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Cheap House Moves and Conveyancing: Why Cheapest Is Probably Not Best

It’s also likely that the cheap attention-grabbing price stands a good chance of not being what you actually pay.

There are many businesses offering to sell your house and do the conveyancing for seemingly give-away prices. Read the small print !

The first thing to emphasise is that you should carefully analyse the low headline price. One well-known advertiser seemingly giving away their services, charges on average about £1200, including £360 in referral fees, as well as outsourcing a lot of their work to non-local people who don’t know you and don’t know the local market.

If you’re thinking of selling, be careful who you choose and make sure you use a reputable agent and a reputable local conveyancing firm for the conveyancing.

It is said “quality is remembered long after the price is forgotten”. This can be applied to many things but why would you go for the cheapest option when making the biggest purchase of your life?

The BBC were perhaps on to something when they did their own digging into the volume conveyancing market and it comes as no surprise that the ASA (Advertising Standards Authority) has had cause to investigate one advertiser 6 times in recent years.

There must be something behind it, when recent findings show that just 6% of customers chose their solicitor based on being cheapest.

The most popular way people found their solicitor was to use one they had used before (27%), closely followed by a recommendation from someone they know (24%). People are also highly likely to go back to the same solicitor as they have used previously (80% very or fairly likely). (source. SRA – Solicitors Regulation Authority)

In a market that is ever-increasing in terms of competition, it’s unfortunate to see that some conveyancers focus purely on being ‘cheap’ as opposed to offering genuine value for money: it’s equally unfortunate that some chose to lure clients with attention-grabbing headline fees that seem to bear little resemblance to the final bill.

Here are a few reasons why the cheapest may not be the best:

• Your tempting headline quote is more than likely not to be the price you will ultimately pay. Be very wary of those hidden extras lurking in the small print which can more than double your original quote. You may find you are charged an additional fee for matters such as checking your mortgage offer, paying off your existing mortgage or submitting your stamp duty return, all of which you would think should form part of a standard residential conveyancing transaction.

• Your conveyancer may not be local – whilst not essential instructing a conveyancer who is local to the area can be beneficial. Firstly they will be familiar with any quirky local issues and secondly, it makes life easier for you to have a face to face meeting with your conveyancer, together with the convenience of being able to drop paperwork into your local office.

• The service may not be very personal. It may be that you do not deal with the same person throughout your transaction, with many different “teams” dealing with each stage. This can become extremely frustrating especially if there are complications or delays during the transaction.

• You may simply be a number. We are proud of the fact that at Wilson Browne we have many returning clients and often get to know them and their families personally.

• You may have to go elsewhere to up-date your will or for any non-standard matters. These services may not be offered by specialist conveyancing firms.

Jenny Woodruff

Posted:

Jenny Woodruff

Partner

Jenny is a Partner and head of the Residential Conveyancing Team. She has extensive knowledge of the conveyancing process, including: dealing with freehold and leasehold sales & purchases; new build purchases; remortgages; transfers of equity; shared ownership; help to buy transactions & general property advice.