ORJ has one of the largest conveyancing departments in the region. We complete about £200m of house purchases and sales each year and we are on every significant lender panel in the country.
Many clients who use a solicitor do not realise, if they are having a mortgage, that their lender needs a solicitor too. These days all mortgage companies have a panel of solicitors who they are prepared to instruct. These panels get smaller every year. If your lawyer is not on the panel of your chosen lender then a second and independent firm from the panel will need to be instructed, at your cost.
Mortgage lenders have always had panels of law firms they are willing to work with but recently big names such as Lloyds Banking Group, Nationwide and Santander have all reviewed and reduced those on their panels, in some cases removing solicitors who have worked with them for more than 20 years.
Ultimately the firms on the panel are all approved through the Law Society’s Conveyancing Quality Scheme. It also means that the firms staying on the lenders’ panels will be those who offer high quality standards and a superior service.
An increasing number of borrowers are finding that their lender will not work with the law firm they have chosen to do their conveyancing – a situation that is reducing consumer choice and can add costs, hassle and delay to the homebuying process. Borrowers may only find out their solicitor is not approved when they apply for a mortgage – by which point those who are selling as well as buying are likely to have instructed someone and incurred costs.
It doesn’t just cost more if your solicitor is not on the appropriate panel, it causes delay and in turn this can cause a sale or purchase to be lost.
A recent survey of UK estate agents revealed that;
‘Nearly 1 in every 5 transactions were delayed or derailed after discovering that the buyer’s lawyer was not on the chosen mortgage lender’s panel of approved solicitors.’
Completions were delayed in those cases by as much as 21 days.
Unlike most law firms ORJ is on every lenders panel, which means we are almost certain to be able to act for you as well as the lender. This speeds up the transaction and costs much less and gives our client’s complete peace of mind from the moment they instruct us.
Sometimes clients change borrowers because they find a better deal or because they need to borrow more than they thought. This can cause particular problems if your chosen solicitor isn’t approved by every lender.
At ORJ we are not only on the high street Lenders’ panels we are also on the specialist Lenders’ panels, who provide mortgages for those who are self-employed or have previously been made bankrupt or for unusual properties.
It’s important to establish if your chosen lawyer is on every panel before you decide who to instruct.
ORJ provide our clients with a highly efficient and expert service .If you require further information please contact Louise Palmer, Wendy Rogers or Jade Orr on 01785 223440.