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Selling share of house to sister - same solicitor?

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in House Buying, Renting & Selling
8 replies 763 views
Pepper22Pepper22 Forumite
8 posts
edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in House Buying, Renting & Selling
Hello,
I own a flat with my sister - we also have a joint mortgage.
I have agreed to sell the flat / my share of the flat to my sister and her partner.
Can we use the same solicitor / conveyancer?
Thanks!

Replies

  • edited 12 October 2018 at 12:22PM
    SmashedAvacadoSmashedAvacado Forumite
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    edited 12 October 2018 at 12:22PM
    It is not a good idea.
    The solicitor might not agree in any event (they ought not to)

    but one of you could have a solicitor and one of you could be unrepresented - so the solicitor could act for one leaving the other not represented. THe person needing representation is the one buying
  • eddddyeddddy Forumite
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    As the other party is your sister, you can probably both use the same solicitor, if you want.

    It's because, to use the legal jargon, it's probably not an "arm's length transaction".

    The Solicitor's Regulation Authority (SRA) say

    .
    ..rule 3.08 of the Solicitors' Code of Conduct permits you to act for a seller and a buyer if the parties are not at arm's length—provided there is no conflict or significant risk of conflict.

    The guidance to the rule goes on to describe how to judge when a transaction is "at arm's length". For example, a transaction is not likely to be at arm's length if the parties are related by blood, adoption or marriage, or are living together. It is important for each case to be judged on its own facts.

    Link: http://www.sra.org.uk/solicitors/code-of-conduct/guidance/case-study/arms-length-conveyancing-transactions.page


    As the SRA suggest, the main reason not to use the same solicitor would be if there's likely to be disputes/conflicts between you and your sister over the sale etc.

    But if you're both confident that there will be no arguments, it shouldn't be a problem.
  • DoaMDoaM Forumite
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    Many, many years ago I bought the family home from my Dad. (He had terminal cancer, and he and my younger brother continued to live with us after the purchase - the sale made things easier in terms of sharing the estate after he died, so it was really a bit of forward planning as my [new] wife and I were house-hunting at the time anyway). We used the same solicitor for sale/purchase with no issues, but the solicitor made it clear that this was not a normal process.
    Diary of a madman
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  • SmashedAvacadoSmashedAvacado Forumite
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    eddddy wrote: »
    As the other party is your sister, you can probably both use the same solicitor, if you want.

    It's because, to use the legal jargon, it's probably not an "arm's length transaction".

    The Solicitor's Regulation Authority (SRA) say

    .


    As the SRA suggest, the main reason not to use the same solicitor would be if there's likely to be disputes/conflicts between you and your sister over the sale etc.

    But if you're both confident that there will be no arguments, it shouldn't be a problem.

    Isnt the problem here the lender though. The lender is not going to want the same lawyer acting for buyer and seller and lender. Lenders allow same solicitor for buyer and lender, but i am not sure they would permit it. Your lenders will need representation - and that might end up being the problem. As i mentioned above, you could get around this by not having the seller represented.
  • Thanks so much for your replies! I guess then I can at least ask my sister's solicitor if they can represent us both (assuming I'm happy there will be no disputes).

    If I do get a solicitor, would they specifically represent me, or would they represent both myself and my sister as "the sellers"? (and then a separate solicitor representing my sister and her partner as "the buyers")

    Also this might sound like a silly question, but if I decide to be unrepresented, how do I go about that?
  • AnotherJoeAnotherJoe Forumite
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    You can ask. When i had similar (me and daughter), solicitor insisted my daughter used a different firm, not just a different solicitor !


    I am sure its more to protect them than us.
    Please dont criticise my spelling. It's excellent. Its my typing that's bad.
  • eddddyeddddy Forumite
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    Pepper22 wrote: »
    Thanks so much for your replies! I guess then I can at least ask my sister's solicitor if they can represent us both (assuming I'm happy there will be no disputes).

    It's best to ask a few solicitors.

    Some like to offer a standard "buyer's package" and a standard "seller's package" - and won't do anything non-standard.

    Will your sister and her partner want searches, survey, pre-contract enquiries (e.g. seller's property information form, fixtures and fittings list etc)?

    Are different lenders involved? If not the lender may not require searches, but if it's a new lender, they will want searches.


    It's worth clarifying some of the above before asking solicitors for quotes - as you might get cheaper quotes for less work.
  • Tom99Tom99 Forumite
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    [FONT=Verdana, sans-serif]Two different solicitors working in the same office could do the job if there is a problem with one.[/FONT]
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