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Ten Things Landlords in Crediton Need to Know

If you’re contemplating becoming a landlord, here’s a helpful checklist explaining what it takes to let a property.

You may wonder why a checklist is necessary. After all, how hard can it be? You buy a property, find a tenant, and boom, you’ve got the whole landlord game figured out. Wrong! 

The private rental sector is subject to so many rules and regulations that even experienced landlords get caught out and make costly mistakes. 

Here’s what you need to know.

1 Legal matters – There are at least 175 laws that apply to landlords in the UK, covering everything from evictions to electrical checks. You need to be on top of all of them.Claiming ignorance (or that the dog ate your tenancy agreement) won’t get you off the hook if you get caught out.

2 Record keeping –It’s vital to maintain a clear paper trail so that if you get into a dispute, you have evidence to support your case. If you’re the kind of person who files important paperwork down the back of the sofa, consider getting someone to do it for you. 

3 Vigilance – No matter how nice your tenant seems to be, regular inspections are a must as they allow you to nip problems in the bud. Lax landlords run the risk of discovering that their property has been sub-let, trashed in a series of all-night parties or, holy smoke, turned into a cannabis farm.

4 Take out insurance – We’re not talking about standard home and contents insurance, but specific landlord insurance. (It’s usually a condition of buy-to-let mortgages.) Various policies are available, ranging from top-tier versions that cover almost every eventuality, to no-frills options.

5 People management –Dealing with people is a major part of being a landlord. Most tenants are reliable and honest, but some, unfortunately, can be infuriating. If a tenant falls into the latter category, you need to remain cool-headed when dealing with them. Good landlords make business decisions, not emotional ones.

6 Maintenance –Routine maintenance stops minor issues becoming major structural problems. It helps to have a network of reliable tradespeople who you can call on when you need work done.

7 Tenant selection – Invest time at the beginning of a tenancy to find the right tenant. Never rush the process when it comes to reference and credit checks.

8 Tax implications –The tax rules covering rental properties have been significantly reformed in recent years. It’s worth getting advice from an expert to ensure you understand what you need to pay and what you can claim back.

9 Understand the market –Successful landlords in Crediton understand the lie of the land, so that when it comes to setting the rent, they are bang on the money. Getting the price right means your property won’t be sitting empty for long periods.

10 Back-up – Good landlords don’t blunder their way through – they have back-up in the form of a reputable letting agent. If you want support dealing with complicated legislation, handling problematic tenants and managing day-to-day admin and maintenance, get yourself a good letting agent. Remember, mistakes can be costly.

Here at Helmores we can help you to become a successful landlord and to see healthy returns on your property investment.

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Avoiding ‘Backlog Britain’

The national lockdown and subsequent localised ones are causing delays in the home moving process. So if you are thinking of moving and making the most of the Stamp Duty holiday which could see you save up to £15,000, you’ll need to get going soon, very soon…like right now!

The Sunday Times recently published an article that said October 12th was the deadline for people to put their homes up for sale if they wanted to complete the transaction before the tax holiday ends on March 31st.

It also reported that there were longer than usual delays when getting mortgage valuations, property surveys, local authority searches and having conveyancing work carried out. And this is very much what we’re seeing in mid Devon.

The property law website – Today’s Conveyancer – says: “Pre-Covid-19 the time it took (from the marketing of the property) to find a buyer was, on average, 79 days, and the total time from listing to moving into a property was 187. If that average holds, then by consulting your calendars you’ll know that September 25th is 187 days before March 31 next year when the property purchasing tax holiday is due to end.”

Either way, if it is October 12 or September 25, the key thing to do is to act now if you want to beat the backlog and move while the financial incentives are in place.

If you are thinking of selling or buying a new home here are our tips to help you speed up the process:

  • Sellers should instruct their solicitor/conveyancer on listing the property for sale to prepare a draft contract
  • Sellers should ask their solicitor/conveyancer to review the property information forms and title and to identify any issues which might impact a sale.
  • Buyers should obtain a mortgage decision in principle ahead of putting an offer forward.
  • Buyers should instruct a solicitor/conveyancer prior to making an offer.

So, it’s crystal clear, if you want to move before the March 31 deadline you need to act right now to give yourself the best chance.

We’d love to be able to help you achieve this and make the most of the busy market we’re experiencing in mid Devon – it all starts with a conversation so give us a buzz on 01363 777999.

