by Katie Anderson-Morrison
Buying a house is never as straight-forward as you hope it will be. There are mortgage applications to consider, a never-ending ream of paperwork, and more boxes than you ever imagined you could need. And that’s before you throw in things like surveys, covenants and historic planning permissions.
This is the second time we’ve bought a home. The first turned out to be a five month long struggle to get our solicitor to call us back. Endlessly chasing a professional who treated us like we were a bit of a nuisance got very tiresome very fast. This time we wanted it to be different.
I had the idea that the professionals you appoint to work on your behalf should actually do that. After all, estate agent and solicitor fees make up a hefty chunk of the cash you part with on completion day… so why shouldn’t they act like they’re on your team?
We set out on a quest to find a solicitor who:
- We actually liked
- Would treat us like the individual human beings we are
- Was easy to get hold of by email and phone
- We could trust to do their best work on our behalf
These criteria pointed us down the path of an independent solicitor. We asked around for recommendations and someone who knew much more about it than we do recommended Newport Land and Law.
I dialed Anna’s number and she answered right away. We had an actual real people conversation about the conveyancing service she provided, and it was clear right away that she was offering a very different experience than we’d had before.
Anna is warm, knowledgeable and – don’t tell her I told you – very funny. I got the sense that she wouldn’t just be ticking all the legal boxes for us, she’d also be there to support us through the process. The moment that really did it for me was when she paused mid sentence to tell me her puppy had just run off with her yoga mat. We’d decided to appoint her before she even had time to retrieve it.
Then the actual work began. I’ve already mentioned the ream of paperwork involved in selling and buying property. Between Anna and our mortgage broker it felt like we had homework every night of the week. Luckily, Anna’s amusingly creative out of office responses kept us entertained any time she wasn’t able to respond right away.
Presumably all sales and purchases have their sticky moments, but ours turned out to have more than many. Unfortunately, no matter how much thought and care you put into choosing your own solicitor, you can’t choose the solicitors of the other people in the chain. Though not all of the solicitors we were dealing with were as efficient as Anna, against all the odds she managed to hold everything together and take our purchase to completion in less than six weeks.
No one can promise your sale and purchase won’t involve moments of panic. (Wish I could, sorry!) But what I can say is that having a solicitor who is genuinely on your side makes those moments far easier to deal with.
Anna was always on the end of the phone and kept us updated at every stage of the process. She was proactive and made things happen when I don’t think other solicitors could have. And she was up at 3am the day of our move to make sure everything was ready, because she was as invested in it as we were.