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Help! Picking a solicitor and no clue!

(20 Posts)
KoalasAteMyHomework Thu 11-May-17 19:27:09

Help! We are currently selling our house (awaiting a buyer) but have had an offer accepted on a property. We are using a mortgage broker who has suggested that we should go with a conveyancing solicitor they have recommended, mainly because it will have been approved by the lenders panel (I think thats what the broker said). I have also been given quotes from the estate agents for conveyancers in the local area which will be easy for dropping off paperwork etc. The broker says that if I use a local one it might not have been approved so the solicitor will either have to apply to be approved by the lender or we may have to pay a fee. When we bought last time we used the solictors provided for free by the building society as part of our mortgage package. So I have no clue! Am I better off going with the brokers one or am I being fed a line to sell a product to me? Brokers have been fantastic so far and are a well known company.

user1489844432 Thu 11-May-17 20:44:54

I think it is ver unlikely your local solicitor is not on the panel of all major lenders otherwose they would not be getting any work. My best guess your mortgage broker is after provision if you use his solicitor but that's exactly the same reason the EAs recommend theirs. If you want to use the local one just ask them to confirm they are on panel of your lender before making decision.

user1489844432 Thu 11-May-17 20:45:04

I think it is ver unlikely your local solicitor is not on the panel of all major lenders otherwose they would not be getting any work. My best guess your mortgage broker is after provision if you use his solicitor but that's exactly the same reason the EAs recommend theirs. If you want to use the local one just ask them to confirm they are on panel of your lender before making decision.

busyboysmum Thu 11-May-17 20:49:09

Whereabouts are you? I'm a conveyancing solicitor and would always recommend you go for your local highstreet solicitor who are pretty much bound to be on all panels. Who is your lender?

The firms estate agents recommend are giving them a kick back and are usually crap. High volume low customer satisfaction.

specialsubject Thu 11-May-17 21:17:04

Yes, you are being spun a line! Go round your high street and ask for quotes. Also ask
- time to turn round documents
- time to return calls or emails
- what happens if your contact goes on holiday or is sick - seems obvious but some high street dinosaurs rely on the old family firm thing and can't delegate
- is it no complete no fee

Solicitor doesn't need to be local, there is post. I did one sale and two purchases with a firm 200 miles from both. Don't use supercheap bodyshops - which is what the recommended firm probably is at an inflated price!

Maggy74653 Thu 11-May-17 21:19:32

We went with the solicitor recommended by our estate agent and I'm really glad we did because when our sale fell through (because first buyer was crazy) we didn't have any fees to pay the solicitor even though we had got to the point of exchange. They had a no sale no fee arrangement with that estate agents.

GU24Mum Thu 11-May-17 21:33:31

They're right that the solicitors will need to be on the panel for your mortgage company but as the others have said, provided you are using a vaguely normal mortgage company, they should all be on the panels but do ask at the outset. I'd ask friends local to you to recommend firms they've used and if you're happy to say where you are, I'm sure someone could pm you with some suggestions. The solicitor doesn't need to be local but all other things being equal, it's quite useful for when you have to take in your ID at the start and drop in/collect docs at exchange and completion.

Suttonmum1 Thu 11-May-17 21:56:48

Do not go with the el cheapo one, it is a false economy. Ask what they will charge if the chain falls through.

KoalasAteMyHomework Thu 11-May-17 22:50:22

Thanks all, thats some very helpful advice. Had a feeling all parties would be getting kick backs and therefore trying to push "their" firms. Might get a quote from the solicitors we used last time as despite being paid for by the lender they were really good (def not local). As we are still waiting to agree an offer on our house it gives me a bit of time to ask and shop round.


hiddenmnetter Fri 12-May-17 05:53:34

We have used direction law for all our conveyancing and they have been a) very reasonably priced, b) very responsive to my enquiries and requests and c) have had lawyers working on everything not legal clerks. (c) was the thing i liked most as I used a cheap conveyancing firm in Nottingham for my first ever purchase and a) the turn around and email response times were appalling and b) every time I called the only people I spoke to were the clerks and then JUST before completion I spoke to the lawyer so it frustrated me that I wasn't dealing with the same person every time!

I can't remember offhand exactly how much but excluding stamp duty to purchase our current house at 390 we paid around £1,000. They are a fairly large law firm with offices in Canterbury, Kent & London (each office deals with different parts of conveyancing apparently!). I would recommend them as they have been excellent thus far and we are planning to use them again when we sell our house!

Badgertastic Fri 12-May-17 08:02:50

We have used a firm on a number of occasions now called Mander Cruickshank and they are fantastic. Very helpful and fast at responding. Would recommend them to anyone.

Racmactac Fri 12-May-17 08:39:04

Go with a high street reputable firm. Some of these factory line conveyances may be cheaper but they will take longer and god help you if something slightly unusual comes up. They are usually just admin people who don't actually know anything. Use a high street practice and you will get solicitor.

busyboysmum Fri 12-May-17 17:06:55

I went for an interview at one of those sweatshop type firms once just because they were offering the opportunity to work from home.

Basically they have deskilled the job. All the legal title checking is scanned and emailed to India. Your "solicitor" back in England knows nothing about the title of the property.

EssentialHummus Fri 12-May-17 17:14:40

Use a reputable practice where you can work with a named individual (ideally a solicitor). I appreciate that you don't know me from Adam but if you need a recommendation I've now used Gaby Hardwicke Solicitors (Eastbourne) for four transactions, and recommended the same solicitor there (Amanda Loftus) to many friends. She's just brilliant.

PigletJohn Fri 12-May-17 17:33:20

a tip I once heard, if you are in a town with numerous solicitors and you have no way of telling which are worse and which are not too bad, is to look for one with the same name as you.

At least there is a chance you will stick in their mind.

Sparklyshoes16 Sat 13-May-17 11:10:03

When we used a mortgage broker we were recommended to use one through them, I initially did some research and sent off for quotes from a range of firms...Unbeknown to the broker who used the same firm also sent us a quote. Both quotes came back with completely different prices as a private client it was over £400 cheaper than the brokerage quote...random extras had been added on the brokerage one such as a chancel search when we knew and they knew the house we were buying wasn't...and 10 second google quote revealed that! My advice google conveyancing specialist solicitor get around 3 quotes and go for medium range is not always best and expensive isn't it too...are there any colleagues, family or friends you could ask? Good luck with it all smile

KoalasAteMyHomework Sun 14-May-17 15:51:42

Thanks. I keep getting scared where the broker is telling me it has to be one the lender approves.

Although having got some quotes, the brokers one is actually cheaper!!

Bellaposy Sun 14-May-17 16:03:22

Which mortgage lender are you with? The vast majority of conveyancing solicitors will be on all the major panels as others have said.

specialsubject Sun 14-May-17 16:17:12

Ask the lender if the broker is telling the truth.

Cheap is not always good - you don't want an overpriced high street dinosaur but as above, a body shop isn't good either.

KoalasAteMyHomework Tue 16-May-17 21:44:56

Thanks for the advice - I might contact the lender then. Have also googled and found their site where I can check which solicitors are approved.

Unfortunately everything is on hold as our buyers on our property fell through so don't want to pay out for solicitors until we have secured new buyers. Moving is stressful!

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