Pearson Column: What to do when you buy a house

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IN a chat with my 20-something relatives and their friends recently I asked them about buying properties and how they would appoint a conveyancer – none of them had heard this word before and so I explained it’s really just the legal term for transferring ownership of a property and it’s always advisable to get a conveyancing solicitor, conveyancer or a property lawyer to manage your perfect move.

Property in Saddleworth is expensive, but there are a range of options. New builds planned in Diggle, some affordable housing, the canal side development in Greenfield and Friezland, proposed barn conversions and changes of use over the years have led to an eclectic mix.

When you’ve found the house of your dreams it’s probably the biggest single amount of money you’re going to spend on something and the first thing you will be asked is the name of your lawyer. You may have never instructed solicitors before, so what does a conveyancer do for you and why do you need one?

Essentially a conveyancer will handle all the legal aspects involved: handle contracts, deal with any complex legal issues, carry out local council searches, sort out Land Registry issues, and securely transfer the money to pay for your property.

“Spring is traditionally a busy time for house moves with lots of bank holidays to get on with the unpacking,” said Michelle Ong, a specialist conveyancing solicitor at Pearsons.

“So choosing the right solicitor is important as you need to build up a trusting relationship with good communication.

“We have clients returning to us for second and third house moves, so always ask around for recommendations. Search online but check out reviews and testimonials. Estate agents, mortgage brokers and IFAs often recommend solicitors, but again you need to check reviews and make sure that when it comes to pricing you have comparisons.”

It’s important to make sure your conveyancing solicitor is well recognised and ideally Law Society and Conveyancing Quality Scheme accredited.

Conveyancers charge clients in different ways, either through a fixed fee, an hourly rate or a percentage of the property price so it’s always best to ask. At Pearson, we always let our clients know what all the costs will be, including VAT, to avoid any unexpected shocks for clients.

Ask your conveyancer if the quote given includes charges for all property searches, bank transfers, Land Registry fees, Stamp Duty Land Tax, and Land Transaction Return Fee, as well as hidden costs including postage and courier services and how any other additional work needed is charged.

Buying a house can be exciting, but also stressful so having a property lawyer you can rely on is essential. At Pearson our property portal and app allows unique access so you can check at any time how your move is progressing.

• For advice on buying or selling a property or re-mortgaging, contact our conveyancing solicitors on 0161 785 3500 or email

If you are a landlord with multiple properties our specialist commercial property lawyers can help.

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