Conveyancing solicitors advice please

(11 Posts)
SunshineOutdoors Tue 26-Feb-13 11:04:20

So, trying to choose a solicitors to use for selling and buying a property.

Have found one that is local but will cost a few hundred pound more than another firm I have found online (from a comparison site). They are based in Essex whereas we are selling and buying near York.

Money is a bit tight so I am veering towards the cheaper one, but I don't want to regret it and wish I'd just spent the extra money.

Does it work doing these things from a distance, via phone and email? Part of me thinks that each solicitor will do it the same way, there's just a series of steps that need to be followed.

But if things end up being complex will we regret not being able to go to an office and talk face to face with someone?

I've never done this buying and selling before and would really appreciate some advice.

Thanks in advance smile

lalalonglegs Tue 26-Feb-13 12:02:29

Distance shouldn't make any difference (I've used the same one for the past 15 years and he's never needed to do anything outside the office) but I'd always go for someone who is recommended rather than a random off a comparison site. It can be a really stressful process and you need to have someone that you can rely on and who will take your calls, answer your emails etc.

Sparklegeek Tue 26-Feb-13 13:09:44

Be careful with the one you're looking at in Essex. I too came across one on a comparison site which was based in Chelmsford & was far cheaper than anywhere else - but when I dug a bit deeper I found some awful awful reviews of them! And then mentioned them to my Mum & she said they too had used them & they were dreadful.

Just saying - be aware.

fubbsy Tue 26-Feb-13 13:21:13

I don't think the distance is an issue, but the skills and experience of the solicitor could be. You said "each solicitor will do it the same way" - not necessarily. I am in the middle of all this just now. My sellers' solicitor is obviously inexperienced and it has caused us some problems and delays.

specialsubject Tue 26-Feb-13 13:27:06

solicitor does not need to be nearby - there are faxes, emails and post. I've never met mine but he did a good job on both halves of the transaction, and was also available to talk us through issues and give advice which turned out entirely sound.

he and his firm also did things quickly.

the local ones at both ends wanted to charge a fortune and our seller's (local) solicitor was very slow and selective at answering calls.

nancerama Tue 26-Feb-13 13:27:50

I would go with experience and recommendations every time. My buyers used a cheap online solicitor. They were slow and disorganised.

SunshineOutdoors Tue 26-Feb-13 14:22:08

Thanks for all your posts. I've realised there's a Leeds based solicitor dh has dealt with for 2 house moves, and I've found their quote is slightly cheaper than the York one. It seems really obvious to go with her now I've read your posts. We know she'll be good.
Can't believe I didn't think of it before!

SunshineOutdoors Tue 26-Feb-13 14:23:05

And sparklegeek I suspect we are talking about the same company. If it sounds too good to be true it usually is, hey?

marinaaquamarina Tue 26-Feb-13 16:41:32

If anyone is willing to make any recommendations on this thread, I'd be really grateful as may need to use a solicitor in next few months and I'm also perplexed about the online versus local solicitor scenario.

nocake Tue 26-Feb-13 19:42:43

We used Simpson Millar who are based in... actually, I can't remember where but it doesn't matter. They were efficient, helpful and inexpensive. They have an online service so you can track the progress of your conveyancing and everything is done over the phone or via email, except when you have to sign anything and it goes in the post. The big advantage they have over a high street solicitor is that you have a single contact who is always available (during working hours). If they go on holiday your file is handed to someone else and not left on their desk so the work on your sale keeps going.

pjp51 Wed 27-Feb-13 12:11:10

I am a Licensed Conveyancer with over 40 years experience in a firm of solicitors that is 200 years old this year. Do not under any circumstances go just on price. Speak to the firms you are interested in. Make sure you speak to the person who will be carrying out your work not just someone who provides you with the estimate for costs.
You have to feel comfortable with the person who will do the work and have confidence in them.
Distance is not a particular problem in dealing with conveyancing although some people prefer to meet their conveyancer face to face rather than corresponding and speaking on the phone.
An experienced conveyancer should be able to answer any questions you have even at an eraly stage.
Good luck

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