Thinking ahead – you will definitely need a solicitor to do all the tricky legal stuff when it comes to making the sale. Now would be a good time to go out and find one.
A good solicitor is worth his/ her weight in gold.
Don’t just pick one out of the book if you can help it. Ask around, particularly with people who have moved recently, to get a personal recommendation.
Tip: Make sure the recommendation is for direct experience of conveyancing and not for some other legal specialty - like divorce.
Charges. Find out exactly what you’re paying for.
Is the fee all inclusive or are there hidden extras? Does the fee include
Ask for a breakdown of the costs. Is there a charge if the sale falls through before exchange of contracts?
Are you experienced? Ask him/her how much conveyancing they do. Look at their firms adverts for an indication of what they specialise in (You could check the yeloow pages or their website, or call their office and ask the secretary).
If using a licensed conveyancer (only possible in England and Wales) you can check their credentials with the Council of Licensed Conveyancers.
Good Legal Advisers
... move quickly.
They study the property documents thoroughly.
They will alert you to any potential problems and be able to explain the implications to you in simple terms.
They return your calls reasonably promptly
Bad Legal Advisers
...are slow. If you need to move fast this can be a disaster.
They don't read the property documents carefully. They will miss any problems hidden in the lease.
They won't be available or responsive.
Tip: Avoid a solicitor with an expensive address. This does not mean they are better at their job. They will simply be more expensive.
Note that the most common cause of complaints about solicitors to the law
society results from conveyancing problems.
This explains the rise in recent years of the more focused and often cheaper Conveyancing Agents...