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A joint approach to conveyancing in Northern Ireland

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Gateley Legal NI

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We are pleased to support the Law Society of Northern Ireland, RICS and Propertymark in the publishing of ‘People, Professionals and Property’ – a joint approach to make the conveyancing process easier for consumers in Northern Ireland. 

The three bodies have agreed steps to be taken by the selling agent, purchaser’s surveyor, vendor’s solicitor and the purchaser’s solicitor during the course of a sale and purchase of property in Northern Ireland. We believe that this will facilitate the smooth operation of the residential property market in Northern Ireland and the related necessary formal contractual and financial arrangements between vendors and purchasers and their lenders. 

For a long time, the role of the conveyancing solicitor in Northern Ireland has not been appreciated. Solicitors are key to the entire process of buying and selling properties and we feel that it is very important that consumers gain a better understanding of what exactly is involved in the process. 

The Law Society of Northern Ireland have also prepared a helpful consumer guide to buying and selling residential property in Northern Ireland which can be accessed here. This also gives consumers some advice on how to obtain a quote for legal services from their solicitor and what exactly the solicitor does as part of the process of buying and selling a property. 

We firmly believe that if everyone within the conveyancing process adheres to the new ‘People, Professionals and Property’ joint approach, this will make the conveyancing process in Northern Ireland quicker and smoother for everyone involved. We appreciate that selling and buying a house is one of the most stressful experiences in a person’s lifetime and we, as conveyancing solicitors, are here to help make that process as smooth as it can possibly be. We are pragmatic lawyers, and we always try to find a solution to any bumps and issues that arise during the course of a conveyancing transaction. 

The first step in selling a property is to have an estate agent value your house. Whenever you instruct the estate agent to place your property on the market, they will ask you to complete a vendor’s property questionnaire at the outset. This contains vital information that will be used by the estate agent in preparing details of the property to be listed for sale and will also be forwarded to your solicitor. This will help to frontload the conveyancing process and should help to tease out any issues that may be highlighted as a result of a survey or from inspection of the title by the solicitor acting for a purchaser. 

The importance of appointing a solicitor at the same time that you are considering marketing your property for sale cannot be underestimated. Solicitors cannot be the last to know that a property has gone on the market or has been sale agreed. In our previous article, ‘A guide to conveyancing: the key to a smooth sale or purchase’, Alison Reid discussed what you as a consumer can do to make the process smoother.