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The Crediton and Mid Devon Property Market Post Lockdown – The First 100 Days

So, wind the clock back to 2008 we had the once in a lifetime event of the credit crunch, we then had another once in a lifetime event with the Brexit vote in 2016 and now the mother of all ‘once in a lifetime’ events, Coronavirus in 2020 – three once in a lifetime events in the space of 3 Olympic Games!

The doom-mongers forecast that the British property market would drop like a lead balloon  on the scale of the 1989 housing crash (where property values dropped by 30.87% in a couple of years) but would be nothing compared to the tsunami that was Covid. Yet in the first 100 days of the property market coming out of lockdown, behavioural and economic changes mean that many Crediton homebuyers are now even more dedicated to moving home and the Crediton property market is doing quite well.

Going into lockdown, the effect on activity in the Crediton property market during those two months was expectable and predictable as it was placed in suspended animation during April and May. When the Crediton property market re-opened in mid-May, nobody predicted what happened next. Of course, many of us in the property industry estimated some release of pent-up demand from the Boris Bounce, yet nobody anticipated such a ricochet in activity.

This is particularly interesting when one considers GDP dropped by 20.4% in Q2 2020 (fascinating when compared to notable historic times when it dropped by 13.8% in WW2 and 16.7% in WW1), yet amidst the largest contraction in the UK economy ever in a single quarter, what wasn’t expected was an increase of potential property buyers and sellers wanting to move post-lockdown.

Some have cited this boost to the property market on a number of factors. Firstly, we have had the Stamp Duty Holiday, others have pointed at the never seen before 0.1% Bank of England base rates making mortgages cheap, then we had the furlough scheme which protected so many jobs and finally, the pent-up demand from the Boris Bounce.

Yet, when one actually talks with buyers and sellers, whilst all of them cite one or two of the above reasons, all of them mention and talk about how the lockdown has made them re-evaluate and reconsider how they want to live, their work-life balance and where they want to live. This is also reflected with tenants changing their requirements when looking for a property to rent (so Crediton landlords – be aware of this).

Demand for apartments in the centre of Crediton has eased off, whilst demand for property with a good-sized garden or other outside space has increased. One question we get asked all the time is also the broadband speeds, although they are quite decent in Crediton (the average broadband in our local Council area being 21.0 Mbps download and 5.2 Mbps upload).

So, with record numbers of Crediton properties coming on to the market – is it boom time for Crediton homeowners?

Yes, the Crediton property market is good, yet the number of people who have placed their property on the market has also gone up. Us estate agents have never been so busy putting property on the market and I feel sorry for Ken who puts up our for-sale boards – his poor wife hasn’t seen him in daylight for weeks!

But that does mean you are in competition with so many other properties on the market (the number of properties coming on to the market typically at this time of the year is about a third to half less). The Stamp Duty boost ends in March 2021, so that means you need to have found a buyer by November at the very latest. By overegging your asking price, to test the market, might mean you will lose out on this hiatus and could end up missing the boat!

The prices being achieved for the Crediton properties that have been selling have been fair and realistic and have stood up much better than many were originally predicting.

Yet as the country looks forward, given the ambiguous nature of the outlook for the British economy and the possibility that Covid-19 may be with us for a little while yet, I must implore Crediton property sellers to be realistic with their asking price so a greater number of you who want to make the move, are able to do so.

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Is Your Home in Crediton Gas Safe?

Here’s a question for you – When was the last time you had your gas appliances checked?

If it’s been over 12 months, you need to act now and get them checked by a qualified gas engineer.

Next Monday (14th) sees the tenth annual Gas Safety Week begin. The awareness campaign is timed to get people thinking about and checking their gas appliances as the autumn starts to take hold.

Gas Safety Week’s goal is to raise awareness among homeowners about the crucial importance of having their gas appliances serviced every year.

Gas Safety Week reminds people of the dangers of poorly maintained gas appliances, which can lead to gas leaks, fires, and carbon monoxide poisoning. All of which can kill.

Here are four simple steps you can do to keep you and your family gas safe.

1)            Have your gas appliances checked every 12 months.

2)            Verify that any engineer you employ is Gas Safe registered (previously called CORGI). Gas Safe engineers work to a set standard and are tested regularly.

3)            Check your engineer’s Gas Safe ID card. Any engineer worthy of employing will have no issue showing you this, and you can verify it online with the Gas Safe Register.

4)            Install an audible carbon monoxide alarm and test it regularly – this is a potential lifesaver.

When it comes to anything gas related in your home, it’s always wise to think ‘if in doubt get it checked out’.

