I have learnt that the one question a prospective
client knows to ask aÂ Â is â€˜how much will it cost?’. If the average
person only buys a property every 14 years then their knowledge of process and
understanding of what to expect will be limited. Everyone knows to ask â€˜what
will it cost?’ but actually theÂ property lawyers’ own charges in relation
to the overall cost of move is a very small fraction. WhatÂ Â property
lawyers’ term as â€˜disbursements’ are usually set prescribed charges that will
not alter from firm to firm and will include Stamp Duty and Land Registry fees.
If those charges do not alter as they are prescribed by Government Agencies it
is just the fees of theÂ property lawyerÂ themselves that will vary.
A more important question to ask when thinking of
instructingÂ aÂ Â property lawyerÂ to act for you onÂ your
house move is â€˜what will I get for my money?\’. SomeÂ Â property
lawyersÂ view the house buying and selling process as a conveyer belt service
where they simply intend to get you from one end of the conveyor belt to the
other with out your matter falling off the conveyor belt and becoming more
problematic to them than they had hoped or budgeted for.
A house purchase is very possible the largest financial
transaction you will be involved with in your personal life and so to a large
extent to be governed simply by cost would be wrong. Far more important would
be to have a good working relationship with a person you can relate to,
offering a service that suits you from a location convenient to you.
It is important to ascertain what the cost would be but this
is not the most important question. I would rather know what I will receive by
way of service than save a few pounds in what is acknowledged to be one of
life’s most stressful experiences, moving home. To have one contact at a
particular firm who will take a particular interest in you and your
transaction, someone who will contact you and update when there is news and
work proactively in trying to make things happen in a timely manner. Someone
that you can contact when you need them and is pleased to hear from you and who
will then use all the modern forms of communication available to progress your
matter is worth more than saving a few pounds.
Members of theÂ Portsmouth Property Association are able
to provide details of service standards and solicitors’ locally have agreed
forms of protocol they have adopted to ensure they work together to achieve
clients aims and to avoidÂ any problems.