For smooth property transactions only a specialist conveyancer will do

Published: 20/02/2013

Over the course of the last few weeks the correlation between cost and quality has been highlighted to consumers first hand. Thousands of shoppers are now shunning the cheaper supermarket produce in favour of their local butcher’s choice cuts.

The old adage of ‘you get what you pay for’ is a saying we all know well but, in the current financial climate, one we often choose to flout. But as the horse meat scandal has sadly demonstrated there are some things in life where it pays to pay more.

One of these is your conveyancer. Property is the single biggest purchase of our lives. Yet many home buyers look to shave a few pounds off the overall cost by scrimping on legal services, a decision which could actually end up costing much more in the long run and here’s why:

1. A cut above
With mortgage fraud on the increase, lenders are cutting their conveyancing panels and choosing to only work with specialist conveyancers or property solicitors; Santander the latest lender to do just this announcing a cut of up to 1000 solicitors from its panel.

Should a home buyer select a solicitor who is not on the lenders panel, the lender will then need to appoint one who is and charge the homebuyer for the privilege. Not only does this delay the transactions, the buyer is saddled with two lots of legal costs.

2. No such things as a free lunch
Some lenders try to entice buyers by including free legals in their deals as a further incentive to take up their services. ‘Free’ however can come with a costly catch.

Lenders offering free legals appoint a solicitor to look after their own interests and not those of the client. In fact clients have no legal representation in these deals so should anything go wrong they have no one to turn to or any right of redress. ‘Free’ also only applies to simple cases; additional work, including transfers or leasehold contracts, are likely to end with a big bill.

3. No hidden surprises
Buying property is widely recognised as one of the most stressful things we ever do; a poor conveyancer can only add to this stress. It is only natural that we want to be kept up to date as the transaction progresses; silence is one of our biggest bug bears, leaving us with more questions than answers and doubt that things are moving along.

A professional conveyancer will keep you updated and, in Goldsmith Williams case, even provides direct phone number of your case manager(s) so you always have an immediate point of contact instead of going round the houses, pressing 1 for this and 2 for that.

4. A wealth of experience
Property transactions can often hit a bump or two in the road. It is one of the roles of your conveyancer to quell out these hiccups with the minimum disruption to your transaction. Chances are there aren’t many obstacles which a qualified conveyancer hasn’t experienced and overcome many times before. A less qualified conveyancer however may find themselves in new territory and out of their depth.

5. What you see is what you get?
A good old marketing trick is to present a fantastically low looking price and accompany it with the tiniest of small print detailing all the additional extras. When it comes to a property quote some conveyancers can fail to openly disclose such mandatory charges as stamp duty, land registry and searches in their initial quote making them appear significantly cheaper. Make sure when you ever obtain a conveyancing quote all these aspects are included.

6. No substitute for the real thing
Lesser practised conveyancers can cut corners which could scupper the sale or purchase. In the end it boils down to this - with so much time and money invested, why would anyone risk mistakes in the legal work?

Property law has remained at the core of Goldsmith Williams Solicitors for over 25 years. Our dedicated conveyancing team is highly regarded within the industry, acquiring the Law Society’s prestigious Conveyancing Quality Scheme (CQS), making us a preferred legal partner of lenders, while senior partner Eddie Goldsmith is the Chairman of the Conveyancing Association.

Our conveyancing fees start from just £399 plus VAT and disbursements. Contact us today for a full personalised quote.

Content correct at time of publication

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