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Choosing the right Conveyancing Solicitor

If you’re planning to buy or sell a property then you are really going to need a conveyancing solicitor to do the legal work for you.

Some very, very brave people do this work themselves, but this is not really advisable. There are a plethora of things that can go wrong – and when they go wrong they go really wrong. Worst-case scenario, you could lose your home or even enjoy a stay in prison at Her Majesty’s pleasure.

So – given that you need a solicitor it’s a given that you need to choose the right solicitor for the job.

Your estate agent will undoubtedly recommend one to you – but this is not always the best way to get a good deal. You estate agent will likely have an arrangement with the solicitor, with for reciprocal business, or even commission for the referral. In either case – you are likely to end up paying more than you need to.

The other problem is – given that any town usually has a number of different firms, not to mention those firms who will act for matters anywhere in the UK – how do you choose the right solicitor?

The internet is your best friend here. Take advantage of the reviews that members of the public are all too ready to leave for other potential customers to read. Be sure to look at independent reviews, such as those you will find in Google. One should expect to find a few bad reviews – or at least somewhat critical reviews. Not to find these would be very suspicious. What you are looking for is a solicitor who has mainly good reviews. There’s always going to be some moany person who finds fault with everything, and someone else who has had bad luck and is blaming the solicitor for everything. Reviews are useful when taken in broader context, and as a whole. What is the MAIN thrust of the reviews?

Some websites really help – (if  you’re prepared to use national solicitor) – for example this   will list quotes from a number of different solicitors, and let your read reviews and feedback on each one. No effort has been made to hide bad reviews – so you can get a real feel for each solicitor’s service.

Be Careful

What you really need from your solicitor is a FIXED PRICE. If you tell the solicitor everything about the property your are buying / selling and your mortgage then they should be able to tell you the price up-front and stick to it. Be very wary of quotes that only show the legal fee – or and estimated price.

Good Luck!



Getting your home ready for sale

If you’re planning to sell your home then there are a few simple things your should consider doing before putting it on the market?


Because a few simple things can make a big difference to:

  1. The price you can achieve
  2. The speed at which you can sell your home

You are very unlikely to sell your home without someone coming to view it first. There are some things you cannot do anything about, such as location or your neighbours – but you are in full control of the appearance of your property.

First impressions will make all the difference to how much you can sell for your property for, and how quickly you can sell it. Simple, low-cost cosmetics changes can make all this difference. A bit of elbow-grease can keep the cost down too.

Front Garden & Driveway

  1. Clear any litter / junk
  2. Cut the lawns
  3. Weed & and put week killer down on the driveway / paths
  4. Borrow / hire a jet washer and clean any paving

Exterior of the Property

  1. Clean all your UPVC
  2. Rub down and paint any wooden window-sills / boards which are in poor repair
  3. Clean your windows
  4. Wash / remove any dirty blinds, nets or curtains

Interior – General

  1. If you smoke:
    1. limit smoking to outside only
    2. get a cleaning company in to de-tobacco your property. The only person a smoky house is going to appeal to is another smoker
  2. If your carpets are dirty, consider getting in a commercial cleaner or hiring one
  3. Paint your rooms in nice fresh neutral colours – if they need painting
  4. Clean your mirrors
  5. Get rid of all of your junk – put it in storage (in your garage, or hire a lock-up). Clutter will make your property look small and untidy. A buyer wants to see a blank canvas that they can imagine their possessions in. Remember – one persons treasure is just junk to someone else. Just because you love your porcelain doll collection, or the 100 photographs of your family – it doesn’t mean anyone else will.


  1. Small, smelly pets – such as rodents and give off very strong smells, even when cleaned daily. It would be best if these were kept clean – and in a room with an open window.
  2. Dogs, especially large ones, can be off-putting to viewers. Best to find someone to do-sit for viewings. Generally, ensure there is no dog-mess in the garden, and that all hairs are cleaned up.
  3. Cats – again, clean up any hairs, and ensure that the cat litter tray is empty and clean.
  4. Make sure that dog / cat food bowls are clean and empty.
  5. It would be better if a viewer couldn’t tell from the property that a pet lived there.

Bathrooms & Kitchens

  1. There is no excuse for a dirty bathroom or kitchen.
  2. Get the rubber gloves on, and the cleaning products out and scrub everything to a shine.
  3. Put an inoffensive passive air-freshener to work in the bathroom.
  4. Ensure plug holes are clean
  5. Open windows onto ventilation
  6. Avoid cooking smelly food whilst trying to sell the property
  7. Ensure bins and  recycling are empty and odour free.


  1. Ensure beds are made, and have fresh clean bedding
  2. Consider using a fabric freshener / conditioner if you don’t normally.
  3. Ensure all clothes are tidied and put away.

Living Areas

  1. Consider moving furniture around, so that it best presents the house – even if it’s not to your preference.
  2. make sure your dust. Go for airy, light and clean.
  3. Consider some new lighting options if a room looks dark and dingy.

Good luck!

For more home selling tips take a look at this fantastic article on Zoopla