Using solicitors when buying a property – a guide
The solicitors you use when buying a property – also known as conveyancers or conveyancing solicitors – don’t always have the best reputation. We’re here to change all that.
Because at E A Harris, of course we take care of all the legal requirements of buying property for you. But crucially, we also know how important it is to keep you up-to-date with what is happening.
Great service, competitive prices handling the purchase of my house in great time keeping me informed every step of the way.
Plus, if you have any questions or need advice along the way, we’re always here to help. Here are some of the most common questions we’re asked by people intending to buy a property:
Do You Need A Solicitor To Buy Property?
There isn’t actually any legal requirement to use a solicitor (or a professional conveyancer, not all of whom are qualified solicitors) when you are buying property in the UK.
Technically, you are allowed to represent yourself. That said, there is one major spanner in the works.
This is the fact that if you are buying a property using a mortgage, most mortgage lenders will not lend to you if you don’t have a solicitor representing you.
For most people, practically speaking, this means you do need to find a conveyancing solicitor you can trust to represent your interests during a property purchase.
What Does A Conveyancing Solicitor Do For You?
Although using one is essentially a requirement of the process if you’re using a mortgage, conveyancing solicitors should actually take a lot of the stress out of buying a home.
The range of tasks a conveyancer has to complete is many and varied. These are things that you would have to work out how to do personally if you were representing yourself.
A conveyancing solicitor will do all of the following for you and more:
- Draw up and check contracts – making sure contracts are correct and complete and that, legally speaking, you know what you’re getting into.
- Complete all necessary searches – before you buy property, you need to complete an array of what are called “searches”. These are fact-finding requests about your proposed purchase.
- Liaise with the Land Registry – the Land Registry records who owns what property in the UK. They need to be notified every time property changes hands.
- Transfer money – this key function of conveyancing is often overlooked. Your solicitor will be in charge of receiving funds from your lender and transferring them to the seller.
- Provide legal advice – finally, as long as you have chosen a qualified solicitor rather than a licensed conveyancer, you can rely on them for expert legal advice about anything related to buying property in the UK.
Communication, Communication, Communication
The mantra when buying property always used to be “location, location, location”.
But your guiding light when it comes to the relationship you have with your solicitor should be “communication, communication, communication”.
Because buying a house is exciting. Yet it is also often ranked in the top three most stressful things you can do in life. A lot of that stress comes from a lack of information.
Make sure that your solicitor offers you some of the key features of good communication:
- One point of contact – make sure you have one named point of contact if you need to get in touch to ask questions or get an update.
- Reserve contact – if that point of contact is away, who will be ready to take over?
- Local services and support – being able to physically drop in and see your solicitor is priceless. E A Harris has been serving local communities in Flintshire (Sir y Fflint) for over a hundred years.
Why Use E A Harris?
Join the thousands of local people who have used E A Harris as their solicitors for buying a property in the more than a century we’ve been supporting the communities of Shotton, Connah’s Quay, Queensferry, Ewloe, Hawarden and Buckley.
As the first law firm in North Wales to gain LEXCEL accreditation from the Law Society – and thanks to the fact we follow Practice Approved Standards and Case Management Systems – we provide the kind of caring, attentive, and professional service local people need and deserve.
You might be buying a leasehold or freehold property. You may be interested in moving to or investing in property in a rural or urban area. As a full service law firm, we can assist you in every phase of the process and advise you throughout.