Andrea Cowan from Miller, Beckett & Jackson explains the importance of consulting a solicitor before you begin the buying or selling process:
Purchasing a new home, whether you are a first-time buyer or making your way onto the next stage of the property ladder, can be exciting and daunting in equal measures. There is no denying the sheer volume of paper work involved in the conveyancing process can become overwhelming, which is why it is vital to secure the services of a good solicitor before you get carried away with the ‘fun’ side of looking for a new home or putting your own on the market.
Choosing a suitable solicitor is not something to be rushed into. This is a business relationship which will last the duration of the selling and purchasing process, and in some cases beyond, so it is worth spending time investigating the best fit for you. As soon as you place an offer on a property, you will require your conveyancer to be in touch with the seller’s own legal team so it is wise to have a solicitor in place beforehand to save any last minute scrabbling or hasty decisions.
Recommendations from friends and family who have used local conveyancers are a good place to start, but you can also log onto www.gspc.co.uk to search for solicitors in your area.
In a nutshell, a conveyancer’s job is to take care of all the legal aspects of moving house, which includes making an official offer, negotiating the sale and / or purchase, checking and transferring the ownership (known as title deeds) and providing advice on dealing with home reports, which sellers are required to provide by law.
Your solicitor can also organise the payment of Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (LBTT) on your behalf. LBTT replaced UK Stamp Duty in Scotland in April 2015 and is only applicable for properties costing over £145,000.
Whether you are buying or selling, or both, being geared up and prepared with your legal ducks in a row is a very wise move, leaving you time to comfortably search for the home of your dreams without any niggling paper work worries to spoil your fun!
Andrea Cowan manages the property department of Miller, Beckett & Jackson.
For more information please visit www.mbjsolicitors.co.uk