Solicitors for Conveyancing

publication date: Apr 20, 2011
author/source: Guest article by 1st Property Lawyers

Solicitors for Conveyancing

Conveyancing Questions Answered

Whilst we help our clients organise the physical aspects of their house move, there’s lots of essential legal stuff going on in the background. Conveyancing is the term used to describe this legal work, and it concerns the transfer of legal title of a property from one person to another. It must be done with great care and attention to ensure both selling and buying are done properly. We asked conveyancing specialist Caroline Gardner of 1st Property Lawyers, for more information.

What qualifications and experience do you have to enable you to specialise in this important area of work?
We employ Licensed Conveyancers and fully qualified Solicitors who handle a wide range of residential conveyancing transactions both locally and across England and Wales. Together, our legal team has more than 20 years experience in the conveyancing field, giving us a wealth of expertise to draw on and allows us to deal with any of those little quirks that sometimes crop up during the conveyancing process.

What are the different elements to conveyancing that makes it such a complicated subject?
In theory, conveyancing should be a fairly straightforward process – as long as people know what they’re doing. Attention to detail is perhaps the most important thing, and a good conveyancer will have all the necessary skills and experience to spot potential complications before they become an issue.

The biggest hurdle to overcome on any conveyancing transaction is the sheer amount of information being handled in such a short space of time. For example, in a purchase transaction, the conveyancer will need to; manage all the personal information submitted by their client; check through the clients mortgage offer they may have received; examine the contract pack from the sellers’ conveyancer, making sure that their client is buying what they think they’re buying (this includes requesting any relevant searches on the property); agree on any revisions to the contract with the sellers and then arrange exchange and completion dates, which is easier said than done – particularly if there’s a chain of transactions!

Perhaps understandably, stress levels can soar during the conveyancing process. That’s why it’s important for clients to be kept informed every step of the way.

Even after the client has moved into their new home the work continues for your conveyancer. They will need to pay Stamp Duty on the client’s behalf and make an application to the Land Registry to ensure the title of the property has been transferred to the client.

At 1st Property Lawyers, every client is allocated their own dedicated conveyancer – right from the word go. They’ll be responsible for getting you and your case moving, keeping you updated via email, telephone and even text message. When it comes to developments in your conveyancing transaction, as soon as we know about it, you’ll know about it.

Which of these elements can cause the longest delays, and can your clients help keep delays to a minimum?
The conveyancing process, particularly here in the UK, is well known for being long and drawn out. A large part of clients frustrations stem from the fact that they simply don’t understand what’s going on and why it’s taking so long.

At 1st Property Lawyers we’re always looking at ways to reduce the time it takes for the conveyancing process to complete. One of the biggest issues for our clients was the fact that traditional postal services took too long and were often unreliable. We decided that the time spent waiting for key forms to arrive in the post was time that could be put to better use.

That’s why 1st Property Lawyers have developed their enhanced conveyancing service, allowing clients to fill in most of the key documents online, and even enabling them to scan and upload forms straight into their case file.

When you consider that our completion times are already up to 3 weeks quicker than the national average, this can help knock even more time off the conveyancing process.

What services do you offer your clients?
We only deal with conveyancing, which means that we don’t get distracted by other types of work and that the office is full of people whose job it is to focus on the different elements of the sale and purchase of properties. It also means that there is always a dedicated, single point of contact allocated to all clients, someone there to help and to offer advice. Much of the form filling can be done online using our secure portal, and we operate on a ‘no move, no legal fee’ basis, just in case the transaction falls through.

Our communication policy is second to none, with online tracking available for clients to check progress and someone available in the office from 8am to 8pm. We are available by phone on weekends, and we also offer an enhanced service which means we are available by email until 10pm weekdays, so there is never any need to be out of touch. We understand that our clients lead busy lives so we are available to help at times that are convenient to them. We also keep in touch the way you want us to – email, text message, ‘phone – so we can update you as things progress.

What sort of clients do you have?
We have a wide range of clients that vary from the first time buyer to the seasoned property developer. What’s important is that we identify the individual needs of each client and ensure that we adapt our files and our methods of communication to what suits them.

How do you charge for your services?
Bearing in mind that we operate a ‘no move, no legal fee’ policy, our fees are agreed with the client before the work is undertaken. If any specialist work is required that we weren’t aware of at the time the quote was issued, then additional fees may apply but these are few and far between. Your conveyancer will, of course, keep you updated of any additional fees that may have to be charged and provide you with regular financial updates.

Most moves will be straight forward, particularly for first time buyers, but it is surprising how many oddities come to light when we examine the legal title to a property, so we may have to make provision for the unexpected.

How can your clients help you to keep their legal costs down?
Conveyancing is one of those things in life where you really get what you pay for. A lot of online conveyancing firms advertise their services for £99 but these should be avoided, as the final fee may include lots of hidden costs.

At 1st Property Lawyers we’re completely transparent with our legal fees and the most important thing for us is that our clients get the best value for their money!

What essential advice would you give to a client at the start of the process?
Firstly don’t panic! Your conveyancer will help you every step of the way however there are a couple of points that may make the process a little easier for you:-

  1. Planning – create lists and be organised. Keep a log of all important paperwork so you understand exactly what is going on with your transactions.
  2. Budget – make sure your finances are in order and you can afford to move. Legal costs are only a small part of the total cost of moving house.
  3. Communication – this is essential! Ensure you talk to your conveyancer, because if they don’t know of your concerns they can’t do anything about them.

To find out how quick, stress free and simple 1st Property Lawyers can make your conveyancing process, get a great value, no obligation conveyancing quote now.

Guest article by 1st Property Lawyers
Tel: 0333 321 2345

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