Conveyancing services come in different shapes and sizes. There are conveyancing solicitors and licensed conveyancers, local conveyancers and online conveyancing firms, ones that charge by the hour and those that charge a flat fee, ones that care about customer service and ones that care about cost. But there is not one combination that automatically makes for good conveyancing.
Read on for advice on how to find a good conveyancing service that will make the conveyancing process for your property sale of purchase much less stressful.
Good Conveyancing – Where to Start?
A quick search online will show you just how many conveyancing services there are out there – and the estate agent and/or mortgage broker you are dealing will probably give you details of more. So how can you see the wood for the trees?
Well, first things first, there is almost certainly a professional arrangement between an estate agent or mortgage broker and the conveyancers they recommend. Only go with them if you have checked online for an independent assessment.
After that, the best place to start your search for good conveyancing is with your friends and family. Have any of them bought a house in the last year or so? If so, who did their conveyancing and was it a good service?
If no one you know can help then take to the internet and search for forums and sites that might be able to help.
Once you have a minimum of three conveyancing firms on your shortlist, get them to put a conveyancing quote together for you. Read our guide to your conveyancing quote for help spotting a good quote from a bad one.
Good Conveyancing and Local Conveyancing
You might assume that a conveyancing firm that is local to you or the house you are buying is a better bet than one that it miles away or even online.
The truth is if you have a good conveyancing service then it won’t matter one bit. Communication is essential but a local conveyancing solicitor might not be half as good as one based miles away, so it will only matter if you have to go down to their office to try and push them along. With things like online case tracking increasingly common, you need not have a conveyancer’s location anywhere near the top of your priorities list.
Good Conveyancing and Cheap Conveyancing
Let’s be honest, no one wants expensive conveyancing. But that doesn’t mean cheap conveyancing automatically means good conveyancing. Some conveyancing services leave you in no doubt as to why they are cheap with their poor service or the time it takes them to complete their task – endangering the transaction with every day they slip behind.
Obviously you should keep an eye on the cost when going through your conveyancing quotes, but don’t let the bottom line completely sway you. Find out about the service they offer and whether they represent value for money for you.
Good conveyancing is value-for-money conveyancing.
What is a good conveyancing service?
Click on the link for our post about the features of a good conveyancing firm. In summary, the best conveyancing firms will:
- Provide you with a Client Care Letter which will list their costs and the service they will provide – you need to sign it before the arrangement between you becomes binding, and you can negotiate the terms
- Not charge by the hour – it’s a license to print money for them, run a mile
- Provide a no-sale-no-fee service so you don’t pay for conveyancing work that leads nowhere
- Be regulated by the Law Society (if they are conveyancing solicitors) or the Council for Licensed Conveyancers (if they are licensed conveyancers)
- Be on all the major lenders approved panels ideally, and definitely on the panel of the lender you go with
- Have a professional indemnity of a minimum of £1 million
- Provide online case tracking (and an SMS service would be nice too)
- Be happy to take your calls and offer their advice whenever you have questions and give you easy-to-understand answers
- Communicate with you proactively – let you know when things have happened, what needs to be done and if any problems have arisen
- Be accurate and quick
- Have plenty of conveyancing experience – don’t be fooled into thinking a solicitor is automatically better than a licensed conveyancer because they have more qualifications
- Ensure one person is responsible for your case – they won’t do everything (much of it is so mundane it will be below their paygrade) but there needs to be a senior person overseeing your conveyancing
- Ideally not shut at 5:30, just as you are coming out of work and able to discuss conveyancing issues
There is plenty more advice for making your conveyancing as stress-free as possible elsewhere on the site. Click on the links for information about: