I'm selling my house - when should I instruct a solicitor?

Ross D’Aniello, head of the country homes department here at Nock Deighton, has some sage advice for how to make your house sale go as smoothly as possible.


“Appoint a solicitor sooner rather than later - indeed, the moment that you appoint an estate agent is the moment that you should instruct a solicitor,” he says.


“Once you have found the agent you are happy with, ask them if they know of any solicitors that they trust - it is important to make sure, though, that they are not just recommending a solicitor to get a referral fee, ensure that their recommendation is because they know and trust them to do a good job for their clients.


“Many agents now have associated conveyancing firms who they try to direct all of their business to. In many cases these will do what is required but property sales can be a complex process and will require specialist knowledge and an experienced and qualified individual to dig down into any pertinent points.


“No doubt in the build up to marketing you will have spoken to several agents to assess fees and advice, from this you will decide who you will instruct and it is wise to do the same with solicitors. However, as with your agent, don't just go with the cheapest, go with the solicitor you trust to do a good job for you in an efficient and timely manner.


“Once you have decided who you are going to appoint, instruct them to prepare contracts straight away.


“No, you may not have found a buyer yet, but you may do so within the coming couple of weeks and it is important to get a head start, solicitors are usually very busy and it could take some time between the agreement of a sale for the contracts to be sent out.


“Couple this with potential impatient buyers in a chain then hard work done by your agent may be undone with a collapsed chain further down the line.


“Also, if your solicitor is thorough, this will enable any potential problems to be brought to light in advance of a sale being agreed, thus enabling a smoother and slightly less stressful conveyancing process.


“All being well you will sell at one point in the near future, what is the harm in putting the draft contracts together now? As they say, preparation is the key to success…”


For information on any of the properties Nock Deighton is advertising, or if you have a country home, please call our country homes department for free advice on 01584 875 555.

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