What to look for in a Solicitor when buying or selling a property

5th April 2016

Buying or selling a property can be a stressful and sometimes complicated process, so it’s important to ensure that you have the right people on board to make it go as smoothly as possible.

This, of course, includes your solicitor. Typically, a solicitor will be responsible for drawing up and analysing contracts, conducting relevant property searches, liaising with the Land Registry, managing the transfer of money between parties and also responsible for stamp duty payments. They are also there as your legal expert to advise you on the best course of action.

How to ensure you choose the right solicitor? The tips below should be things to consider when doing your research.

When you get in contact with a solicitor, you need to be reassured you are clear about the process, and that they have explained everything to you in detail, so you completely understand.

This includes the amount you are likely to pay. Will this be a fixed fee, or proportion of the property price? What other additional costs will you be paying? A good solicitor will be open and transparent about these costs so you don’t end up with an unexpected bill at the end of the process.

Does the solicitor get back to you in a reasonable amount of time when you contact them? Customer service should be at the heart of their business, so if you don’t feel like you are being looked after properly, then it’s time to move on.

Determine the seniority of the person you will be dealing with. You want to ensure that you won’t be left with someone who is very junior without anyone overseeing them. Likewise, you want to ensure that they aren’t dealing with too many people at once which means you could easily be put to one side.

Your solicitor’s knowledge of the local area can be an added bonus, if they are well versed with the area you want to buy/sell in, they can advise you accordingly if there are additional factors which you may need to consider.

Your gut feeling in this instance should not be underestimated either, it’s important you trust and get along well with your solicitor. If you feel like you are a valued customer, and that they are keen and ready to respond to your enquiries in a timely manner, and are willing to go the extra mile if necessary, then it sounds like you are on to a winner!