Q. What is a licensed conveyancer and are you the same as a solicitor?
A. A licensed conveyancer is a specialist property lawyer, someone who is trained and qualified in all aspects of the law relating to property. While most solicitors are general practitioners (although some do specialise in certain areas), a licensed conveyancer specialises in property law and is trained to a much greater degree, as with any specialist. We are regulated by the Council for Licensed Conveyancers (www.theclc.gov.uk) in the same way as solicitors are regulated by the Law Society.
Q. How much will it cost me?
A. From the outset, we will provide you with a free, no-obligation estimate of our fees and the likely disbursements. If you are purchasing, this will include any stamp duty land tax payable, land registration fees and search fees etc. There will be no hidden extras. Additional searches might be required, depending on the circumstances of the individual transaction.
Q. What if it falls through?
A. Statistically, about one-quarter of all conveyancing transactions will never reach completion, with most of those falling through when around 85% of the legal work has already been done. We offer our clients a guarantee scheme; so, for a nominal fee of £100.00 + VAT paid to us at the start of each transaction, we guarantee not to charge any legal fees for the work carried out to date, should it fall through. This is subject to terms and conditions.
Q. How long will the transaction take?
A. A typical conveyancing transaction can be turned around in 8-10 weeks, and sometimes earlier, if there are no complications. It depends entirely on the position of all parties in the chain (if any) and how quickly searches and mortgage offers can be issued.
Q. When can we exchange contracts?
A. You will be committed to buying or selling your property, once exchange of contracts has taken place. We will ensure that all legal formalities are in place, therefore, before we advise you to exchange. It is at this point that you should discuss completion dates with your seller or buyer. You may well have already selected a target date, and we will do all we can to achieve this for you, but no one can guarantee that your initial target date will be met.
Q. What happens about the keys?
A. If you are selling a property, you should leave a set of keys with the agents (if any). Once we have received the sale proceeds, we will tell you and the agents that your sale has completed and the keys can be released. If you are buying a property, we will telephone you once your purchase monies have been received by the seller’s solicitors – and the agents will then release the keys to you.
Q. At what time will I be able to move in?
A. The time specified in the contract for completion is usually 2pm, but it can often be earlier, if there is not a long chain involved.
Q. Why use Hoffman Briggs?
A. We are proud to say that our success over the last 26 years is built on our reputation for offering clients a high standard of service at competitive rates. You will find all of our staff to be friendly and highly experienced. We do not work on a call-centre basis or use voice mail, so you can be assured of speaking to a ‘real’ person, every time.