Partner and Head of Wills & Estate Planning at Andrew & Co Solicitors Helen Newson writes...
Are you a thinking about selling your house? Maybe you're a first time buyer? Read our our top tips on how to make buying or selling a property less stressful...
Buying or selling a house can be a very stressful experience. But it doesn't have to be.
At Andrew & Co Solicitors, we pride ourselves on the high-quality service we offer to our clients, to ensure their experience is as hassle-free as possible.
The choices you make to begin with will dictate how stressful your experience will be, particularly when choosing a solicitor to represent and advise you.
To make this first step a little bit easier, we've put together some of the factors you should consider before instructing a legal firm to act on your behalf.
What is your budget?
Cost will always be a primary factor in this decision. However, it's not as simple as who is the cheapest. Hiring the cheapest firm, purely for that reason, could potentially result in more problems further down the line.
What do you know about the firm?
Do some preparatory research into a law firm before hiring them. Ask friends and colleagues for recommendations. Ask them about their experiences and the pitfalls to avoid.
Ultimately, you will work with the firm you hire for the duration of your transaction. Do your research and choose wisely.
Are they based in the area you wish to sell or purchase?
Location, location, location! This is an important factor to consider. The location of your firm will largely have a knock-on effect on the level of service you receive.
Hiring a firm with local knowledge of the area you are selling or purchasing in might prove beneficial throughout your transaction. They will have knowledge of the local area which will prove to be useful.
How do they operate and handle relationships with clients?
Look for a firm which values the importance of customer service. Ensure direct contact details are offered from day one. This will give you a personalised relationship with your solicitor and mean you'll have direct access to the people that are handling your case. Avoid firms that use remote call centres and provide you with one contact number for the whole conveyancing team.
At Andrew & Co, once you have instructed us, you'll receive a direct telephone number and email address for both the solicitor and the paralegal dealing with your case. This means you'll only speak with someone who has direct knowledge of your transaction, from start to finish.
Do you require other services - tenancy agreements, legal charge, declaration of trust?
Hiring a firm that can handle all these elements within the same office will prove to be much easier and time effective.
Both of our offices in Lincoln and Newark have a residential property team and deal with all aspects of residential sales and purchases including re-mortgages, transfers of equity and equity release.
What do you get for your money?
Andrew & Co offer full, comprehensive quotations and strictly operate on a no exchange, no fee basis. It's important to us that you receive a clear indication of the costs from the outset.
Help us to help you! We recognise each client has different requirements. We can build any additional work into the quotation – the more information you provide, the more accurate your quotation will be.
Full search packs are available to purchase which include local, environment, planning and drainage searches.
It is important to compare the entire quote rather than the bottom line, which can be distracting.
Preparation is key - our top tips!
1) Ask questions. If you are a first-time buyer and are unsure of the process, discuss your concerns from the start. No two clients or properties are the same!
2) If you are selling a house, pre-empt questions from the onset. Provide your solicitor with all certificates and documents relating to the sale. This will save time.
3) Have your finances in order and have your mortgage application in progress as soon as your offer is accepted.
4) Consider having an independent survey on your property and have it carried out as soon as possible after your offer is accepted.
5) Have a realistic timescale in mind. Do you know the length of the chain you are in? If in doubt, speak to your solicitor. If you do discuss dates with the seller or buyer, make sure your solicitor is aware, to avoid unnecessary losses in respect of removal fees, rent and other expenses.
If you would like to get in touch with Andrew & Co, please call our Lincoln office on 01522 512123 or our Newark office on 01636 673743.