How safe is Crediton?

You can find out by checking the Gas Safe Register website which has a map showing all the dangerous gas appliances that have been found in Crediton!! To check it out, visit https://www.staygassafe.co.uk/

The demand for gas safety and heating engineers surges in October and November as boilers and heaters start firing up after the summer lull.

So, with that in mind, it’s worth book your home’s appointment with a Gas Safe registered engineer in advance and beat the rush and possible delays.

If you think this article will be helpful to someone you know, why not tag them in the comments or share it with them?

Thanks for reading!

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Crediton Millennials Moving Back in with Mum & Dad?

Roll the clock back 20 years and any self-respecting late 20/early 30 something would never say on their first date that they lived with their mum and dad. It was seen as a sign of immaturity being tied to your mother’s apron strings with as a failure to leave the family home. Yet over these last two decades, the age of leaving home has been increasing steadily from 20 years and 11 months in the late 1990’s to 22 years and 7 months today.

However, as with all the stats, the devil is in the detail. Although the age of leaving home has only risen by 8% between 1997 and today, those that didn’t leave home in their early 20’s tended to stay much, much longer.

In 1997, 11.26% of 25yo to 34yo still lived at home with their parents,yet last year that had risen to 15.74%, an increase of 391,000  ‘stay at home’ Millennials

However, before we deride these Millennials for still being tied to their mother’s apron strings, I would say those very same Millennials (the mid 20’s to 30-year olds) have been pragmatic, being attracted to sacrificing independence in order to achieve their long-term life goals as they have seen rents rise and an inability to save for the mortgage deposit. All of this has seen the first-time buyer levels in this millennial age range rise for the last three years … so good news for everyone!

However, is all that about to change?

Just as mum and dads in Crediton had thought their late 20 something/early 30 something offspring had flown the nest, Covid-19 has blown some Crediton ‘chickadees’ back into the nest. Back in March, the lockdown saw many Millennials flee the big UK cities, with their constrained and poky shared HMO’s and flat shares, swapping their city centre private rented home for their parents’ Crediton home.

Yet with lockdown lessening, it isn’t just remote workers who are unenthusiastic and disinclined to return to the big cities (fearful of a second lockdown) – many of these Coronavirus blow-ins are deciding to stay put too! A recent YouGov poll asked Millennials of private rented homes what their plans were and 1 in 6 tenants planned to hand their notice in on their rented home and fly back to the nest of mum and dad. The advantages are quite plain, especially as it could enable them to save for a deposit to buy their future home.

There are 3,489 households in Crediton, made up of 1,157 single person households and 2,170 family households (the remainder being made up of shared houses etc.)

Yet how many of those Crediton family households had non-dependent children before Covid-19?

296 Crediton households have children that haven’t flown the nest

That’s 13.6% of Crediton families whose kids are still to leave home … and it’s only going to get worse!

So, what does this mean for Crediton homeowners and Crediton landlords?

It will mean that Crediton parents and their children will get to know each other better, build stronger relationships and it will enable their children, if they are wise, to save for their deposit for their first home purchase – who knows maybe in Crediton, as working from home could become the norm.

Also, with remote working, many tenants are looking for properties with bigger gardens which could translate into greater demand for property with bigger gardens? It will also change the property needs of those Crediton parents and potentially could mean instead of those parents moving down market, they could end up staying longer or moving up market?

Now of course these polls could be a load of hot air. What I do know is that this thing has not played out yet and only time will tell if this will make a concrete change to the way people live, rent and buy property.

These are interesting times and thank you for reading this. Do let me know your thoughts on this matter!

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How not to lose £20,000 of the value of your home

On the 8th of July 2020, the Chancellor announced the first £500,000 of any property bought was exempt from Stamp Duty until 31st March 2021. This also included buy to let landlords (although they would still need to pay the additional 3% stamp duty level for second properties). Talking to many of you Crediton homeowners, I know lots of you are bringing forward your home moving plans to take advantage of this tax cut. Also, many Crediton portfolio landlords are looking to save paying the tax by bringing their portfolio purchases forward.  Yet how do you ensure you sell and buy your Crediton property whilst the tax cut applies (a saving of up to £15,000 of stamp duty on your next Crediton home?).

