What to consider when choosing a conveyancing solicitor for higher value properties

For most of us, buying a new property is one of the largest and most important investments of our lives, and can be one of the most stressful. On top of that, higher value properties can often be more complicated due to size, location, age, special architectural features or the complexity of the title paperwork. Choosing a conveyancing solicitor with experience in such properties is very important. Here are some things to consider when choosing your conveyancing solicitor.

Topics to be answered in this article

Communication

The conveyancing process involves a lot of paperwork especially with high value properties and it’s crucial that all aspects are correctly completed.

Some companies take on a lot of clients, so it can be difficult to get hold of them and track how progress with your house sale is going, or to get any questions answered at all. You should be able to contact your lawyer about any questions throughout your sale and purchase by email, telephone or coming in for a face to face meeting.

Some questions you may want to ask before appointing a solicitor:

  • Are you getting a personal service?
  • Who, how and when will your solicitor respond?
  • How proactive will they be?
  • Do they offer a face to face service if required?

At Goughs, we offer you a dedicated lawyer who will be your point of contact throughout your transaction. As well as being available to speak with you by email and telephone, we also offer a bespoke service face to face.

Local knowledge

For many people, working with a local law firm offers a wide range of benefits.

Local lawyers will be aware of local developments and news that could potentially impact your property purchase.

A local lawyer can also mean you receive a more personalised service. Rather than speaking to a different person every time you phone, you can speak to your named and dedicated lawyer. You can also call in to visit them in person too, allowing you to save time and drop off any documents etc.

Professional

Make sure you’re dealing with professionals by ensuring the firm you choose is accredited. The Conveyancing Quality Scheme (CQS) is an accreditation provided by The Law Society that is awarded only to law firms who are able to achieve the highest standards of service, procedures and processes.

You can also check the credentials and qualifications of a firm or particular lawyer on the Solicitors Regulation Authority checker service. You may also want to look at reviews for a company too.

Experience of higher value and specialist properties

Higher value properties might be very large and old, or very new and innovative. Is there an additional annex or outbuilding, an on-site business or country land factors such as forests or rivers on property that need to be considered? All these can bring their own issues, so it is vital that your conveyancing solicitor has knowledge of dealing with properties of this nature.

Advice on factors which might affect future value

When looking at what affects the price of a house, there are a number of factors to consider that could affect future value. With large houses on the edge of a greenbelt, there could be a risk of a new housing estate or motorway being built nearby which will increase noise and traffic pollution, but time it could mean more local amenities will be built.

Changes to local infrastructure can affect property values both positively and negatively. For example, if a new road or railway line is built, those backing directly onto the new line/road may find their property values decrease from the extra noise pollution being created. Those living far enough away not to be inconvenienced by the line, but close enough to be able to easily use it, may find their property values rise as their house becomes more attractive to commuters.

Financial issues

A number of tax charges can arise on the purchase of high value residential property. Use solicitors who have a deep understanding of complex schemes such as multiple dwelling relief, which can be used to save thousands of pounds on Stamp Duty.

Fees​

As moving home is likely to be one of the biggest investments you’ll ever make, don’t just settle for the cheapest law firm you can find. The benefits of instructing a named and dedicated property lawyer, who is highly experienced, has excellent local knowledge and provides you with tailored customer service is worth spending a bit extra. Higher value means higher fees, so a clear fee and cost structure needs to be agreed in advance.

How can Goughs help?

At Goughs, we help thousands of people move home every year and we recognise that each move is unique, which is why we tailor our services to meet your needs.

We have recently acted on a high value transaction which involved the purchase of a farmhouse and land. Within the curtilage of the land there were also various outbuildings, one of which could be used as a separate annex. With our knowledge of these types of properties we were able to save the client over £50,000 in stamp duty land tax by knowing that we can successfully apply the Multiple Dwelling Relief.

We have also recently acted for the Sellers for the sale of a high value Edwardian Town House in a town centre. The property consisted of a cellar which ran under the front pavement and road. This is common for these types of houses in this particular town and our knowledge of this allowed us to ensure that all necessary paperwork was in place regarding title ownership and rights prior to the property being sold. This helped avoid delays and complications during the transaction which ultimately saved time and money.

With our in-depth experience and extensive local knowledge you can rest assured that we are with you every step of the way. Get in contact with us and we can answer any questions you may have.

Author Bio

Nadine Stevenson

I qualified as a solicitor in 2016 following my two-year Training Contract which specialised in Residential Conveyancing. Since qualifying I have been practicing within this area of law and have gained a wide range of experience and understanding of various property transactions. I joined the Residential Conveyancing team at Goughs in 2019 and am really enjoying working with a well-established and highly regarded law firm.

I provide a professional service to my clients in a friendly and welcoming manner and I work proactively and efficiently to ensure that my clients’ needs and expectations are met.

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