CHOOSING THE RIGHT SOLICITOR
6th November 2019
The Law Society of Northern Ireland has a free Find a Solicitor search facility which you can find at https://www.lawsoc-ni.org/solicitors. There are a huge amount of legal professionals named on this database which can be slightly overwhelming! Therefore, Pinkertons have devised a short guide to help you find the best solicitor.
Of course, it is your decision who you choose to act on your behalf but we advise that you choose a local firm. This means you can call in, leave paperwork in, sign contracts and speak face-to-face with ease. Solicitors who work in the area of the property will also have knowledge of any issues that may arise in that location and will be able to advise. Ensure you check they are experienced in conveyancing and their conveyancer is reputable. Also ensure that they are on the panel of solicitors that your mortgage lender will instruct.
Have a chat with people you know that have recently bought or sold a house and ask their opinion on their solicitor. Ask people around you who have the same expectations of service as you. People are often happy to recommend a good and efficient solicitor and will also be keen to steer you away from one who caused some issues.
Don’t use relatives
You may have a brother who is a solicitor and is giving you a really good deal, but our best advice is to use someone who is completely impartial to the transaction. Conveyancing is a business, not a social engagement. You want a solicitor who is quick, efficient and is prioritising chasing your contract. It is more difficult for you to push your solicitor for answers when it is a family member.
Talk about money
One of the most crucial questions you need to ask is how much it will cost. If a firm will not give you a written quote, get quotes from other solicitors. You don’t want them to be vague from the very beginning! Make sure you have a written quote with an upper and lower figure. You don’t want to get to the end of the sale and get a large bill for expenses that the solicitor has incurred making enquiries for you.
Get two or three quotes
Just because a firm may have lower fees does not mean they will provide the best service. Don’t be afraid to ring around two or three firms and weighing up your options. You need to go with the solicitor who is right for YOU!