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Need to sort legal side of house purchase - help!

(19 Posts)
Buda Tue 03-Nov-09 09:41:31

Hi. Have had an offer accepted on a house and need to appoint a solicitor. Have a few names of companies in town we are buying. We are not in UK. DH wants me to get a few quotes. What do I ask them? Am clueless! I was thinking of emailing various solicitors or am I better ringing?

DH currently useless as in Dallas and 7 hours behind timewise!


Wigeon Tue 03-Nov-09 09:55:25

We just got the yellow pages and rang a few of them to ask them what the total cost would be for conveyancing - there are loads of things they will tell you about and include like search fees, land registery fee etc. We basically went for the cheapest firm who still seemed to have a proper website and be an established business. Not very scientific but so far they seem to be a doing a good job!

Doodleydoo Tue 03-Nov-09 09:58:09

Just bear in mind that land registry and searches are generally at a set price I think, as long as they are "accredited" you should be ok. Mind you don't ask me as our solicitor is ignoring me but then my dh does say i am a pita!

MamaG Tue 03-Nov-09 10:04:40

OK, you need to ring them rather than email, I think. Just becuase they might ask you things you didn't think to include in teh email and it will be quicker.

They will all do the same thing, with varying speed. It's not like a divorce where you need a rottweiler of a Solicitor grin so you can safely go for a cheaper solicitor without getting a lesser service IMO. The firm I have instructed is over £300 cheaper than another firm I rang: I've worked at both places and know that the cheaper one is just as good, if not better, than the dearer lot. I'd avoid the "licenced conveyancer" firms TBH as I know a few licenced conveyancers and I wouldn't trust them to make me a cup of coffee, let alone buy me a house (sorry, but its true).

looks like a well established firm but could be ££

I like the look of htis lot - been establisehd since 1880 and look to do a lot of conveyancing

If you'd like me to cast an eye over any website from firms you have considered buda, just let me knwo - I've worked in Solicitors offices from leaving school and know my stuff grin

Also, bear in mind that you don't HAVE to use a solicitor who is local to the house you are buying, a solicitor anywhere in England will be able to do the conveyancing so if you already know of a decent firm, don't hold back in instructing them.

HTH pest grin

MamaG Tue 03-Nov-09 10:05:59

Oh and when you get a quote, ask them to list all the disbursements (land reg fees, search fes etc etc) - as doodle said they are set fees, but you can make a list and feel more in control. The thing that differs is the Solicitors fees for their time - don't forget to ask if figure quote includes VAT or not

Buda Tue 03-Nov-09 10:45:01

Thanks Wigeon and Doodleydoo and esp MamaG. I may even forgive you for calling me a pest!

A friend who live in Somerset recommend 3 firms, one of which is the first one you linked too. I think i will call all the 3 she suggested and the second one you linked to and see how I go.

The last time we did all this DH used an old friend from uni but we have lost touch with her now.

Buda Tue 03-Nov-09 11:28:56

Wow. Some difference. 2 quotes of 750 and one (the first one you linked to MamaG) of 2,000!!!!

MamaG Tue 03-Nov-09 12:17:11

Bloody HELL! Obv don't go by my advice then grin

What a difference!

NorkyStrokesMice Tue 03-Nov-09 12:24:13

Buda - I'm currently using a really good solicitor to buy our place - she's very thorough and costing 915 plus vat. She's located in Clerkenwell (not sure if you care where they are!).

Let me know if you'd like her details.

Buda Tue 03-Nov-09 12:30:15

Got another quote of 1850 - 2000!!!

Hi Norky! Thanks for offer but I think I have made a decision. I quite like the idea of using someone local as we have some other legal stuff to get sorted so it will be useful to have a local firm I think.

I liked the first one I spoke to and I know that the friends we have in Somerset have used them a few times. And they were one of the 750 quotes obv!

MamaG Tue 03-Nov-09 12:49:58

If friends have used them and you like them, then thats about as good a recommendation as you're going to get.

Go for it

Buda Tue 03-Nov-09 12:50:51

This HIP thingie. Should we see it or does it go to solicitor? (Told you I was clueless!)

Survey is being done on Friday.

Other than estate agent phoning me on Thursday to tell me that offer had been accepted, nothing else has happened. Is that usual?

NorkyStrokesMice Tue 03-Nov-09 13:16:39

I learnt from the first place we tried to buy that you should look at the HiP before placing your offer! Tells you things like whether they've had planning permission for doing works to the house.

You should let the estate agent know which solicitor you are using, then they will pass that on to the vendor's solicitor.

Buda Tue 03-Nov-09 13:23:28

Oh! blush

Shit. Who do I get it from?

MamaG Tue 03-Nov-09 13:27:22

You will get a copy of the HIP from teh estate agent selling the house - they'll prob email it to you

NorkyStrokesMice Tue 03-Nov-09 13:32:12

We made the same mistake! Found out weeks down the line that they didn't have planning permission or building regs for loft conversion they'd done.

The estate agent will have a copy - although when I asked for the HIP for the new house we're buying, he said I was the first person to ever ask to see it before putting an offer in.

Buda Tue 03-Nov-09 13:32:56

Just spoke to them! Their system is down now but they will send to me as soon as it is sorted.

Just waiting now for DH to wake up in Dallas and read my email about solicitors and then I will instruct them and hopefully things can get moving.

Thanks you lot. You are a real help!

Doodleydoo Tue 03-Nov-09 18:35:31

Also Buda, remember that you can always fire the solicitor but conveyancing is generally quite simple. If there are issues then they can sort them out for you, you are actually always in the driving seat being the buyer - its being the seller thats a pita imo.
Norky you aren't buying my house are you? Although we do have building regs!

Buda Wed 04-Nov-09 12:12:34

Yes Doodleydoo - am not too worried about solicitor really. DH is an accountant so well used to dealing with 'professionals'.

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