How To Choose A Property Solicitor

Property For Sale In East AngliaAn extremely important part of the process of selling or buying a home is how to choose a property solicitor.

A reliable conveyancing solicitor or licensed conveyancer is required to carry out the completion of the legal process of transferring the home and land ownership title from one person to another.

All solicitors are qualified to perform this important task, but you also have the option of using a dedicated licensed conveyancer or a specialist online conveyancing service.

Although conveyancing costs are pretty competitive these days, it is worthwhile to invest some time in research, in order to find the best conveyancing service, which meets all of your requirements.

General solicitors are not necessarily conveyancing specialists

Many general solicitors will not be conveyancing specialists and will also be busy carrying out a wide range of other legal work. This may result in them not always being available to talk to you should you wish to discuss something urgently.

However, some solicitors who are approved by the Law Society, are entitled to advertise that they are part of the Conveyancing Quality Scheme. To be part of this scheme a solicitor must be able to produce a consistently high standard of conveyancing work. To ensure that you receive a reliable and high quality conveyancing service, you should consider choosing a property solicitor that is a member of this scheme, but be prepared to pay a premium for this.

Dedicated licensed conveyancers are authorised by the Council for Licensed Conveyancers and are able to do the same job as a qualified property solicitor.

House For Sale In WisbechMany property solicitors and licensed conveyancers have developed specialist online conveyancing websites, designed to streamline the legal process and make it more cost effective. This type of service is likely to be less expensive, but will lack the “personal service” element.

Typically these specialist internet providers will allow you to check progress online and will use email as the preferred method of communication. All legal documentation, requiring a signature, will be sent via normal post, therefore cutting out time consuming visits to solicitor’s offices. You obviously need to be internet savvy to take advantage and make the best use of this type of online conveyancing service.

Whichever type of service you choose, your selected service provider should be expected to perform the following tasks on your behalf, in order to complete the legal process:

  • Carry out important searches with local authorities, utility companies and other organisations to ensure that there are no future plans or financial liabilities that may directly impact upon the home and land you are purchasing.
  • Establish if there are any additional fees that you will need to pay, such as stamp duty or annual maintenance charges.
  • Produce and review the appropriate legal contract for the purchase and or sale of your properties, including the transfer of ownership title.
  • Liaise with your mortgage lender to ensure that they have all the relevant information about the property, both from the seller and the buyer.
  • Register the details of the new ownership title with the Land Registry.
  • Make the relevant payments on your behalf relating to the completion of the contract, such as estate agents fees and stamp duty.
  • Arrange a completion date convenient to both the seller and the buyer.
  • Provide general legal advice, information and recommendations.

Fee structure and average costs

The fee structure charged by a property solicitor or licensed conveyancer can vary. Some will charge a fixed fee, while others will charge a percentage based on the value of your home. In addition there may be additional costs incurred, to cover any unforeseen complex issues that arise during the course of the transaction. You will also be charged for all standard disbursements incurred as a result of processing your transaction, such as postage, telephone and electronic money transfer costs. Also, do not forget the additional VAT cost!

Average conveyancing costs are likely to be between £400 and £1,500 depending on the value of your property, the type of service provider you have chosen and if the transaction involves both the sale and purchase of two properties.

Many online conveyancers offer a service guarantee, which includes:

  • Lowest price guarantee
  • No-completion, no-fee
  • Online ability to track the progress of your contract, at any time
  • No need for personal visits
  • Telephone support seven days per week
  • A specialist, friendly and efficient service

How to choose a property solicitor

Irrespective of the type of conveyancing provider you ultimately choose, it is a good idea to obtain a minimum of three independent quotes before making a final decision.

One of the best ways to find a property solicitor is by recommendation. Talk to members of your family or friends and colleagues that have previously purchased or sold a property to ascertain if they can suggest a reliable property solicitor.

You may also be interested in watching this video from CMS

There are no set rules for choosing the best property solicitor. However, what you can do is make sure that you ask the right questions, carefully read the small print of the companies terms and conditions, feel confident that the process can be completed by an acceptable date and that you will receive the level of service required for the cost you have been quoted.

If you are considering moving house then you may wish to check out this detached, four bedroom, Rural Property For Sale in Murrow, Cambridgeshire.

We hope that you have found this article interesting and informative. Please feel free to comment and share this information with your friends and colleagues.


  1. Mary says:

    My father has been investing in real estate for years and I truly have never heard of a solicitor’. I first thought that this might be a variation of the job title of a mortgage broker or perhaps a property surveyor, no? If not, then I guess I don’t know as much about real estate buying and selling as I thought. I think I’ll ask my father to see if he knows, so I can make fun of him.

  2. Kenneth says:

    Mary I am in the same boat but I think a solicitor is a realtor myself and they are always trying to pressure you into buying a home that you can’t afford by making it look like you can on paper. Then in a couple of years you have a bunch of homes that are empty and foreclosed on because they found out differently. That is what I consider a solicitor.

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