What Does Buying a House Chain Free Mean
When buying a house, the term “chain-free” may not sound important, but it actually carries significant weight when buying and selling homes. But what...
Buying a home can be a complex and stressful process, and it’s important to have a good team of professionals on your side to help you navigate the process. One of the key members of your home buying team is your conveyancer or solicitor. They are responsible for handling the legal aspects of your home […]
24 March 2023
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Buying a home can be a complex and stressful process, and it’s important to have a good team of professionals on your side to help you navigate the process. One of the key members of your home buying team is your conveyancer or solicitor. They are responsible for handling the legal aspects of your home purchase, including searches, contracts, and the transfer of funds. But what happens if you’re not happy with your conveyancer or solicitor? Can you change law firms during the home-buying process?
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The short answer is yes, you can change conveyancers or solicitors during the home-buying process. However, there are a few things you need to be aware of before making the decision to switch. Firstly make sure you ask your solicitor the right questions before appointing them.
Firstly, you need to consider the reasons why you want to change. Is it because you’re not happy with their communication, their fees, or their level of expertise? It’s important to identify the problem so that you can address it with your conveyancer or solicitor first. They may be able to rectify the issue and save you the trouble of switching. If you have already tried to resolve the issue with your conveyancer or solicitor and are still unhappy, then it’s time to start looking for a new one. You can ask for recommendations from friends or family, or do your own research online. Look for conveyancers or solicitors who specialise in property law and have a good reputation.
Once you have found a new conveyancer or solicitor, you will need to inform your current one that you wish to terminate their services. You will need to do this in writing, and they may charge you for any work they have already completed. It’s important to check your contract with your current conveyancer or solicitor to see what their termination policy is.
If you have hired a company, you can speak to a partner of the firm and ask for another staff member to manage your case. You can also submit a formal complaint to the partners of the firm about your issues.
Finding another firm is easy, most companies operate nationally, so you could choose someone local or further afield. It is always wise to go off a recommendation and speak to the company, explain your concerns about your current solicitor, and make sure they can meet your requirements before committing.
Your new solicitor will ask you to sign a form of transition and your previous solicitor will transfer your files to your new solicitor, although, they may only do this on receipt of payment due from any financial penalties.
When you switch conveyancers or solicitors, your new one will need to take over where the old one left off. This means that they will need to review all the documentation that has been produced so far, including searches, contracts, and surveys. They may also need to contact the seller’s solicitor to introduce themselves and take over the transaction. If you are selling a property, your new solicitor can obtain a copy of your title from the Land Registry.
It will be outlined in your terms of engagement with your solicitor whether or not you have to pay for works that have been completed. For example, if searches have been done, this is something you may have to pay for. Your solicitor may also charge a fee for passing on work to a new solicitor or conveyancer. Even if the solicitor is no sale no fee, you may still incur charges should you choose to switch.
You will need to make sure that your new conveyancer is on the lender’s panel when changing over and verify the solicitor’s regulation authority. Simply inform the lender of the change and, if the mortgage offer has already been issued, the lender will then reissue the offer to the new conveyancing solicitor.
If your current conveyancing solicitor is holding any money on your behalf, it should be in a separate bank account, so it should be straightforward to have these funds transferred to your new solicitor.
If the conveyancer has already received the mortgage advance from the lender and completion has not taken place, those funds have to be returned to the lender.
It’s important to note that changing conveyancers or solicitors can add time to the home-buying process, so be prepared for potential delays. Your new conveyancer or solicitor will need time to get up to speed with the transaction, and this may cause a delay in the exchange and completion dates.
If you have already exchanged contracts, a change in solicitor at this stage could mean a delay in completion and your moving date, which could be costly, especially as you may then incur two lots of legal fees.
In conclusion, while it is possible to change conveyancers or solicitors during the conveyancing process, it’s important to consider the reasons why you want to switch and to try to resolve any issues with your current conveyancer or solicitor first. If you do decide to switch, make sure you do your research and inform your current conveyancer or solicitor in writing. Be prepared for potential delays and additional costs and work closely with your new conveyancer or solicitor to ensure a smooth transition.
If you have any further questions, please get in touch with Propertyable today.
From mortgages and insurance to viewings, offers, exchange and completion, our Buyers’ Guide will take you through everything, step by step, from start to finish.
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