Victoria Cranwell heads BLB’s Residential Property Team in Bath and Bradford on Avon. Here she explains why it’s important for conveyancers to meet their clients.
Victoria is available on 01225 462871. Alternatively, you can contact her by email, or complete the Contact Form at the foot of this page. Conveyancing quotes are also available online.
Moving home is a huge step that most of us take only two or three times. Each move involves ever-greater financial commitment, not to mention enormous upheaval. It’s no wonder then that it’s considered among the most stressful of life’s events.
Conveyancing is the term used for transferring a property’s legal title from one person to another, and as a conveyancing solicitor, my role is central to that process. Whether you are buying, selling, or both, I’m there to represent and protect your interests and those of your mortgage lender. Conveyancing can be complex, with multiple interests up the conveyancing chain.
These days, there is a common expectation among many people moving home that contact with their conveyancer will be limited to the telephone and email. But given the importance of the step you’re taking, I would always recommend at least an initial face-to-face meeting. Indeed, if I were moving, I would expect to be able to sit down with the person responsible for steering my transaction to completion. If attending the office will be difficult, the availability of Zoom and other video conferencing platforms provides a ready alternative.
The advantages of meeting your conveyancing solicitor include:
- You will have questions, and probably lots of them. They may be general questions about the conveyancing procedure, or more specific ones concerning the property or the paperwork you need to complete. Whatever their nature, sitting down with your conveyancer means immediate answers – or at least guidance or suggestions.
- Meeting face-to-face helps to build a trusting professional relationship.
- Having met them, you will hopefully not feel inhibited about contacting them in the future.
Clients have said that as a result of meeting me early on, they feel less stressed going forward, accepting they are in ‘safe hands’.
Tap into local knowledge
It’s also worth remembering that your conveyancing solicitor has a wealth of local knowledge. That knowledge is arguably as important as my knowledge of property law for my clients! Sometimes, it’s as simple as being able to recommend a particular local business or professional. However, it also means that I have considerable experience in advising on common issues affecting properties in my region. For example, for homes local to our Bath office, these issues include underlying stone mines, listed buildings, and the presence of radon gas.
Finally, my top tip to anyone moving home is to instruct me at the earliest opportunity, particularly if you’re selling. In doing so, I can often help shorten the transaction – sometimes significantly – by addressing what might be termed your home’s legal kerb appeal. When selling, we all consider cosmetic factors but give little or no thought to a property’s attractiveness from a legal perspective. I can assist in identifying and addressing any legal issues with the property that, if not resolved or addressed, may later deter your purchaser or slow the conveyancing process.
See also Victoria’s article: Improving your home’s legal kerb appeal