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Last week some interesting research came to light that suggested the majority of UK homeowners consult a solicitor too late in the moving process. An analysis of just over 1,000 completed conveyancing files by an English estate agent from 01 Jan to 23 September 2013 showed that on average, the time spent between selling and exchange could be reduced by around a fortnight - if only people consulted a solicitor at an earlier stage!

The study found that some 84% of participants left it until the last minute to contact a solicitor with instructions to sell their home. The result being longer transaction times and a larger number of sales falling through. Instructing a solicitor early helps to lower the risk of the buyer or seller pulling out of the sale.

With the property market looking increasingly buoyant as we get settled into 2014, it is likely that there will be more buyers than sellers on the market - particularly with the government's Help to Buy scheme thrown into the bargain. Being legally prepared early will not only reduce stress and workload for sellers but it is also key for buyers as good preparation can help you stand out from the competition. It shows seriousness, motivation and reliability.

Robin King, one of the property experts who oversaw the study, said:  'There are lots of steps that home owners can take to speed up their move and reduce the chances of their sale falling through. This is particularly important in the current market as larger volumes of files for solicitors to work on are naturally increasing transaction times as they try to keep up with demand.'

(image:Jeff Barnes/FlickrCC)

Blair Cadell look after your complete sale transaction including pre-sale title and property questionnaire matters, contract and conveyancing up to the day you hand over the keys to your buyer all at single fixed cost.