With searches for new homes expected to skyrocket this festive season, buyers should bring in a conveyancer from the outset to help get a foot in the door, according to a leading Cheshire property solicitor.
Boxing Day is traditionally a busy day for those considering buying, with property search portals receiving millions of views – last year, Rightmove alone recorded 51m visits between 26 December and the first working day of 2021.
However, with low supply in the housing market resulting in homes selling ever faster, appointing a solicitor to carry out conveyancing as a first step can give astute buyers an advantage over others.
Chris Illingworth, partner and member of the property department at Warrington-based Watsons Solicitors, says instructing a solicitor ahead of time can help minimise delays once a decision has been made.
He said: “From our perspective, we can see that with the number of houses on the market relatively low compared to the number of people looking to buy, offers are being accepted from buyers in an ever-shorter amount of time.”
“If during the Christmas period you’re flicking through properties and the seed of moving is planted, instructing a solicitor as your first step as soon as the new year rolls around will help give you a head start for your first viewings.
“Sellers and estate agents know that once you’ve agreed a sale, you could be waiting days or weeks to gather quotes, make a decision on who to instruct and then sign the necessary paperwork.
“If they’re sitting with two similar offers, it stands to reason that they’ll go for the one that results in a quicker sale.”
While the final price of a house and therefore the cost of the legal aspects will not be confirmed until contracts are signed, an experienced local conveyancing solicitor will be able to advise on the projected costs to a high degree of accuracy.
Chris added: “There have been cases where I’ve worked on multiple houses on the same estate over the years, so it becomes easier to identify the necessary enquiries to make, due to the age, location, and history of the property.
“Add that in with the usual prices and costs like stamp duty, land tax or other charges, and the fees for carrying out the transaction quickly become clear.
“A chain will move at the pace of the slowest sale, so if everyone is on the ball from day one, completion can come around surprisingly quickly.”
Watsons Solicitors, which has been established for more than 60 years, specialises in family law, employment law, wills and probate, and conveyancing.
The team of experienced solicitors hold various accreditations and memberships of professional bodies relevant to their expertise, while the firm’s partners oversee all areas of work.