Cheap Conveyancing – Not Quality Conveyancing
We are all conscious of saving money in these difficult times but sometimes choosing the cheapest is not the wisest move and this is certainly true when making the most expensive purchase of your life – your home.
As demonstrated by the media headlines over the last few days choosing the ‘value’ food range is not the best option, and the same goes for conveyancing. You genuinely get what you pay for and the offers of cheap conveyancing or low fees should be treated with great care. You do not want to be facing your own lasagne disaster a year or two down the line!
The internet is awash with offers of “cheap conveyancing” and some local firms may even offer low fees, but do we really want to trust a property acquisition or sale to a company prepared to undertake all required work at a price not much more than the cost of a weekly family food shop? Can they genuinely offer a service you would expect? Conveyancing firms who claim to charge just £99 or £199 for conveyancing should be treated with caution – if something looks or sounds too good to be true then it probably is!
When it comes to choosing the right conveyancer for your property transaction, it’s best to approach the world of conveyancing in the same way as you would were you having a driveway tarmaced. All might seem well on the surface, with a competitive looking price for what you want, but once the job is done there are hidden problems which come back to bite you. And beware – you may not know about these issues until you come to sell. You know you can get a cheap job done from a man who knocks on the door and can do the job that day but the likelihood is that it will fall apart within a year. Alternatively you could pay a reputable local builder who has been in business for years and will take the necessary time and care, ensuring it will last decades.
Here are some of the things to think about when you come across a cheap quote:-
- CAREFULLY read the terms and conditions– Many conveyancing firms will draw you in with an inflated promise of cheap conveyancing but when all their additional costs are added, you could be in for a nasty surprise!
- Go for quality, rather than price – You get what you pay for. If you’re paying bargain basement prices, don’t expect a 5-star customer experience. Many so called ‘cheap conveyancing’ firms operate like a call centre, and instead of having your own dedicated conveyancing lawyer, you might end up being passed round from one non-qualified member of staff to another. You will be a reference number – not a named client!
- Beware of ‘factory conveyancing firms’ recommended by some estate agents – Some agents will recommend or insist that you use their in-house conveyancing firm who’ll be many miles away and often outsource the work abroad to people who are not qualified. Such conveyancing firms will often be linked to the estate agent and not be truly independent. DO NOT BE BULLIED – IT IS YOUR PROPERTY.
- Deal with a specialist – Choose a specialist not a generalist. Some conveyancers operate in general practice which means you’ll often be competing for their attention whilst they deal with non-property law matters.
- Know who you are dealing with – Make sure you are told who is in charge of your case, and you have their direct phone number and email address to reach them. This will allow you to contact the person dealing with your case quickly if needed
- Stay local – Many cheap conveyancing firms are hundreds of miles away. Choose a local conveyancer who has specialist local knowledge and be accessible should you have any concerns. There is no substitute for being able to put a face to the name and talk face to face about any concerns.
- Make the most of technology – You’ll want to know what’s happening with your case all the time. Many cheap conveyancing firms will not offer SMS updates or direct email or phone access to the person dealing with your case
- Choose a firm of solicitors – Many cheap conveyancing firms are not solicitors and do not have to operate to the same high standards, nor are they bound by such strict regulatory requirements for client protection.
- Ensure the firm is Conveyancing Quality Scheme accredited by the Law Society – many cheap conveyancing firms will not be Conveyancing Quality Scheme accredited which is a charter standard run by the Law Society guaranteeing the firm provides the highest levels of skill and client care.
So if you’re thinking about instructing a firm that advertises “cheap conveyancing” or very low prices, be warned: cheap does not mean good.
For peace of mind (not to mention far less stress) it’s always better to have your conveyancing undertaken by a local, qualified and experienced professional who you have met or spoken with.
Gill Akaster LLP provides all these things and more. We understand that moving house can be stressful so we make sure that all our clients are kept up to date at every possible opportunity and our team can be contacted easily and without fuss.
So remember, if you want the ‘finest’ and not the ‘value’ range for your conveyancing, at a price which is competitive but not ‘cheap’, contact our residential conveyancing team on 01752 203500.