Welcome back to the latest in my series on conveyancing. As a quick recap, conveyancing is the legal side of buying or selling a property - this is the bit you need a solicitor for. It is the process by which the legal ownership of a property transfers from one party to another.
This month, we move on to answer one of the two big conveyancing questions:
In this day and age, we are often encouraged to shop around for the cheapest deal, and when it comes to electricity suppliers, car insurance, broadband providers, mobile phone contracts etc - that's pretty solid advice.
But when it comes to the most important purchase of your life - buying bricks and mortar, which will either serve as your home or as a key source of long-term income, then scraping the barrel for the cheapest deal is not a course of action I recommend.
Belfast has many, many solicitors to choose from for such a relatively small city, and you will find - as with many industries - that there is no such thing as a 'going rate' - prices vary and there's no sugarcoating it; the cheap ones are not going to do the best job.
In my experience, a good solicitor will charge approximately 0.5% of the property value in fees.
Someone who is prepared to do your conveyancing for two or three hundred quid is, in my experience, unlikely to be taking the necessary time and care to meticulously check your title deeds and so on. The conveyancing process can represent around 8 hours of work in total, so £40 an hour may sound like a lot of money compared to the average salary rate of pay, but it's not enough to run an efficient solicitor's practice.
Which means someone charging bargain prices is, again in my experience, unlikely to be putting in those 8 hours and making sure all the ts are crossed and is are dotted.
Next month we take a look at how long this process takes, and I will break down the conveyancing process. When you see it step by step, you'll see why it takes a real pro to carry it out properly.
I hope this article has shed another piece of light on what many find a confusing and 'behind-closed-doors' process in property sales. Let me know what your takeaways are from this article, whether you are finding this series useful, and if there are any questions or issues I can help you with in buying, selling, or renting out properties.
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