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Northern Ireland house prices end the decade showing continuous growth

19 February 2020

The Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency have released their findings for the Northern Ireland House Price Index for the period between October and December 2019 and show the positive figures from previous quarters have continued throughout the year. Read More...

Scotland house prices end the year over 2 per cent higher

19 February 2020

The most recent report from the Registers of Scotland has revealed the average house price for a property in Scotland during December 2019 was £151,603, an annual price increase of 2.2 per cent. Read More...

£16 million to go to survivors of domestic violence

17 February 2020

Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick confirmed that 75 councils across England will benefit from funding to help boost their domestic abuse refuge services. Read More...

Helping buyers choose the best option - conveyancer or solicitor

Friday 07 February 2020

Conveyancers and solicitors are vital to keeping the property purchase process on track, as well as a necessary part – but which is the most suitable to meet the needs of consumers?

EXPLAINING THE DIFFERENCE

Agents will need to be ready to answer the question: which one to use.

Both conveyancers and solicitors are fully regulated and insured professionals and will operate in a very similar way.

Conveyancers are specialist property lawyers who are regulated by the Council for Licensed Conveyancers, and who focus largely on residential property transactions.

Solicitors - regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority - offer a much broader legal service and can deal with more complex legal issues. Knowledge beyond property conveyancing law becomes useful when dealing with a boundary dispute, or if the sellers are separating and using more than one solicitor.

These differences will be crucial in deciding what is best for a customer. Explaining the differences between the two before a consumer starts the house buying or selling process will be beneficial all round. The customers’ family situation and any issues with the property may require the additional legal services a solicitor can bring.

HAVE THEY BEEN RECOMMENDED?

Consumers may have received recommendations from friends, family, or their mortgage broker, which are great starting points, however, you should always be able to make a recommendation if your buyer or seller is struggling to find an appropriate professional. Agents must always disclose any referral fees – as per the guidelines from the National Trading Standards Estate Agency and Lettings Team (NTSELAT)

Other areas to consider:

  • Customer review websites like TrustPilot
  • Communications skills – do they get an assigned point of contact, and is that person easy to get hold of and work with?
  • Fees – advise getting quotes and a full breakdown of the total cost. The final price should be inclusive of everything necessary to complete the sale, including searches, monetary transfers, stamp duty or land tax costs and Land Registry fees.

HELPING AGENTS GUIDE CUSTOMERS

Propertymark has a series of consumer guides to help you guide your customers through the property purchase process.

Choosing a conveyancer or solicitor  View all consumer guides