What should you ask when getting a conveyancing quote?
Whether you are buying your first home, upsizing to accommodate a growing family or downsizing because your children have flown the nest, you will need a property lawyer to carry out the conveyancing process on your behalf.
The first conversation you have with your lawyer will probably be more about conveyancing charges. You will obviously want to know what he or she is going to charge for the work they will be doing on your behalf. Make sure that the fees you are quoted include everything and that there are no hidden extras. Make sure you get a full list of all the disbursements – they are the sums paid by your lawyer to third parties such as search fees, Land Registry fees and stamp duty, which is payable to HMRC.
Talk to your lawyer about the type of service they intend to deliver. Is it a ‘personalised’ service where you deal with the same lawyer throughout? Will you be able to speak to that person when you need to, will you be kept informed at every important stage and will you meet with them to go through the contract and other important documents? It might be that their service is more of an on line, call centre type of service? Choose the method of service delivery which suits you best. One size won’t fit all, but you need to be comfortable with the method of service delivery offered by your lawyer.
Even though it is very early on in the transaction, if there is something about the property that worries you, mention it now so that your lawyer can make enquiries about it on your behalf. For example, if you’ve heard a rumour that a large supermarket is going to be built at the back of the property, your lawyer can check this out for you.
There’s no such thing as a silly question, so don’t be afraid to ask anything you are unsure about. Your lawyer is the legal expert and you are paying them to carry out a service for you.
Finally, before you make that initial call, you might like to check client feedback, testimonials and reviews for the firm and the individual lawyer you are thinking of instructing. These can be invaluable in helping you make your mind up about which firm to instruct.