Panel Solicitors - Do I have to use them?
Apr 4, 2018
When it comes to choosing a solicitor to advise you on a legal process or problem, we strongly believe you should look around, ask around, and go with the team or individual in which you have complete confidence. It’s your choice.
However, when it comes to buying a property, it mightn’t feel as though that decision is entirely yours. That is because if you, as most people do, are taking out a mortgage to fund the house purchase, your lender (bank or building society) will instruct one of a number of panel solicitors to carry out the legal work on their behalf.
You don’t have to use the same conveyancing lawyer; you might decide to go with the firm you’ve used for many years and for many different reasons. But, while that has the distinct advantage of you knowing what you’re getting, it won’t always make practical and financial sense to instruct a different lawyer to the one being used by your lender.
If you both use the same conveyancing lawyer, there may be an element of streamlining to the process. There is less risk of the duplication of effort. Things could potentially happen more quickly because two jobs are being done by one solicitor (there’s less toing and froing). And perhaps most significantly for house buyers, there will only be one set of solicitors’ fees to pay; the general position being that a house buyer pays their lender’s legal costs associated with the purchase.
The difficulty is that people who are buying and selling their homes often don’t know from the outset about the existence of these panels. And they don’t appreciate that the solicitors they’ve already instructed could well not be on that panel. If you are in this situation and you have already incurred some solicitors’ fees in relation to your house purchase, you might want to simply keep going rather than switch lawyers. However, you should be aware that you could be left footing the bill not only for your solicitor’s fees, but also for the fees of the panel solicitor instructed by your lender.
Understanding the way in which these things usually work is fundamental to making the best decisions from the outset. Ultimately, this is about ensuring that your house purchase goes through as smoothly, and with as few hiccups and stresses, as possible. And having the right conveyancing lawyer (whether panel or non-panel) alongside you is key to making that happen.
Contact our Conveyancing team today to discuss how we can assist you, tel: 01264 353411, email: email@example.com or fill in our no obligation, online enquiry form and someone will be in touch.
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