Obtaining Your Quotation

You can get a conveyancing quotation through various means.

We suggest the following:

  1. Get a direct quotation from your local solicitors.
  2. Visit the websites of these solicitors and see if you can get a quote generated off their website.
  3. Ask your financial adviser to put you in touch with a solicitor.
  4. Go online to find a web based conveyancing service.

What to watch out for:

  1. Your local solicitor may not be offering the best price. It could be that they are small and have to provide a range of services such as family law, divorce, corporate law, criminal etc, and conveyancing may not be a prominent part of their usual workload therefore they may not have invested in dedicated conveyancing related technology that would make the job easier, and deliver time and cost savings to the client. They may also be old fashioned and be charging their time to a job based on time expended rather than a set fee rate for the work which would invariably turn out cheaper.
  2. Some of your local solicitors may not have a decent website and may even not have one at all. The better and bigger firms may have invested in a proper conveyancing section where you can enter the details of the property you are buying or selling and the site will generate a fairly accurate and dependable quotation for you.
  3. Your financial adviser or similar agent will invariably be on a commission in the form of a referral fee where a solicitor will pay a commission to them for the business plug. This commission will be paid by you as it will be added to your legal fees bill thus pushing up the cost of the work.
  4. Online quotes are fine but you have to be wary of:
    i  ) Some sites list a very low fee for doing the work but exclude the important essentials and list them as extras. When you add these to the base fee the costs creep up to form the equivalent of most other competitive full quotes. It is a scam they use to get your attention.

    ii ) You are not very likely going to find a solicitor in your town or that near to you. It doesn't really matter as you will not have to visit the solicitor or ever have to meet them as all matter transactions will be dealt with by post or email, but the concept of such important work being officiated in this manner from a distance and by using electronic means may seem alien to some people.

    iii) Some websites will entice you into providing an element of your full contact details before they will give you a quotation. We feel that the better sites like ours, should not pressurise people in providing this information up front. You should be able to obtain a reliable quotation, not an estimate, without having to give away your email or phone details. We say this because some sites will pretend to want to provide you with a quotation bit they will get as much personal data off you - enough to know what you were looking to achieve and your contact details and they will then be able to package up your enquiry/quotation request as a 'lead' which they will then sell on to their network of businesses that would be interested in buying that lead. For instance, that lead could be sold off for £75 to a firm of solicitors immediately if they are able to contact you, give you a quote and sign you up by getting you to agree to the quote and signing their terms of business letter.?

Quotation Content

Quotes and costs are going to be different depending on whether you are a buyer or seller. You may have a property to sell before or whilst you are buying your next home in which case you will be entering into two contracts with your solicitor or licensed conveyancer, as both a buyer and a seller. It is worth mentioning that in this instance you should try and negotiate a reduction in fees as it's twice the business.

Buying

If you are buying only it is the duty of the sellers solicitor to draw up the Contract of Sale therefore it remains for your solicitor to scrutinise the contract to ensure that it contains nothing untoward or onerous or does not impose any obligations or conditions on you as the buyer that will affect your future enjoyment of the new property. Your solicitor will also make various checks in the form of searches to ensure that title of ownership is legal and correct and that amongst other things there are no terms, obligations, conditions, warranties or future proposed actions or activities that may render the property to be encumbered with something that would effect everyday living in or around that property being purchased.

Examples of such encumberances may be:

i ) Mining searches may reveal that property is built on old mine works which could lead to subsidence problems in the future.

ii) Public rights of way allowing strangers to legally to walk across your land.

iii) Environmental searches imposing obligations to protect bats that may be nesting in the roof of your garage.

iv) Chancel searches revealing that there is an obligation to pay monies towards the upkeep of the nearby church, including preservation of its roof, walls, graveyard and bells.

Selling

You are mainly paying for the cost of having your solicitor draw up the contract of sale. No searches are needed but you do have to bear the cost of paying for an EPC assessment before you can place the house on the market, though this is outside the scope of the conveyancing process.

The only other items you will be paying for are sundries such as photocopying costs, telegraphic transfer fees and Land Registry fees which are mandatory.

Scrutiny

When comparing quotations you should mainly zoom in on the legal fee itself. Solicitor A may be quoting £445 and solicitor B may be quoting £350. Solicitor A may be including and charging some of the office costs within the fee of £445 whereas solicitor B may be adding these on to the quote separately and individually.

You will find that some of the extras being charged for will not attract VAT so these will not likely be buried within the legal fees figure but will be listed separately.

The other thing to look for is the small print because if a commission is being paid to a third party such as your estate agent or financial advisor under Law Society rules you must be advised of it through proper disclosure - even if it is buried within their legal fee costs.