The implementation of home reports in 2008 marked a significant milestone in terms of how properties were bought and sold in Scotland. It gave assurances to buyers and sellers alike that the professionals involved (solicitors and surveyors) were fully regulated by their respective organisations.
Nevertheless, buying and selling a property can be a daunting and complex process and having a good solicitor on board can make all the difference in avoiding any pitfalls during this stressful time.
To purchase a property, you need a reputable solicitor to guide you through the potential minefields of the home buying process and to complete the required legal work, known as conveyancing. This involves a number of duties, ranging from putting in a note of interest, drawing up a deed which transfers ownership of the property to resolving potential issues which may transpire resulting from the sale.
During this process your solicitor should always act on your instructions and in your best interest and should keep you fully updated throughout the process. At any stage during the procedures you are entitled to contact your solicitor for advice or for explanations if you are unsure about anything.
Locating a good reputable solicitor
A frequently used method of finding a solicitor is via personal endorsements from family and friends, which is generally a good starting point. As they have been recommended, you would expect them to have had good service and provide a good customer experience and that they are good value for money.
If you are planning to sell up and relocate to a totally new location, it may be beneficial to source a local solicitor who has good local market knowledge. This will often help the process as the solicitor will already have well established relationships with other leading professional bodies in the area, such as surveyors, which could work to your advantage as they will have a firm understanding of the local housing stock.
Questions to ask any prospective solicitors
When comparing and narrowing down your search for the right solicitor, it is worth putting together a list of questions to ask. The following are generally a good starting point.
– How much are their fees and what services are included? There should be a solicitor’s fees and charges table you can refer to for further information.
– Do they charge a fixed fee for their work or does the fee vary depending on the workload they have to undertake to complete the property purchase?
– If you receive an estimate, what is included in the price? Is the legal work included or is it simply the stamp duty, registration fees and the VAT?
– If your bid for a property falls through, how much would you have to pay the solicitor? This is not uncommon in areas where competition is high.
Buying a home can be a frustrating process where anything can happen. The level of service you receive during the home buying process can make all the difference to your stress levels. Taking your time, researching and asking the right questions will greatly improve your chances in securing good, credible solicitor who will remove all the complexities, ensuring everything goes as smoothly and stress free as possible.