As much as you take your time when buying a phone or a gadget, you should also take your time in choosing a conveyancer. In fact, you should spend more time choosing among the potential ones. After all, you’re getting the services of someone who will help you make the most important decision and biggest purchase in your life.
You can’t count on your real estate agent to give you advice on who to hire, because they might just refer you to their own conveyancers, who most likely would charge high rates. Most of the time, you just have to rely on your own discernment. Be a smart customer.
Talking to your potential conveyancers
You most likely will have shortlisted a few people after searching the web for likely candidates. The next step is to interview them. It’s obvious but many clients hesitate interviewing their prospects because they dismiss it as unnecessary. However, you can ask important questions during the interview, like those about their experience, the kind of property sale transactions they cover, and their detailed estimate.
Pay attention to the conveyancer’s eagerness to handle your case. He or she needs to ask questions too, especially ones pertaining to the nature of the sale or purchase. Have you had inspections and surveys done? Do you have pertinent documents with you? Are you applying for mortgage?
Looking past the small print
A lot of conveyancers lure clients by advertising just their basic legal fees. Naive clients will think that the small print represents the whole conveyancing fee and may instruct the conveyancer without asking for a detailed estimate. The conveyancer may send them a client care letter at the start. This letter details the breakdown of the fees, both the basic and disbursement fees. However, some conveyancers don’t send a client care letter. You’re safer by asking a detailed quote before making arrangements. Without a detailed quote, turn down the offer. You can always compare conveyancing quotes online before settling on one company to instruct.
Outsmarting clever pricing
Don’t fall for the trap of hourly service. Professionals who offer such are usually out to rip you off. However, there are many other ways for them to entice you with low initial price and make you pay much bigger in the end. One is by putting a few disbursement fees only to add more searches, even those you don’t need, to make the increase on the final price legit. Another thing is by adding fees that you’re not suppose to pay for at all. Example of ridiculous fees are personal indemnity and fees for filling out forms and photocopying documents.
Making sure your conveyancer knows what they need to do
Consultation is good because it reveals a few things about the person you’re about to hire, or not. A trustworthy and competent conveyancer can explain to you what they have to do upon receiving your case. Generally, they will have to do searches, explain terms on contracts, deal with land registration, make payments, communicate with your lender, pay stamp duty, and so on. If the person you’re about to enlist has trouble figuring out what to do, they are probably just a representative or an assistant taking calls on behalf of a conveyancer who barely handles the process. You’ve been warned.