New Build Purchase - 28 Day exchange - being pushed to use builder's recommended solicitors

Posted 24th Oct 2021
I reserved a new build a couple of days ago and I am now being pushed by the builder to use a solicitor firm on their 'panel'. There is also a push to do a "28 day exchange". This is a house which is nearly ready, someone else was buying it, but I am told that the sale has fallen through as the buyer's downward chain broke. I am a first time buyer so they called me and asked if I wanted to reserve this house and I went ahead.

From my side, I am okay to get as quick as possible, but am not sure I should skip the searches.
Also, when I told the builder's sales office that I would like to exchange and complete on the same day, they have denied this and have said that they only do completion on the last day of the month.

I am not sure if I should use the solicitors recommended by the builders as these solicitors say that they will not conduct searches but instead will go for "search indemnity insurance" for £50+VAT.
Even if I go for the searches, the solicitor told me that we can exchange contracts even if search results are pending. It appears that there is a rush to do the exchange of contracts even if the legal work or searches are not complete.

The builders are after my life to use this solicitors firm, I have called a couple of local solicitors firms and all of them insist to do searches.

I am not sure if:
a) I should go for the search indemnity insurance
b) I should exchange contracts even if search results are pending

This is a greenfield site.

Any suggestions will be helpful.
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