The short answer to that is no.
While it used to be normal to use a local solicitor for your conveyancing, it’s now increasingly common to carry out the process of buying or selling a house over the phone and online. This means there is no longer any need to rely on a local firm and this freedom of choice can offer a number of advantages.
Why a non-local firm could be the best choice for your conveyancing
Before the internet arrived, having a local solicitor was convenient because you were able to visit the office to check on progress and to drop off documents. Local solicitors and conveyancers were also usually the obvious choice because of their knowledge of the local area.
However, just because a particular lawyer has knowledge of the local area there is no guarantee that they can offer you a reliable conveyancing service that provides good value-for-money. Looking further afield can help to ensure you find a conveyancing firm with the specialist property law expertise, skills and experience to help you successfully navigate the process of buying or selling your home and keep you safe.
Carrying out your conveyancing over the phone and online means the process can often be carried out faster and without the need for you to take time out of your schedule to deal with the process. This can be done just as easily with a firm at the other end of the country as with one that is local, so the exact location of your conveyancers is much less important than it once was.
Being open to using a firm outside your local area also means you can look for a lawyer with specific experience in the type property you are dealing with. This can be particularly beneficial where there are more complex issues to handle, such as if the property is listed or in a conservation area.
It’s therefore always best to do your research before settling on a solicitor or conveyancing firm to ensure you can get the best quality service at a reasonable cost.
What to look out for when searching for a conveyancer
When searching for a conveyancer, you may think that the cheapest deal is the best deal or that locality implies a quality and personal service. However, this is often not the case and there are a number of other things which can provide a better indicator of the quality of conveyancing service you are likely to receive.
Here are some of the most essential things you should look for when searching for a conveyancer:
Are they Conveyancing Quality Scheme accredited? This is the recognised quality mark for legal experts in buying and selling property.
Have they had excellent testimonials and been recommended by previous customers? Don’t just take your estate agents word for it, ask around, check online reviews and talk to the firm directly to get a better idea of how reliable they are.
Do they offer personal email addresses and telephone numbers for direct contact throughout the process? Although this isn’t necessarily essential, it can make you feel more in control of the process and help to ensure you’re not left waiting to hear from them.
How well established are they as a firm? The size of the firm and how long they have been operating can be good indicators of how experienced they are at conveyancing. A larger firm is also likely to have the staffing levels to cover any sickness to ensure your transaction is not delayed.
Are they a solicitor firm or a conveyancing firm? A conveyancing firm works solely in property transactions but may not have the expertise to handle more complex cases, unlike a solicitor.
Are they approved by your mortgage lender? If you are buying a property with a mortgage, some lenders will only work with firms that they have approved on their ‘panel’. If the firm you choose is not on their list, this will incur extra costs and may slow down the process.
Why should you choose Bird & Co for your conveyancing?
We are Conveyancing Quality Scheme and Lexcel accredited by the Law Society. We have a wealth of experience in conveyancing for a wide range of property types across the UK and, as fully qualified solicitors, we have the expertise to deal with complicated property transactions and are fully regulated and insured.
When you choose us for your conveyancing, you will get a direct phone line and email address for your conveyancing team and you can track your case for free online, so you’ll never be left in the dark. Although you may never see us in person (unless you want to!), we can guarantee we will still provide the same quality service as if you were dealing with us face-to-face.
To find out more about our conveyancing services, call 01476 372 036 or fill out our enquiry form at the top of this page.