For many people, the conveyancing process can seem an agonisingly long drawn-out one. It does not always have to be this way, but it is sometimes difficult to co-ordinate large numbers of people in a chain of transactions. Your conveyancing solicitor plays a vital role in the process.
A Fastmove solicitor will go the extra mile for you in ensuring things run as smoothly as possible. We cannot promise to remove all of the problems that will arise, but we will do our utmost to make sure you know exactly what is happening during the course of the transaction and to deal with any problems that do arise as quickly and effectively as possible.
These guides have been designed to give you an overview of the conveyancing process from the buyer’s and seller’s points of view. They each include an explanation of some of the commonly used words and phrases which you will encounter in the course of the transaction.
By Mike Goldsmith, company secretary, Fastmove
If you are buying or selling a home through a national chain of estate agents, it is likely you will be encouraged, persuaded or even pressurised into using their in-house conveyancing services.
Keeping everything under one roof may sound good in theory - and many home movers do succumb to the pressure to use the conveyancing company recommended - but in reality, it is the opposite!
I found one consumer review website - http://www.ciao.co.uk/ – which dedicates a whole section to comments from disgruntled customers of one particular conveyancing factory which is recommended by more than one national estate agency chain.
One home mover followed the advice of her estate agent, part of a national chain, and soon regretted it: “The estate agents recommend them of course because they get a cut. They sent out 6 requests for ID verifications over the five months and still required it at the point of holding up the sale. This was after I had sent it twice and the estate agent had faxed it 4 times.”
Another found it frustrating dealing with a call centre, saying: “. I was chasing (them) all the time asking for information that the call centre staff simply didn't know. I would not recommend them at all. The next time we move we will go into our local town and find a solicitor there.”
One customer found it particularly difficult to speak direct with a lawyer: “It has cost me a small fortune in phone calls trying to speak with one of these so called lawyers but to no avail. I have asked the staff at the call centre on numerous occasions to please get a lawyer to ring me so that I might get a progress report but they just could not care less and I am still waiting”
It’s easy to see why these conveyancing factories can deliver poor levels of service. The last thing you need when moving home is to ring up to speak to your solicitor and be connected to an anonymous call centre miles away, talking to someone who has never heard of Plymstock, Crownhill or Ivybridge.
So, how do you make sure your home move doesn’t end up like a horror story!
The message is clear - don’t be bullied – you are the customer and you have a choice.
Choose local firms for a better service throughout all aspects of the home moving process – local lawyers, local estate agents, local financial advisers and local removal and storage companies.
People in Devon and Cornwall can take advantage of the ‘Fastmove’ approach whereby local lawyers work together to make the whole house buying and selling process run more smoothly, aiming to reduce the time taken for a sale by up to 60 per cent.
The network of local offices means that clients can not only phone or email but drop in to see their lawyer in person. There are more than 25 firms of property lawyers in the Plymouth area alone, trained experts with local knowledge and a commitment to make the process as stress free as possible for their clients.
Our members – lawyers, estate agents and other local companies supporting the home moving process - remain committed to keeping Plymouth moving.
By Mike Goldsmith, company secretary, Fastmove
If you are thinking of selling your home, how do you choose an estate agent to market your property?
Most people decide to speak to two or three agents to get an idea of the value of their property and find out about the relevant terms and conditions, for example, the level of commission charged and the length of any tie-in period.
Many people will then choose the agent who provides the highest valuation. But is this the best way to choose an estate agent? If the agent’s valuation sounds too good to be true, it probably is!
In today’s challenging property market, it is getting harder for agents to turn valuations into instructions and, as a result, some try to win instructions by offering an inflated unrealistic initial asking price.
Instructing one because they have given a high valuation does not mean you will achieve this level. In fact you will probably find there is a low level of response and no serious interest.
Over the course of your contract, you will probably be asked to lower the asking price or accept lower offers that are made, generally leading to your home being on the market for longer than necessary.
Agreeing a more realistic asking price in the first instance will prevent your house ‘sticking’ and save you months of uncertainty.
Here at Fastmove, our recommendation is to ‘go local’ throughout the home moving process, using local estate agents, local lawyers, local removal companies and local financial advice.
Why? Because we believe that, as well as the obvious benefits to the local economy, local firms provide customers with the best possible service.
We’re delighted that sixteen of the area’s most reputable estate agents have joined our campaign to keep the home moving process local.
Fastmove agents all fully independent companies owned by local people, members of the Ombudsman or National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA) and committed to do all they can to make the home moving process easier. Fastmove agents won’t inflate the valuation of a property just to gain an instruction. In addition, they commit to a code of conduct involving transparent pricing policies and no sale no fee arrangements.
Put simply, Fastmove agents are passionate about customer service and helping local people to move home by providing service consistent with fairness, integrity and best practice.
By using an agent that carries the Fastmove sign you will not only get a great service, you will also be supporting our campaign to help build a vibrant local economy by keeping money circulating here rather than elsewhere.