For decades buyers and sellers of property would turn to their local solicitor for all the legal work associated with the sale of a property. With the growth of the internet and the gig economy, there is now a myriad of offerings and conveyancing has become a very competitive business. This has tended to drive costs down but at times to the detriment of the quality of service, and many firms use tempting but misleading offers to snare clients.
Understand what constitutes a conveyancing fee
The conveyancing fee is split into two parts: the work associated with all the legal aspects of the sale – often time-based and can vary significantly; and the disbursements your conveyancer will have to pay to third parties to enable the sale to be completed. If there are complications associated with the sale, there may be additional conveyancing costs to bear in mind.
Rules of engagement
Always be wary of any quote that looks cheap. It’s likely that it just covers the conveyancer’s basic fee. Lots of companies provide quotes on this basis and the link to the detailed breakdown of the disbursements may not be obvious. The cost of disbursements should be very similar in all quotes as they are well-defined charges from third parties. You wouldn’t expect your conveyancer to make a profit on them.
Check for hidden or additional charges. It’s impossible to be completely accurate as things may change as the sale progresses, but reputable firms will be transparent and have a small list of potential additional charges, whereas less reputable firms will have a long list of extras. Fixed fee conveyancing can give you some comfort from knowing exactly what the cost will be compared to being charged by the hour.
For peace of mind using an organisation such as Sam Conveyancing will give you access to a full range of services from the best conveyancing solicitors available, all with the Conveyancing Quality Scheme (CQS) accreditation. What’s more, your quote will include not only the necessary specialist legal advice from a solicitor but also a member of the SAM team working on your behalf throughout the process all for the same fixed fee.
Compare like for like
Now you know that all quotes should display total cost = conveyancer’s basic fee + itemised disbursements. But it’s also important to understand what type of service your conveyancer is offering. A traditional solicitor is likely to offer a more bespoke service than some cheaper online companies where volume comes before quality. Switched-on conveyancers will offer an online tracking system so you can keep up to date with the process 24/7.