Skip to main content

London property market blog


/ by Debbie Caley

When should I appoint a solicitor?

It’s quite simple really. The longer a property sale takes, the more risk there is that it could fall through. Once you’re under offer you need to act fast, so being prepared in advance is very important. Very often, buyers and sellers think that they only need to instruct a solicitor once an offer has been accepted, but in the busy London market this is often too late. Valuable time can be wasted on fulfilling the initial documentation and money laundering requirements rather than getting things like the searches and management packs ordered.

Making sure that you have your London solicitor lined up early on in the process will make things a lot easier and quicker, minimising the risk of a fall through.


When selling a property you can instruct a solicitor as soon as you like. They will send out Property information forms that need to be completed by you and they can get your draft contract prepared and ready to go out as soon as you have a buyer.  As we work on a ‘no sale no fee’ basis at Londonwide Conveyancing, there are no fees to pay to instruct your solicitor at this point.

When selling a leasehold or share of freehold property that has a managing agent attached to it, you need to obtain a “Management pack / Pre-assignment pack” which can take a few weeks to receive.  This information is supplied by the freeholder/management company and will generally consist of:

  • Current balance on service charge accounts
  • Past and present service charge accounts
  • Buildings insurance schedule and policy cover
  • Requirements for assigning the lease

This information will be passed over to the buyers solicitors and they may raise any additional enquiries that your solicitor or management agent will answer.


When buying a property, having a solicitor already appointed whom you can name can really pay off.

At the point of presenting your offer to the estate agent, if you can name your solicitor and also produce your proof of finance, it shows that you are a proactive and serious buyer.

It is highly likely your estate agent will make the seller aware of your readiness and in turn shows you in a better light as someone who really wants to move forward. Not only does it speed up the process when you have an offer accepted, it can also help you get your offer accepted.

If you are buying with a mortgage, your lender will need your solicitors’ details for your mortgage application too. This is another reason you should have them ready at all times as trying to organise a mortgage and a solicitor simultaneously can become demanding.

As all the solicitors we recommend with Londonwide Conveyancing work on a ‘No Sale, No Fee’ basis, you can instruct them to work for you and gather the relevant ID and proof of address paperwork in your own time before worrying about your mortgage applications and property viewings.

To contact Londonwide Conveyancing or to appoint a solicitor to act on your behalf visit


About our expert View all posts by this expert

Expert Debbie Caley
Debbie Caley Customer Services Coordinator at Londonwide Conveyancing at Head Office

Debbie joined KFH in 2004 as a sales administrator in our busy Earlsfield office. She quickly developed a passion for the sales market and spent a few years as a sales negotiator in a variety of our South West London located branches. In 2012, Debbie moved to Head Office and joined the Londonwide Conveyancing team where she helps to advise and co-ordinate our panel of independent law firms. Out of the office Debbie enjoys travelling, dining and drinking wine!

Read more testimonials Leave a review

Find a property

Please upgrade your browser

The Kinleigh Folkard & Hayward website uses the latest technology to give you the best possible experience, unfortunately your browser doesn't support these technologies.

Click here to upgrade to a modern browser