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Can I use my own solicitor to buy or sell a property?

Posted: 7th November 2017

Yes, you can! If you’re thinking of putting your property on the market and/or buying another, you’ll know that this involves using the services of several different advisers. In all cases, a solicitor is required to manage the conveyancing (the transfer of legal title of property from one person to another). We’ve had a number of instances recently when our clients have come to us and asked whether they have to use the solicitor recommended by their estate agents. In all cases, the answer to this is ‘no’ – you can use whichever solicitor is most suited to your requirements. To make an informed choice as to whether to use the solicitor recommended by your estate agent, there are a number of points to consider: Will it save me money? It’s worth asking this question. The answer should be ‘yes’ but estate agents are sometimes paid an incentive for recommending a solicitor with whom they have an arrangement. This could be in the region of £150 - £250 and as it’s part of the solicitor’s quote may not be immediately obvious. Is the solicitor local? In our experience this isn’t always the case with referred solicitors. If the firm isn’t near you it can be inconvenient when it comes to signing and sending documents and delays can be caused if paperwork needs to be sent by post. Beware ‘free legal’! Some estate agents say that they are offering conveyancing at no extra charge but of course this isn’t the case – solicitors don’t work for nothing! The cost of their work is added into the estate agent’s fees so always ask for a breakdown of costs. In conclusion, we advise the following: If you’re considering using the solicitor your estate agent recommends, ask ‘why them?’ – what is it about this firm that makes it better than others in the area. Obtain 2-3 comparative quotes to ensure you have a full breakdown of all the costs. Ask friends and family for recommendations. Use a local firm, they’ll know your area and the service will be more efficient. If you would like further information on this subject then please give us a call, we’ll be happy to help.

Landlords seeking to mitigate their tax burden?

Posted: 29th January 2017

Do you own your rental property jointly with the income split equally but one of you is a higher rate tax payer? Why not vary this to ensure the lower rate taxpayer receives most of the rent? Your accountants will advise but we can help with the deed of trust to achieve this objective. Give me a ring to discuss – Catherine Turner 0191 383 0111

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