Property sales are a big money business, and whether it is your first time buying property, or you have done it before, the process can be complex. Paperwork seems to be never ending and there are many different professionals that need to be hired through the process.
If you are working directly with a large estate agent the chances that you will need to go out andfind a lawyer personally are decreased. The agent will probably have their own in-house conveyancers; and manage the process with them. You will still need lawyers to manage the property transaction in the latter stages though. If you are working with a broker for your mortgage you may need to find your own property lawyers.
The other main time you may need a property lawyer is if you are having a dispute with a neighbor about boundaries. A property lawyer will be able to access the official records and settle the matter one and for all.
Back to property sales: If you are going the route of saving fees and are not using an agent to manage the entire property sale/purchase process, you will need to think about using a solicitor to make sure all of the paperwork is in order. Whether you have found the property for sale in London or the surrounding area on a free classified site like Gumtree or Admart, or by seeing a for sale sign locally the process of purchase is pretty much the same. You may feel like you are out of your depth unless you get close to a property lawyer very quickly.
As well asdotting I’s and crossing t’s there are a lot of reasons to hire a lawyer.These include:
- Are you from out of the area, country? A lawyer can help make sure you know the laws for buying in the area you wish to purchase.
- Are you buying a property at auction that is bank owned? You may need extra help in navigating issues the bank has.
- Are you buying a property that is part of an estate sale? A lawyer will help guarantee the house is able to be sold and not tied up in estate issues.
- Are you buying a commercial property? Commercial properties have a different process than residential and you need to have a lawyer to navigate the waters.
- Are you buying a property that could potentially have some structural issues? Inspectors will generally catch these things, but if you are still set on a particular home, you need to know the best legal way to approach the transaction.
- Are you buying a property in a problematic area, such as a flood zone or heritage site? A lawyer can help you know what legal acts you have in these zones. You may have to sign particular waivers or carry a specific type of insurance for these areas.
The bottom line is, if you are not sure whether you need a lawyerthen you should seek the advice of one. Buying property is a big investment and you want to make sure that everything is covered. Most lawyers will give a free to low cost consultation, depending on what the issue you want to discuss. As the old saying goes, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”.