Do you really know how much your conveyancer will charge you?
Do you really know how much your conveyancer will charge to help you buy or sell your house? Coodes Partner and Residential Property lawyer Jo Morgan welcomes new requirements for conveyancers to provide clear and comparable information on pricing.
There has been increased scrutiny of the house-buying process over the last few years. In particular, there is a push for the transaction time to reduce and efficiencies to be made across the board. A key issue is that when it comes to hiring a solicitor for conveyancing, many people are left bewildered and confused as to which firm will provide best value for money.
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has conducted a market study into legal services. It found that some of the key areas for improvement were in relation to clear and concise information about pricing.
The report concluded that many people find it difficult to make informed choices when choosing a conveyancer, due to a lack of transparency about pricing, service and quality. When deciding which conveyancing firm suited them best, a number of people said they felt that they did not have the right information to make a genuine choice.
This lack of transparency weakens competition in the market. Questions have also been raised in relation to the quality of the service many conveyancers provide.
What are the new price transparency requirements for conveyancers?
On 6th December 2018, new rules came into force for legal firms that practice conveyancing and other areas of law, including certain motoring offences, uncontested probate, employment tribunals and immigration. The new rules require conveyancers to publish clear and concise information about pricing, legal costs and disbursements on their website. They must also clarify exactly which of their services are included in the price.
Firms also now need to provide clients with the key stages of transactions and expected timeframes of the conveyancing process, as well as making available the qualifications and experience of their conveyancers.
Why has transparent pricing been introduced?
The purpose of the new requirements is to help customers make a much more informed choice when deciding who to appoint as their conveyancers. What may at first appear to be the ‘cheap and cheerful’ option does not always turn out to be the best choice for a client. Appointing a more experienced advisor to guide you through the, often very stressful, process of buying or selling a property will often turn out to be better value in the longer term.
Why I welcome the new requirements for conveyancing
At Coodes we welcome the new requirements to provide clients with clearer and more comparable information on our pricing, services and expertise. We take the view that we should make as much information as possible available to all our clients.
We know that buying or selling a property can be stressful so we want to make it as easy as possible. One way we have made the process easier is by allowing clients to instruct us online 24 hours a day, seven days a week. We can now provide you with a conveyancing quote emailed straight to your inbox through our instant quote service, available here. The estimate will include legal costs, disbursement and costs such as stamp duty so you can weigh up finances before instructing. As we have been named best conveyancing firm in Cornwall and Devon, we will have no hesitation in answering any questions you may have about our team’s qualifications and expertise.
These changes will help anyone looking to buy or sell a property better understand what service they will get from a conveyancer, and exactly how much it will cost.