Conveyancing, eh? The dark art of the property solicitor. Title deeds, missives, long letters in legalese, panicky phone calls about loan funds and keys. Have you built an extension to your house without a building warrant or planning permission???? Phone me now please. And thousands upon thousands of emails.
Boring it isn’t
When I go round Scotland’s universities doing talks for law students, I hear the more starry-eyed of them saying things like” I want to do criminal court work, not something boring like conveyancing”. Depending on what mood I am in , I either shake my head and chuckle , or vigorously point my finger in their cherubic faces. Boring? Boring? Let me tell you this, sunny Jim. Getting clients into a house on the due date while ensuring they have good title, a house worth the 5 or 6 figure sum they are investing, making the mortgage money drop down on time from Leeds or wherever the bank department is, forcing the seller’s solicitor to come up with a local authority letter of comfort to replace the missing building warrant, getting the missives for their sale concluded in time for matching up the sale and purchase dates of entry after the title could not be found in their previous solicitor’s office for 6 weeks, finding out that YOUR client’s NHBC certificate was not with those titles, checking that all the money is available – including enough for your rather moderate mates’ rates fee is there – all part and parcel of the solicitor’s daily high-wire act. And unlike in LA Law, or Suits, it is not just one gig at a time. you know the guy who used to be on the telly on a Saturday night with 150 sticks planted in the stage and plates spinning on the ends of them? His whole act was running from one plate to another keeping them spinning so none crashed, with music playing in the background and a cheery if desperate grin on his face. That is identical to the job of the conveyancing solicitor.
Be part of it
Now you may say that this is all very well, but as a client I pay my money and expect a result, I don’t really care about the hours my lawyer works or the problems faced and overcome. But you should. Indeed you should be part of the process. Just as when you go to see your doctor you don’t show him your wound in silence and accept the pills prescribed automatically, you want to know something of the how and the why. That should be the way of it in law. No solicitor who is any good should be reluctant to explain the procedure and the specifics of your transaction, and impart a helpful overview of the process so you have something of an understanding what is happening round about you and the reasoning for that. You don’t expect to come out the other end as a law professor, but it is better to feel that what is happening is with and for you, not at you.
Cheapest is rarely best
Never pick a solicitor purely on the basis of fee level. You don’t buy the cheapest car, you buy the one with a good reputation and that suits your particular needs. Same with lawyers. Good solicitors will get lots of repeat business and referred business. And that is almost never because they charge less than the firm next door. Value for money is the key thing. Oh, and the ability to run around stopping things from crashing. With a grin on your face.
That is why the GSPC works so well for clients. The estate agents are part of the ethos, discipline and administration of the solicitor firms that make the organisation up, and as well as a seamless transition from the marketing to the conveyancing stages, we are from first to last professional, to the standards set by the Law Society of Scotland. And the best value for money around.
Now where are those plates and sticks? Let’s get spinning.