Choosing solicitors

 Q. I am finally leaving the parental home and buying my own place. Should I use the local solicitor my parents recommend, or follow the agent’s recommendation?

A.   I’m sure the solicitor your parents are suggesting is perfectly capable of doing the job. And we are constantly being told that we should always go with a personal recommendation when buying services from anyone.

However… in this particular case, I think the question you have to ask yourself is this: who is the expert here? Your parents, who may not have moved home for years? Or your agent, who probably deals with solicitors on property matters every day of the week?

Ah yes, you may say, but surely, isn’t the agent just angling for a referral fee?

Well no, he almost certainly isn’t. Yes, he may well earn a referral fee. However, there is nothing inherently wrong with that. Indeed, it’s no more than you would expect in any commercial relationship. But in any case, the fact remains that no agent is going to refer you to any old solicitor, simply on account of the referral fee involved. After all, it is far more important to him that your transaction should proceed quickly and smoothly to a successful conclusion – so that he can charge the seller his commission. He’s hardly going to jeopardise that for the sake of £50 or £100!

Besides, it actually makes a lot of sense to go with your agent’s recommendation. It is always infinitely better if the professional advisors involved have an established working relationship with each other. This helps avoid all those unfortunate delays and misunderstandings which can otherwise so easily occur. Another very practical advantage is that it enables the solicitor to get started straight away on all the necessary preparatory work – and the earlier, the better. Finally, you need to be sure that any solicitor you instruct will work on a fixed, no sale-no fee basis – and the simple fact is that they will be much more amenable to working on that kind of basis if they already have a close and mutually beneficial relationship with your agent!

So, there you are. Ultimately, of course, you are free to choose any solicitor you like. But if I were you, I would accept your agent’s recommendation every time.

Contact Annagram on 01934 863966 or visit  www.anagramteam.com

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