So, new year, new home?

Make sure you pick the right solicitor to handle your conveyancing

Make sure you pick the right solicitor to handle your conveyancing - Credit: Archant

Choosing the right conveyancer is part of prearing to buy and sell a home, says Julie Crowder-Barr, from Spire solicitors

Julie Crowder-Barr, Spire solicitors

Julie Crowder-Barr, Spire solicitors - Credit: Spire

With a New Year comes new beginnings and for many it is a time to start thinking about moving home. This can feel like a mammoth task, but being prepared is half the battle. Before you start looking for a property or think about marketing your own home, it is important to consider the following really basic steps in order to make the bigger and more complicated process go a little bit smoother.

1) Get your budget and mortgage ready. As a first step you will need to go through your finances and ensure you have a clear idea on how much you can afford to spend on moving. Before looking at properties, you should establish a realistic purchase price after taking into account any hidden costs such as stamp duty, removal costs, and solicitor and estate agency fees. For your mortgage, you may wish to use a mortgage advisor who will be able to assess the level of repayments you can afford and look at a range of mortgage products to best suit your needs. Alternatively you can go straight to a lender and apply for a mortgage.

2) If you have a property to sell you will need to choose a local estate agency to sell your property. You should consider their opening hours, when they will be able to conduct viewings, their high street presence and what kind of marketing your property will receive. It is a good idea to get a few valuations to check the value of your property is consistent and to also compare the estate agency fees.

3) It is also advisable to start getting solicitor quotes as they will handle all the legal aspects of buying or selling a property for you. The service you receive can make a huge difference as to how easy or difficult you find the process. It is important you instruct an efficient and experienced solicitor who will keep you updated regularly. We would advise you to use a solicitor near to your home or work as it makes it easier to drop off or collect documents.

4) Once you are ready to market your home, you should ensure your property is clean, tidy and clutter-free - it's a cliche but you want to ensure you maximise the opportunity of presenting your home for both the photographer and viewings.

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Julie Crowder-Barr is a graduate legal executive at Spire Solicitors LLP.

You can contact Spire Solicitors LLP, sponsors of this column, on 01603 677077 for all your legal needs or see