The biggest issue whenever you are selling your Crediton property is the properties that you are in competition with. Plenty of Crediton homeowners have jumped onto the stamp duty holiday bandwagon since the announcement and there are 93% more properties for sale in Crediton than there were during lockdown. The number of properties for sale in Crediton can split down into type…

  • Detached Crediton homes up 67%
  • Semi-detached Crediton homes up 180%
  • Terraced / Town houses Crediton homes up 114%
  • Apartments in Crediton up 50%

So, now you know what you are up against, what do you need to know?

The most important factor is the time issue. It currently takes on average 17 to 19 weeks between a sale price being agreed and the keys being handed over, meaning you need to have found a buyer before the end of November or early December to enable you to complete the sale by the 31st March 2021. That means you really need to have placed your property on the market by the end of September and early/mid-October at the very latest to take advantage of the stamp duty holiday. Don’t get me wrong though, you could put your Crediton property on the market after that date, yet the price you will be able to achieve for your property could be affected.

There are 157 properties on the market in Crediton, of which 81 have sales agreed on them

Talking of price, or more specifically the asking price. There is a window of opportunity for Crediton homeowners to take advantage of this stamp duty tax cut, yet don’t let local estate agents curry favour with you by tempting you with a high initial asking price to win the right to put their for sale board outside your Crediton home.

A Which report stated in 2017 that many estate agents routinely over inflated the asking prices of the properties they brought to market. One might ask why this is an issue for Crediton property sellers, as surely, they can just reduce their asking price at a later date? The excellent report proved that those estate agents who on the face of it appear to be doing you some kindness by endeavouring to get more for your home with a suggested higher asking price, the property often ended up selling for much less than similar properties that were realistically priced properties from day one and also, they ultimately took longer to sell!

This Which report compared the original asking price with final selling prices for 370,000 properties to ascertain how many estate agents had reduced the initial asking price of properties in order to sell them. Which found that 70,300 (19%) of all 370,000 properties sold had to be reduced by at least 5% in order to get the property sold, whilst the other 81% (299,700) had no or very minimal reductions to get them sold.

Of the 299,700 sold properties that weren’t reduced or reduced by less than 5%, the average initial asking price was £261,000, yet they eventually sold for an average sale price of £260,000. For those 70,300 homes whose asking prices were reduced by over 5%, whilst the average listing price was £266,000, their eventual sale price was only £241,000, a loss of £20,000 each. Even worse, those properties with the heavy price reductions (5% or more) took an average of nine weeks and one day longer to sell (when compared to the other properties with no or minimal reductions).

What that means is by over inflating your initial asking price of your Crediton home, it will cost those Crediton homeowners an extra nine weeks to find a buyer and they will lose out on the final sale price by some considerable margin (meaning you will also probably lose out on the stamp duty holiday).

Assuming your asking is price is realistic, you aren’t out of the woods yet. Other things that will help you get the best price for your Crediton home in the best possible time (and thus save you money with the stamp duty holiday) are…

  • Everyone searches on the portals for their next home. Photos are therefore very important (a picture speaks a thousand words). If the weather isn’t good on the day of the photoshoot, ask the agent to revisit when the sun is out (and even tell them to hold off marketing the property until those pictures are perfect) … as you only get one go at being ‘new to the market’, with all the excitement and interest that causes.
  • Employ the services of a solicitor at the same time as instructing the estate agent. Bringing together the legal paperwork of the property you are selling. By doing so, you will save weeks between the sale agreed and completion. Also, solicitors will be really busy, juggling many property transactions at the same time in the next 200+ days. Anything you can do to get a head start on others can only help your cause.
  • Kerb side appeal. Look at your property from across the road. Does the front door need painting? Could a tonne of gravel spruce up your driveway? Maybe adding some hanging baskets and planted pots will help to make a home stand out for the best reasons?

The final piece of advice I can give you is if you are planning to sell your Crediton home, make sure your Crediton estate agent can show you proof of similar Crediton properties and what they actually sold for to back up their suggested asking price. If the asking price isn’t realistic, the chances are you end up losing many thousands of pounds and wasting everyone’s time.

If you would like to chat about selling your Crediton home, please do not hesitate to pick up the telephone – it all starts with a conversation 🙂

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Evictions – An important update for landlords in Crediton

are buy to let landlords to blame

On Friday it was announced by the Government there is now an extension on the ban on landlords evicting tenants in England and Wales.

The new ruling means landlords will have to legally wait until 20 September to begin proceedings using the eviction process. Landlords will now have to give tenants six months’ notice of eviction, before the pandemic struck it was usually two months.

It was a last-minute measure by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government as the original deadline for evictions to begin was today, Monday 24 August.

