When buying or selling a property, the element that often takes the longest is the legal process known as conveyancing which lasts from offer acceptance to completion.
This process typically takes up to 16 weeks and can be a source of considerable frustration for buyers and sellers alike if issues arise or aren’t dealt with in an efficient manner, especially if these issues result in the sale falling through.
Mitigating Issues During The Conveyancing Process
The easiest way to mitigate against issues arising during the conveyancing process is to choose your conveyancer wisely. Very often, people have a tendency to choose a local law firm to represent them during this process, however many solicitors have a varied caseload and may not be able to prioritise conveyancing work and this can often introduce delays to the process. If the property sale or purchase is complicated, for example, if the sellers are selling due to getting a divorce, then selecting a solicitor with a wider legal remit may be helpful, but for most straightforward property sales, this is not necessary.
The alternative to a local solicitor is using a licensed conveyancer, and there are a choice of firms operating both on the high street and online, such as Sam Conveyancing. Firms such as these are often very helpful when a speedy sale is required to prevent the collapse of the chain.
Many online conveyancers offer a no move no fee fixed price for conveyancing which not only provides reassurance to the individual hiring them but is also a powerful incentive to the conveyancer. They are motivated to communicate clearly and regularly with both their client and other parties involved in the transaction to ensure that it proceeds rapidly and smoothly with any issues that arise dealt with quickly and professionally.
Selecting A Conveyancer
If fast conveyancing is a priority, then you must ask prospective conveyancers for an indication of timeline, based on their current workload and for details of how and when they will communicate with you. Open, clear channels of communication with a dedicated point of contact will make the process much simpler and quicker.
Another key consideration is price. Choosing the cheapest conveyancer that you can find will not necessarily represent good value for money, as they are likely to be incredibly busy. Communicating with them could prove challenging, especially if they are not local and you are unable to visit them in person. You should also be wary of conveyancers who cannot provide a fixed price and instead look to charge you by the hour as this lack of clarity could result in a rapidly escalating bill if issues are encountered.
With up to one in three property sales falling through between offer acceptance and contract exchange, it is often considered wise to employ a conveyancer who offers a fixed price on a no sale no fee arrangement as if the sale were to fall through, you would only need to pay for any disbursements that they have already paid on your behalf, but not for their legal fees. A fixed price is also clearly advantageous for budgeting purposes.
Finding a good conveyancer will take some legwork – ask for recommendations, check Trust Pilot reviews and most importantly, speak to the firms in which you are interested. Ensure that they have time to progress your case and that you are happy with their price and terms and conditions. Ultimately, you will get a feeling by engaging in conversation with the companies as to which will suit you best.