Author Topic: How do you find a decent independent solicitor?  (Read 1221 times)

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firsttimebuyer

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How do you find a decent independent solicitor?
« on: November 22, 2016, 11:51:01 pm »
I have recently reserved a plot off plan on a new Barratt site. At the time I said I wanted to use my own solicitors and the saleswoman was fine with that.

I spoke with my FA who said whoever I chose would have to be on the panel for Chorley Building Society (that's who my mortgage will be with) and apparently they are quite fussy! :(

I was then recommended Bannister Preston by a friend, whom I contacted, but have to say it's been one cock up after another with them so far so it's not exactly filling me with confidence! As yet, no money has exchanged hands so I'm presuming it wouldn't be too much trouble to change solicitors at this stage?

The thing is, how do I know how to choose one that will have my best interests at heart, rather than the builders'?

Everyone that I have researched so far seems to do work for builders, or does it only matter that I choose one that doesn't currently act for any Barratt homes?

Thank you in advance for your help - I'm currently totally confused.


New Home Expert

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Re: How do you find a decent independent solicitor?
« Reply #1 on: November 23, 2016, 10:34:44 am »
First of all you must NEVER EVER use any solicitor on a panel, or recommended or suggested by the housebuilder.   It is illegal for Barratt, or any other housebuilder, to require you to do so. 
It is also in breach fo the Consumer Code for Home Builders requirement 2.5.

It is true that for certain things you will may be required to use a solicitor on an approved list for Help to Buy or shared ownership perhaps, but even then you should be able to choose.  But it does appear that lenders are dictating which firms of solicitors buyers can use. The reasoning being that if you want any lender to advance you a mortgage, you have to abide by their offer terms. There's nothing knew in this requirement either. The lender apparently has a "right" to approve the conveyancer as  even solicitors can and do commit fraud.

In this Guardian story, the chair of the Conveyancing Association, Edward Goldsmith, said
Quote
"In two or three years those panels will be further reduced – they will be almost like super-panels," he says. He suggests that, ultimately, this will be good news for consumers. "The firms that remain on the panel will be those who do a good job."

Not exactly your experience!
I would check for reputable firm in your local area and ask them to act for you and just you with your lenders approval or switch lender.

Did you use Barratt's choice of financial advisor?
It occurred to me that the FA could then suggest a lender that would require a solicitor that Barratt preferred, thereby avoiding any direct breaches of the CCHB and the law, but enabling Barratt to keep control of the process.  It seemed odd that the Barratt "saleswoman was fine with that"
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