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Carol Bryson MNAEA, Managing Director of JP Harll

When it comes to buying or selling a home, it is always advisable to use a solicitor or conveyancer that is local to the property address.


The reason for this is quite simple - they will have dealt with many property sales in the area and will know ‘what is normal’ for the area and what issues are likely to be raised by the solicitor acting for the other side. 


For instance, Selby area has had a lot of underground mining.  If buyers are moving here from out of the area and are using a solicitor local to themselves and not local to Selby and the area they are coming from has not had any mining, then they will not understand what is ‘quite normal’ for our area. 


They will not be aware that the Coal Board actually went round the properties that they thought ‘could be’ affected by mining and asked them if they would like to make a claim for any redecoration works.  Naturally, a lot of people thought this was marvellous and made a claim to get their houses re-decorated for free.  What they were not aware of was that this would then go down as a subsidence claim and this could have potential repercussions for the future when it came to selling their homes.  Therefore, what has to be taken into consideration is how much the claims were actually for.  There is a huge difference in the cost of having a room or two redecorated, compared to what is costs for under-pinning.  In fact, the previous owners of my own home made a claim for redecoration.


Parts of our area have been affected by river flooding.  A lot of work has also been carried out over the years in an extensive flood defence system.  Therefore, some areas that have been affected previously are no longer at risk.  Occasionally maps and insurance companies over estimate areas that ‘might be’ affected when in fact properties have never actually flooded. My old home backed onto Selby Dam and yes the Dam floods on occasion, but that is what the flood plain is for.  My home never flooded.


These reasons, as well of plenty of others are why I don’t recommend using an ‘on-line’ solicitor.  They are not local.  They don’t have local knowledge.  They don’t live locally.


If you were thinking of buying a house in an area where Fracking had taken place, you would want to use a local solicitor in this instance too.  Or an area where there have been instances of sinkholes.


Now you may say, what if I am selling locally but moving away.  I have done this too.


You can instruct two separate solicitors.  However, this is more time consuming, more expensive and you are bringing another third party into the mix for communication between the legal parties, which will inevitably make the sales process longer.  I would suggest instructing a solicitor in the area that you are moving to.  Primarily, as you will care more about the property you are buying than the one you are selling.


If you need any help in choosing a local solicitor or conveyancer, please do not hesitate to get in touch.  Call me on 01757 709955.