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Choose a local solicitor

Created on 03/03/2015 @ 16:32
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Our Legal Correspondent Oliver Joseph of Hanratty & Co offers advice on the benefits of choosing a local solicitor.

The housing market has picked up significantly in recent times. Alongside this the legal services market is going through unprecedented changes.

For a buyer or seller of a house this means that they are ever increasingly being faced with the decision as to whether they chose a local solicitor offering a personal one to one service, or chose a larger often internet based company.

The latter service is, on occasion slightly cheaper, but it is rarely as efficient or as thorough and reliable as there is, in reality, a very significant difference in the level of service provided.

The following are, in brief, the benefits of choosing a local solicitor over an internet based one:

1. The personal service a local solicitor offers means that a buyer or seller will have direct face to face contact with the one person dealing with their case.

Given that buying or selling a house is seen as potentially one of the most stressful experiences a person can encounter, the importance of being able to speak in person to your solicitor can never be underestimated. Internet based companies cannot offer that service.

2. Local solicitors will generally provide a fixed fee service and ensure that parties to a transaction are aware of all the costs they will incur at the outset.

Whilst internet based companies will claim to do the same, very often hidden costs are involved such as charging for the provision of copy registration documents, or for obtaining a redemption statement from an existing lender.

This is sadly simply a profit making exercise at the party’s expense. Local solicitors, certainly in Mid-Wales, do not engage in such practice.

3. Many internet based companies may struggle to deal with transactions that are not ‘bog standard’. Transactions that involve leasehold or unregistered properties or properties with legal defects require additional expertise that local solicitors possess, ensuring that the transaction is not slowed down.

4. Local solicitors have local knowledge. An internet based company will not be aware of general plans for development that are not yet implemented, or of any local issues that do not arise on searches but have the potential to effect a

5. Finally, the personal service provided ensures a level of accountability both during and, more importantly, after the transaction. If an individual encounters a problem after completion they can easily pop in to see their local solicitor to have it resolved.

Unfortunately, with an internet based conveyancing service, once completion has occurred and they have been paid their fees, the party who instructed them may find they are unwilling to assist with any problems

Ultimately, the decision is for the party to the transaction as to whether they prefer a personal service with genuine accountability, or whether they are happy to entrust their transaction to people they will not and will never meet.

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