When you are considering buying a property, it can be difficult to work out what to do first.
See a mortgage adviser?
Find a house?
Contact a solicitor?
There are no rules but it is a sensible idea to see a mortgage adviser or a bank first.
That way you can find out
(a) if you are likely to be given a mortgage and
(b) your budget based on the amount you can borrow.
After that, it is a good idea to line up a solicitor who you will use to submit an Offer on your behalf.
You can ring a few solicitors’ firms and ask for quotes for the legal work.
The solicitors’ firm will ask you a few questions in order to provide you with an accurate quote.
How do you decide which solicitor to go with?
There are a few factors to consider but ultimately it will come down to personal choice and which solicitor you feel most comfortable with.
The key element to any client/solicitor relationship is mutual trust.
You may have friends, relatives or work colleagues who have dealt with solicitors over time that can make some recommendations to you. You could also contact various solicitors’ firms and ask for quotes to compare.
Whilst solicitors’ fees will vary from firm to firm, you may wish to consider whether you can get along with the solicitor and feel comfortable in picking up the phone to them if you have questions throughout your transaction.
A good solicitor should put you at ease and reassure you that no question is a stupid one.
A good solicitor should also be able to explain legal terms to you in a way that you can easily understand – it is easy to be bogged down and overwhelmed by “legal jargon.”
Finally, a good solicitor should be friendly and easy to chat to – you should never feel that you are bothering your solicitor because they are there to help you.
You should also consider the location of the firm that you want to use.
Generally speaking, it is a good idea to instruct a solicitor from a firm local to the area where you want to buy.
They will have a good local knowledge of the area for legal matters and a better feel for the local housing market.
You will also generally receive a more personal service from a local firm and find your solicitor to be more “available” to you should you need to discuss any matter with them.
Thereafter, enjoy the house viewing process until you find a property that you fall in love with…!
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