Standard Comparison

If you are going to pick from a selection of local solicitor firms you could ring them up and ask for a quotation. We feel that this may be a problem for some practices who may not have a standard scale of fees based upon the property value but you will find that many solicitors or licensed conveyancers have some pretty good information on their websites. Some firms may even have a quotation calculator that will display their fees based upon the input variables.

You will likely find that some things are charged for and others are omitted or included as a sundry charge. The important thing is to get a fixed fee quote and avoid any solicitors who would want to charge you by the hours expended on your case as this would prove to be very expensive.

Basically, once you have obtained some quotes it is just a question of comparing what is included and what is not. For example, does the firm offer a 'no complete no fee' warranty.

Read the reviews and look for any adverse comments. Be aware though that you cannot please everybody all the time so one or two bad reviews out of a hundred is viewed by us as normal and should be interpreted lightly.

Shop Around

We don't think calling firms by telephone will be as good as visiting their website to see if you can get an idea of their fees online. You could try cold-calling some firms and maybe they will have some documentation they can give you which details their charges.

Get a Recommendation

Ask family and friends who they have used in the past, and did they find them to be any good. Social media like Facebook would be a good medium to get responses in this area. You will also invariably be offered to be referred to a legal professional by your estate agent or financial advisor but beware because they will invariably be getting a kickback as a referral fee which is being added to your costs, sometimes in the region of a couple of hundred pounds.

Use the Internet

Using keyword search phrases such as 'cheap conveyancing solicitor' or 'conveyancing Cardiff (yourtown)' you should get back hundreds of results in your browser. The top responses are usually the firms or services that are good at SEO and you'll also see some 'paid ads' resposes appearing too.

From our own experience we've found that there's 4 types of responder you could have:

  1. The lead sell-on business
    Here they will ask you to complete a short form asking you to provide just enough information to enable them to be able to sell your lead on to any legal service that wants to buy it. Sometimes these leads are offered to favoured firms first so the lead is of high value initially as it can be offered on an exclusive basis to the buyer.

  2. The Fees from £99.00 Service.
    £99.00, that's brilliant. But hang on, half the costs are not on the quote and are shown as 'extras'. Since around half a dozen or more of these items are 'essentials' more than extras you'll end up bulking up the quote to cost the same as a transparent quotation reflecting true prices so no real saving and certainly not a bargain plus if they are stooping so low to get your attention what will the service be like?

  3. The solicitor practice that has another public face.
    Many firms set up another brand to get your business and give it a name like 'speedy conveyancing' or similar in order to distance the conveyancing departments normal charging schedule to be able to offer discounted prices for online work. If you can deal with somebody online, you're not taking up meeting room space or burning a staff members time by having them undergo the formality of face to face meetings.

  4. The panel members
    Here a group of solicitors join a panel and quote for your work. They tend to charge quite low fees and will do the work online without you having to ever actually meet up with them. Panel members can be quite competitive to take on as much work as they can get so you will always be able to find a good deal here.

    Always read the reviews if you can as not all solicitors do a good job.