Estate Agents Conveyancing service versus independent solicitor?(7 Posts)
We have just had an offer accepted on a house (at last!)
As we have relocated we thought to use a local solicitor, are there any advantages or disadvantages to using the estate agents conveyancing service? All opinions/experiences gratefully received.
A conveyancer isn't necessarily a fully qualified solicitor. They may not have the knowledge and experience to advise you should anything crop up that is outside their field of expertise.
I take you mean this is someone they recommend locally rather than in house? If in house then no, don't use them as you want someone who will provide you with impartial advice not someone with a vested interest in the sale going through for the commission.
The EA may be getting a kick back from the conveyancer for introducing clients to them and, if so, it will be you who is paying it. Or they could just be the best conveyancer locally who the EA is used to dealing with.
So far my experience is that anyone involved in conveyancing seems to be slow and uninterested! I'm currently researching every stage as I don't trust my solicitor but couldn't get a decent recommendation from anyone for another firm. (And I'm a lawyer).
I would choose a local firm over a remote/internet firm or one that is attached to an EA, unless the conveyancing firm is one that the EA deal with but are not "related".
Most sellers and buyers are clueless about how long the legal work takes and the only thing they are interested in is the exchange/completion date. They place unreasonable demands on conveyancers to do everything quickly, but there is a turnaround time as well as having to rely on third parties to provide information/evidence. Most buyers/sellers are not very patient and place unbelievable stress on themselves and the conveyancer when things take longer than they want.
The solicitors/conveyancers I work for are passionate about their work and want to do the very best for the clients but those clients can be rude and shouty when they don't get their own way, even if the delay (or whatever) is the fault of themselves or a third party. Yesterday, for example, our client (who has been phoning every day for updates since the process started), got into a rage because we were unable to exchange. The reason - our client had forgotten to pay their deposit monies (FTB). Somehow that's become our fault and the client has now threatened to complain to the SRA. That's just one client out of many.
Spickle - I realise I'm generalising so apologies, I didn't mean to offend. Your posts have been really helpful. Unfortunately, my experience is not positive at present. The solicitor cannot write a coherent sentence and sent out the pre- contract enquiries out with the address of a completely different house to the one we are buying.
My main gripe is a lack of guidance and a failure to respond to emails / calls. The lease extension issue that I had to raise was totally brushed off by my solicitor. He actually told me - after a week of me trying to find out - that he wouldn't get involved with any lease extension so it was for us to sort. I was a bit surprised by that but don't particularly mind dealing with it but would've liked to have been told when I first asked. It's just another week wasted. He knows out vendor is emigrating shortly so I would expect prompt responses to simple questions.
I deal with difficult clients too. Part of the job I'm afraid. Solicitors should know how to placate difficult clients.
Kinrinm - sorry, I know you've been having problems with your solicitor. Of course, he should be giving you guidance and responses to your calls/emails though I know myself it is not always possible to respond immediately.
I think your solicitor was basically telling you that the lease extension is the responsibility of the seller, which it is. Because you're a solicitor yourself, you do have legal knowledge which is making you question things that other people wouldn't have thought of and probably wouldn't crop up until much further along in the transaction. Hopefully with the heads up you've had, you are further along the transaction at this point than many people would be!
I'm hoping that my errrr proactive nature means there won't be too many delays. I knew the lease extension could take a while to sort out so I did think 'the sooner we raise it, the better '. My main concern is getting things progressed as far as possible before the vendor moves to Australia. I had a case recently where my witness was in Australia and it was an absolute nightmare to deal with.
But it does sound like the other freeholders are going to be quick to respond which is good news. They'd already agreed to the lease extension within 24 hours of me raising it!
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