How to instruct a solicitor or conveyancer

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Advice on how to get the best from your solicitor and a few good ones to use

  • According to the RICS, you need to employ a solicitor to ensure you obtain the relevant documents for the sale. It’s the solicitor’s job to review the Home Information Pack (HIP) which includes an Energy Performance Certificate, an index of contents, a sale statement, evidence of title, searches and leasehold or common hold documents. It’s also the solicitor’s job to negotiate the contract, exchange the contracts and transfer title deeds and funds. Always ask for a fixed fee so that you don’t end up with extra payments for every phone call made.

    Once all enquiry forms and contracts have been signed and returned, this is the time to exchange. Both buyer and seller will agree a date when the seller will need to be out of the property. On completion day funds will be exchanged between solicitors and keys should be left with the estate agent.

    Further help

    National House Building Council (NHBC)
    Offers information on conveyancing on a new home.
    (01494 735363/www.nhbc.co.uk).

    Law Society Helpline

    Will put you in touch with a solicitor in your area.
    (0870 606 6575/www.solicitors-online.com/shop4law.co.uk)

    Recommended solicitors

    Bruce M Lewin(020 8446 4000/lawyers@ sylvan.co.uk).David BurchnallA partner at Jansons, who according to Time Out’s source is ‘extremely reliable and honest’. Jansons, 40 Crawford St, W1 (020 7563 7900).

    Green Williamson Solicitors

    (01924 291400).
    Margaret James
    Frighteningly efficient, but also sympathetic to the housebuyer’s plight. Offers fixed fee to help you budget. Margaret James, 11 Eccleston Square, SW1 (020 7834 3447).

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