The original regulations were put into place back in March shortly after the Covid-19 lockdown began. It was a move to protect genuine cases of tenants struggling to pay their rent due to the outbreak.

Speaking to the BBC on Friday, Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick, said: “I know this year has been challenging, and all of us are still living with the effects of Covid-19. That is why I am announcing a further four-week ban on evictions, meaning no renters will have been evicted for six months.

“I am also increasing protections for renters – six-month notice periods must be given to tenants, supporting renters over winter.

“However, it is right that the most egregious cases, for example, those involving anti-social behaviour or domestic abuse perpetrators, begin to be heard in court again. So, when courts reopen, landlords will once again be able to progress these priority cases.”

The final part of his statement was notable for landlords already under pressure. It means the prioritisation of the most serious cases, including those landlords who have not received rent for over a year.

At Helmores we’ve always believed and advised our landlords that taking eviction action is a last resort.

Over the past five months, we’ve been focussing on proven techniques to reduce the risk of landlords and tenants having to go through the stress, cost and anxiety of the eviction process.

We’ve been:

  • Keeping in regular contact with tenants to spot and help if possible, with any affordability issues.
  • Helping our landlords understand any rent insurance policies they have in place.
  • Talking with tenants about their legal responsibilities, which have remained the same during the lockdown and beyond.
  • Working with landlords and tenants to come up with acceptable payment plans if necessary.

There are several other things we’ve been doing behind the scenes as we work hard to avoid the worst-case scenario. But we are fully prepared and ready if it does get to that point.

If you are a landlord and have questions around what the eviction ban extension means to you, call us, and one of our lettings’ experts will be on hand to answer them.

Thanks for reading 🙂

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5 Common Mistakes Landlords Should Avoid

In this three-minute read, we look at the most common mistakes landlords make and share some simple, musical theatre-inspired tips, to help you protect your investment.

Hands up if you think this statement is true: Being a landlord is easy. You buy a property, find a tenant, and then sit back like Daddy Warbucks and count the cash as it rolls in!

If you raised your (jazz) hands, then we’ve got news for you. One of the most common mistakes new property investors make, is to assume that all landlords live on Easy Street. 

The reality is that letting a property comes with a host of legal responsibilities. If you mess up and flout the law, you could face hefty penalties in the form of fines and/or time in prison.

So, if your sole focus is on Money, Money, Money, it might lead you to screech Mamma Mia because there’s more to being a successful landlord than meets the eye.

If, however, you recognise that making it up as you go along is not a successful lettings strategy, then the team here at Helmores can help you realise the full potential of your property investment in Crediton (and of course all the villages across mid Devon). 

We’ve compiled a list of other common mistakes landlords make, which we’ve related to popular stage musicals to help you remember:

  1. Many landlords make the mistake of setting the RENT too high. This deters potential tenants who know the market and, as a result, the property sits empty – until the landlord drops the rent to a more realistic price. 
  2. When it comes to repairs and maintenance, always use professional tradespeople. The last thing you want is a FIDDLER ON THE ROOF or an unqualified jack-of-all-trades messing about with your electrics. A bodge job will end up costing you more in the long run.
  3. A laid back, ANYTHING GOES attitude to paperwork is a recipe for disaster. Always take the time to thoroughly check references and verify employment details before signing a contract with a new tenant. And once the tenant is in the property, follow up any conversations with an email or letter so that you have a clear paper trail should you find yourself in dispute later.
  4. As a landlord, you don’t want to be such a shadowy figure that tenants wonder if you are a GHOST. It would be best if you built a professional rapport with tenants through regular contact and inspections. That way, if there is a problem, you can nip it in the bud before it becomes a significant issue.
  5. Take maintenance seriously and keep your property in good condition – you don’t want it to be like a scene from LES MISERABLES. If your property looks and feels like a home, tenants are more likely to treat it as such. If it looks like shabby student digs, don’t be surprised if it gets trashed.

We hope the above tips give you a clearer idea of the potential pitfalls of being a landlord. But before we say So Long, Farewell, we want to stress that being a landlord can be financially rewarding, if you take a professional approach. 

If you don’t think you have the time or skills to dedicate to managing a property, then we can help. We’ll handle the day-to-day graft and take the pressure off you.

At Helmores, we’re lettings (and sales) experts, and we can help you navigate the demands of being a landlord. 

If that sounds like music to your ears, let’s talk – it all starts with a conversation!

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Why Is the Mid Devon Property Market Red-Hot Right Now?

