Does it Matter that a Conveyancer is 300 Miles Away? They are a Bit Cheaper
Here at Gardner Croft, The Canterbury Law Firm, our aim is to always be on hand to guide you in the right direction. With legal services so readily available over the internet and conveyancing factory firms tied in to several of the national and regional chains of estate agents, prospective clients of ours often ask whether they would benefit from being represented by a firm local to where they live or the property they are hoping to buy or sell. We answer by saying that while our fees may appear to be a little more expensive than a volume conveyancer in, say, Cardiff, Leeds or Milton Keynes, there are many positive advantages in instructing us.
Advantages in Instructing Locally
We are likely to have personal knowledge of the area where the property is located; we may even have dealt with the very property before or others in the same road or development. This can definitely be an advantage especially if, for example, there are complex arrangements for maintenance of blocks of flats and other parts of an estate and we have come across these particular arrangements before.
We offer a personal service. Your transaction will be handled by a qualified lawyer and their assistant and not just by a.n.other case handler who may be one of several having input to your case but not taking ownership of it. We offer face-to-face meetings as a matter of course. Our clients can put a face to a name and start to build a relationship with their lawyer. Also, our clients can drop into our offices if they have a question to ask or need to collect or return papers at short notice. It's more difficult to do any of that if the conveyancers are a number of miles away.
The benefits of instructing a firm like Gardner Croft LLP, which offers a comprehensive range of legal services to individuals cannot be overstated. Not only will our experienced property lawyers recognise when a client might need additional services, such as a new Will, a Cohabitation Agreement, or a Declaration of Trust, but we also have the skills in the office to provide expert advice on those matters in a timely way. All of this provides reassurance that comes with dealing with professionals who can either deal with your questions quickly or can introduce you to another lawyer in-house who will be able to assist.
Another advantage of using a local firm is in combating the risk of property fraud or cybercrime. Face-to-face meetings can mitigate these risks and are invaluable in verifying identification.
Are we Really More Expensive?
Finally, when considering whether to instruct a local firm or a volume conveyancer bear in mind two further thoughts; Firstly make sure you compare the costs estimates carefully and like-for-like. The local firm's headline fee may appear to be a bit more expensive than the volume conveyancer but you must check whether there are any additional costs which are included in one estimate but shown as extras in another. Also, some firms have a reputation for limiting the number of contacts a client may have with their conveyancer before they start charging extra fees. At Gardner Croft we don't do that. Secondly, if you are buying or selling through one of the national or regional estate agents who are tied to certain firms of conveyancers many miles away, do not feel pressured into instructing that firm just because they appear to be a bit less expensive. You are perfectly free to instruct the solicitors of your choice.
For specialist advice on moving home or buying or selling an investment property, please contact any member of the Property Services team at Gardner Croft, the Canterbury Law Firm.