. It is important to remember that keeping this in mind can help you have a smooth process where the right documents are present. I can see how anyone looking into this would want to make sure they take the time to educate themselves and find someone that can walk them through their process.

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