In this two-minute read, we look at the reasons behind the incredibly high levels of activity in the mid Devon property market.

Earlier this month saw the UK record its highest temperature in 17 years. And it’s not just the weather that’s been red-hot.

The property market in mid Devon is going through a blisteringly busy period, and we’re seeing a surge in the number of buyers seeking property.

Unprecedented was an often-used word to describe the lockdown experience we all went through. And it feels like an appropriate word to use, especially when describing what’s happening in terms of people wanting to move.

So, why is this happening?

Well, we think it’s down to three things. To help people remember them, we’ve called them the 3D effect.

Desire

One of the legacies of lockdown was that many people realised they wanted more from their current home. All that time spent indoors has led to families and individuals rethinking about where, and how, they live. This has accelerated many people’s decision-making processes. Rather than wait a couple of years to move, many feel now is the right time. We’ve heard this from several buyers and sellers who are concluding that life’s too short to delay big decisions.

Demand

When the property market in Crediton went into lockdown it meant all moves were on hold. This caused a ‘blockage’ in the property selling/buying pipe. The relaxation of lockdown and reopening of the property market has seen a surge in demand. And where there is a demand for homes, it creates an increase in their value. So, many homeowners have realised now is a great time to make the most from their biggest tax-free asset. The saying ‘making hay while the sun shines’ springs to mind.

Duty

The Stamp Duty Land Tax holiday for properties under £500,000 means more people now have a larger deposit, making mortgages more available and in many cases increasingly affordable.

On their own, the 3Ds would not have caused such a surge in activity.

But the three have come together in the same period to create the perfect climate for a red-hot property market.

If you are interested in having a chat about what this all means to you, get in touch with us – we’d love to hear from you – it all starts with a conversation!

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How to Find the Right Property Solicitor

When you are selling a home, you have two crucial decisions to make.

Firstly, choosing the right estate agent to sell your home is often the difference between getting a good deal or ending up with no deal.

Secondly, selecting the right conveyancing solicitor will no doubt make your life easier and less stressful. Picking a bad one often leads to headaches, hassle and having to chase them up continually.

We’ve learned a thing or six about what to look out for when it comes to choosing a legal eagle over a tired turkey or a grumpy goose. Conveyancing is legalese for transferring the ownership of property, whether you are buying or selling.

What Is a Conveyancing Solicitor, and What Do They Do?

A conveyancer, or sometimes known more simply as a property solicitor, does the following for you:

  • They will handle the contracts.
  • Be on hand to give legal advice.
  • Carry out local council searches.
  • Deal with the Land Registry.
  • Transfer the funds to pay for your property.

They have a significant and vital part to play when it comes to getting your sale or purchase across the finish line. We realise the importance of their role, and that’s why we’ve come up with the six things to look out for when it comes to choosing a conveyancer or a property solicitor.

Six Top Tips

Recommendations
Ask your family and friends who they have used and would they recommend them.

Communication is key
Some solicitors are notoriously tricky to get hold of and can take days/weeks to respond to your questions. Before instructing any solicitor, it’s worth asking if they have a system in place where you can view/check on the progress of your sale or purchase? And what is the minimum timeframe within which they promise to get back to you?

Do they embrace technology?
This is an excellent question to ask as some solicitors do not hold technology in high esteem, which can cause problems along the line.

Holidays
Don’t get us wrong, everyone needs a holiday, but it’s not unreasonable for you to ask if a solicitor is going on holiday during the period when you are looking to buy or sell. The last thing you want is to be nearing the exchange of contracts to seal the transaction only to find out your solicitor is away and no one else has been left to work on your sale or purchase. If they are going away ensure that someone else is overseeing your file during that period so that matters don’t come to a grinding half for a fortnight.

Do your research
Make sure your chosen property specialist is a member of the Law Society of England and Wales/Law Society of Scotland and a member of the Law Society’s Conveyancing Quality Scheme. Conveyancers must be members of the Council for Licensed Conveyancers.

Ask us
We’ve worked with hundreds of different conveyancing solicitors over the years. And we’ve experienced a real mix of the good, bad and the ugly (not that we are saying they’re unattractive cowboys or girls). Feel free to give us a call, and we’d be happy to provide you with recommendations and more insight into why choosing the right solicitor or conveyancer will make your life easier and raise your chances of property success.

There are plenty of great solicitors and conveyancers out there, you just need to do your homework to find them.

Thanks for reading and get in touch or leave a comment below if you want answers to any of your property-related questions.

And remember we’re here to help!