Buying your dream home starts with a good solicitor
If you listen very carefully, you can hear the sound of estate agents up and down the country rubbing their hands in anticipation.
Though the plunging temperatures and heavy snowfall this week courtesy of the Beast from the East are doing a fine job of suggesting otherwise, we are nevertheless on the precipice of spring. And together with warmer weather and new growth, spring also brings the urge for many of us to look for somewhere new to live.
Myriad changes in legislation, particularly around tax relief and Stamp Duty, have made for an uncertain twelve months in the housing market.
The Chancellor's autumn budget last year, which raised the threshold beyond which Stamp Duty would apply, sought to kickstart the market and it seems inevitable that an economy so closely aligned with the private housing sector will in some way benefit further from Philip Hammond's benevolence in his full Budget next month.
Despite a general consensus that there’s unlikely to be much movement one way or the other in average house prices across the UK and even in light of hints this week of an interest rate rise sooner rather than later, consumer attitudes to the housing market are nevertheless positive, meaning those expectant estate agents can probably look forward to some brisk trade.
All that said, we can’t pretend the market is unflinchingly vibrant. Economic realities still play a major part and that manifests itself in would-be buyers choosing discretion over valour when it comes to making an investment. Caution is still very much the watchword in a market which is stable but not exactly enjoying boundless growth.
A house purchase is still the most significant transaction you’re likely to make in your lifetime, so it’s hardly surprising that buyers are prioritising value for money and affordability over the gung-ho pursuit of a dream that has defined the housing booms of the last 30 years or so.
The role of conveyancing – the process of taking the sale and/or purchase from offer, through contract exchange to completion – hasn’t changed materially in terms of the steps that the law requires, but buyers and sellers are understandably more exacting in the level of service they want to get and the amount of hassle they wish to avoid.
By the time a buyer or seller gets to a conveyancing solicitor, they may well have invested considerable time and money in choosing exactly the right property, having it surveyed and valued and sourcing exactly the right mortgage product. The last thing they want is for their dream deal to capsize through inefficiency or a lack of professionalism or expertise.
Having a savvy, commercial and experienced conveyancing solicitor with the expertise and knowledge to take your sale or purchase through smoothly is vital in what is a hugely competitive market.
Conveyancing is not a painting-by-numbers process. Skill, experience and a knowledge of the locality count for much when it comes to enjoying a stress-free transaction and it pays to take as much care choosing your solicitor as you do your prospective new home.
Get your solicitor right, there’s a good chance you’ll have a stress-free journey to your dream home.