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When to instruct your conveyancing solicitor


Tuesday 13 March 2012 12:09 GMT

Thinking of buying or selling a property this year? The sooner you get the paperwork organised, the sooner you can close on your property sale or purchase. Here are some handy tips to help speed up the process.

The housing market reportedly saw some green shoots of recovery in January. As reported in The Independent on Monday 27 February, property website Hometrack claims that the number of potential buyers registering with estate agents increased by 18 per cent in January, the highest growth in buyer interest since the housing market downturn began in 2008. January has also seen a 10 per cent increase in available housing stock.

So as more buyers and sellers place a tentative toe back onto the property market, many will be keen to ensure that the sale of their property goes through as quickly and as hassle free as possible. Ensuring that the sale of your property or the purchase of your new property goes through on time, without delay, is extremely stressful.

How can you speed up the property process?

As anyone who has sold a property will be able to tell you, often one of the biggest reasons for slowing down a property sale is the paperwork involved. If you are looking to buy or sell there are some measures you can take to speed up the entire process.

For example, many sellers do not instruct a conveyancing company or solicitor about the sale of their property until they have a sale agreed. Few sellers realise this but it will speed up the process considerably if you actually instruct them before you put your property on the market. This will give them advance notice to get all the necessary paperwork in order that will be required when making a sale.

It is worth noting that if you’re looking to make a sale of a leasehold property, such as a flat or apartment, then the sooner you can instruct a conveyancer the better. When selling a leasehold property, as opposed to a freehold property, there are more parties involved.

The earlier you can let your conveyancing solicitor know about the proposed sale the more time they will have to contact the respective groups involved in the sale, including contacting your freeholder and/or managing agent, which can of course take time.

You can also save time when buying a property too by letting your solicitor or conveyancer know in advance that you would like to use their services when buying. If you have the details of your conveyancer ready at the time of making an offer on a property, the sale is likely to go through quicker and you can ‘hit the ground running’ in terms of owning the property you want to buy.

Does it cost money to instruct a conveyancer or solicitor prior to agreeing a sale?

In the past no buyer or seller was keen on instructing their conveyancer or solicitor in advance of agreeing a sale or making an offer on a property because they were not keen on running up expensive legal costs without prior knowledge that a sale was imminent.

Today, however, there are conveyancing firms out there that work on a ‘no move, no fee’ policy. This means that if your sale doesn’t go through, you don’t owe the conveyance company any money at all.

So if you are looking to buy or sell property in 2012 and want to do it quickly, you could choose one of the many companies in the " Sell My House Fast" marketplace, and if you're happy with the kind of deals they will do then this could be an option. Even then, one of the easiest ways to speed up a property transaction, without incurring any additional costs yourself, is to utilise the services of a specialist conveyancing solicitor that does not charge in advance.

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