Things That You Can Do to Speed Up Conveyancing
When searching for a conveyancer, you’re very likely to assume that the more expensive ones can guarantee a faster process to completion. However, it isn’t always the case for everyone. While you may be right in thinking you’ll instruct a more efficient and diligent conveyancer if you pay more, you’re not guaranteed that they can shorten the timeline for you.
While it generally take weeks (even months) to complete your purchase and collect the keys to your new house, there are delays that you can avoid to get rid of the stress. When choosing a conveyancer to instruct, don’t hesitate to ask them about what they do to minimise the unnecessary delays in the process. To help you even further, here are 5 of the best things to serve as a reminder when in comes to speeding up the conveyancing process.
1. Instruct the right conveyancing solicitor. Look around for a few to have a list of choices - from recommendations to online searches. The best way to get a good deal is to compare conveyancing quotes. Write your choices, make enquiries and narrow it down to which one will give you the best value for your money. Although you may be on a tight budget here as the entire home buying process is costly, cheap conveyancing isn’t always a guarantee that you’ll get great service. Cheap conveyancers are very likely to be filled with a lot of cases in their office to make up for the low price of their services, hence you run the risk of having your case overlooked and delayed.
2. Instruct them before your offer is accepted. Or at least have them ready to carry out the task as you negotiate your offer. While it’s fair practice that conveyancers are only given instructions after the offer being accepted, you’re more likely to save up to two weeks (in filling out forms and sorting out the paperwork) if you instruct them ahead of time.
3. You may still be able to count on the traditional (local) post office to courier documents to your conveyancer, but it just take days. You can slash off a few days of waiting time if you can exchange messages through electronic channels (emails, text messages, phone calls, website messaging facility). Online conveyancing also have facilities in place that allow scanned copies of paperwork to be uploaded in the site for immediate review and reference.
4. Arrange for a mortgage lender’s valuation ahead of time - ideally following the acceptance of your offer, so your lender can determine how much you can borrow as soon as possible. Formal offers generally take weeks after the “mortgage in principle” is granted, so you’re best to get the property valued right after your offer is accepted.
5, Complete on a Monday as most buyers look to complete on a Friday, making conveyancers too busy working on their cases. And as work generally resumes on a Monday, you can spend the weekend organising your removals.
While these practices can save you weeks in the process and speed things up a bit, it does not guarantee that you will meet your target completion date as there are still processes and tasks that can bring in delays to conveyancing. What’s important in this case is that you find a conveyancer willing to do everything to work on the process seamlessly, explain the possible roadblocks, and how they can be resolved.
Buying a property and moving can be troublesome enough if not done with careful research and diligence, even without asking yourself if you have instructed the right conveyancer. But with literally thousands of solicitors out there, how do you really know you’re hiring the right one?
Here are a few things you could use as a criteria when choosing a conveyancing solicitor.
How much do they charge?
This is important but shouldn’t be the only thing you should factor in. Just remember that cheap does not alway mean efficient. When choosing a conveyancer on a set budget, always think of someone who can give you the best value for your money - so that even if you’re paying a little more than what you thought you will, you’ll get nothing but the best.
Conveyancing fees range from around £200 to £1,500, depending on the tasks involved and the property’s value. This is only for their legal fees, though. At a given point, you’ll also be charged for additional costs they will shoulder on your behalf throughout the process (they’re called disbursements), plus VAT.
Given the situation, it’s crucial that you learn and understand ahead of time from the conveyancer how they will charge you and how much. Ask (or perhaps) demand or a detailed pricing structure so you can find out if you can afford it.
Are they regulated and insured?
It is crucial that your conveyancer carries out the tasks on a certain set of regulations and compliance and quality standards. Otherwise, you could end up in trouble and not to mention broke. You should hire someone accredited by the Law Society’s Conveyancing Quality Scheme to be sure. And you’re also better off knowing your conveyancing solicitor has professional indemnity insurance to have you covered in case they make mistakes and you file a complaint against them.
What’s their track record?
While every lawyer can help with conveyancing, not all of them are experienced and familiar enough with the process. When making enquiries during selection, get to know how familiar they are with the work as there will be issues you’d want clarified when the process starts. More so, you might want to ask them these questions:
How long have you been practicing conveyancing?
How many clients have you represented throughout your practice?
Are you accredited by the Conveyancing Quality scheme?
Are you a member of the Council for Licensed Conveyancers?
What back-up arrangements do you have in place if you are unavailable at certain times?
If you’re working with a firm/team and you need to entrust my case to a colleague, what’s the extent of their experience in this process?
Are they available and accomodating?
Not only should conveyancers be available to discuss the progress as needed, it’s important that they are affable so you’ll feel welcome to ask and learn of what’s going on and what else needs done. If you’re looking to hire an independent practitioner, think in terms of how many cases they have at the moment to make sure they’ll have time for you (as needed).
Moreover, it’s crucial that they discuss things with you in an easy-to-understand manner. Most solicitors tend to speak in jargons that clients find it confusing. Talk to them before finalising your decision and see if you can easily understand what they’re saying. Otherwise, look for someone else.
Are they local solicitors?
Although not a requirement these days - with the emergence of online conveyancers - you may actually choose a conveyancer located where the property involved is. This can give you an advantage as local conveyancers tend to be more familiar with the local laws and what’s around the area.
How to Find the Right One
There’s a large amount of information available for you on the Internet about conveyancing solicitors. While they can be a great starting point, take time to read them carefully and list down your choices based on what you find, then narrow it down to be able to select the right one for you. Also, it would help if you read their feedback and ask for recommendations from friends or family members who have availed conveyancing services recently.