Finding a property solicitor in Essex


If you’re selling a property of any kind, it pays to shop around and do your research to find a property solicitor with the skills and experience that you need.

If you’re trying to choose a property solicitor in Essex you’ll be asking yourself a few key questions not least of which is – do I really need one? What do they actually do? And, if I do decide to go ahead and get one, how do I decide on the right one for my needs? To help you out, we’ve come up with a few answers.

Do you need a property solicitor?

Whether you’re buying or selling a property in the residential or rental market, you’ll have a host of obligations and costs to manage which is why a few people try to do it without the services of a property solicitor. There is no legal obligation to have one, but if you don’t you could be leaving yourself open to all sorts of problems.

Property solicitors do much more than just cross a few T’s. They are crucial to providing correct legal oversight and making sure you follow all the necessary procedures such as proving your identity to the land registry.

These legal processes take up a huge amount of time, but this is not just a question of admin. Unless done by people who truly understand the legal issued involved, the whole property deal can run into all sorts of problems.

What does a solicitor do? 

So, once you’ve decided to work with a solicitor, the next question is, what do they do with their time? Property solicitors are often confused with conveyancers. The two operate in similar areas, and their roles often overlap, but there are subtle differences.

A property solicitor is a legal professional who is qualified to provide training in various aspects of the law but has had training in the property sector. A conveyancer specialises in the legal aspects of property sales and purchases.

A solicitor will handle a number of roles, including:

  • A local authority search: which sheds light on any issues to consider in relation to the property and the surrounding area including planning, building permissions and any conservation issues such as tree preservation orders.
  • Water authority searches: to locate the source of water for the property and if any public water infrastructure exists on the plot.
  • Land registry services: to verify ownership of the property and make sure no onerous restrictions exist on how you can use it.
  • Environmental searches: to uncover any evidence of toxic substances in the ground from past industrial use.
  • High risk searches: You may also need to pay for additional searches if your property is located in a high-risk area such as an area prone to flooding or near to a landfill site or coal mine.

How much might it cost?

A reputable solicitor is likely to charge fees of between £800 and £1,500 depending on their experience and seniority.  A conveyancer will usually be a little less expensive, but a solicitor is seen as someone who can be more effective for complicated or demanding cases.

On the downside, you may find yourself with a solicitor who just does a little bit of conveyancing on the side. Despite coming with the reputation of a solicitor and higher prices tag, then, there is no guarantee they will have the specialist expertise you need to get a high-quality service.

When making a choice, therefore, it pays to do some research and look into their track record. An estate agent or the financial institution handling your mortgage application may recommend solicitors, but there is no guarantee these will be best for your needs. To be certain that you’re getting the right person for the job it pays – as with everything else – to shop around.