Conveyancing Comparison Websites

We are probably all very familiar with the type of website that we can use to find cheap car and home insurance deals.

These comparison type websites are numerous and they are always on the television advertising their services.

Well you may not know it but just like the aforementioned websites there are sites out there that allow you to get multiple quotations from numerous solicitor firms from entry of one set of key data.

How is this done?

Well the likely answer is that all the solicitors making the quotations are part of what is known as a 'panel'. These panel members are usually approved by various big lenders to carry out the conveyancing and the websites usually ask who the lender is before requiring you to submit your data.

This is because a lender like, say TSB may only have approved of 41 of the 50 members on the panel therefore the initial search filter will filter results based only on solicitors who are approved to do work for that lender.

Each panel member would have filled in a matrix to enable the computer to set the parameters for generating the financial calculations behind each quotation. This matrix would have variables like between property selling prices of £0 to £150k the legal fee will be £300.00; between £150.01 to £300k the fee will be £400 etc. They are just parameters to help the auto-calculations needed to generate a quote for you. Once the variables have been entered into the back office database the matrix forms the fee structure for that solicitor and should enable full costing  based upon any circumstance you enter into the input fields, therefore the quotation will be instant with human intervention needed.

You may find that a solicitor that provided a quotation to you on Monday is not present on the list of solicitors on Wednesday. This is likely because the site operator is regulating the number of responses a solicitor can make in a day. This is usually 'throttled' for reasons of fairness to the other panel members and for credit control reasons. You wouldn't want one solicitor quoting ridiculously low fees to win every case available in a day as none of the others would have a chance to win business and if that solicitor stops paying the site owner their commissions or goes bust then the site owner would regret not having spread the risk across many other solicitors on the panel.

Identifying a True Panel

How do you know if you are dealing with a proper panel type site? Well some sites entice you in to want you to provide them with your contact details so that they can sell your details onto a buyer as a lead. Mr Jones of 123 Park Place, Swindon; telephone number 123456789 mobile 123456789 is selling a house worth 250k and wants a solicitor. It's valuable information to a solicitor or financial advisor who could pay £100 for that information on an exclusive basis.

The best way to tell that you are not connecting to one of these sites is to stop if you are asked for any contact information before you can get a quote.

Another bit of mischief is that a firm of solicitors may want to get more work into the conveyancing department to ensure everyone working there is kept busy so they may create a website and a new business name like 'Speedy Conveyancing' and port their internet enquiries through this business at a discounted rate.

Nothing really wrong with this as if the firm has invested in a decent website that is capable of generating an online quotation, then they've possibly also invested in tidy software and e-communication tools allowing them to use IT to speed up the conveyancing process and limit the need to stick a stamp on something and have to post it.

Investment in IT is a great way to deliver efficiencies and to help your case complete quicker and at a lower cost than doing everything manually and by post.

Conveyancing Comparison

It is easy to find a conveyancing comparison website. Just open your web browser and type in a key word search term like 'cheap conveyancing' or 'conveyancing comparison' and see what comes back at you.  

Once you've located a decent conveyancing comparison website you enter your basic details such as whether you are a buyer or seller; whether you have a mortgage to clear; the value of the house you are buying or selling and the area of the property location.

The location does can tend to make a difference to the fee too because in the case of a purchase, certain areas will have to have particular searches. For example you could be in an area where a Radon Gas search is essential to the transaction.

When you have entered the required fields you just have to wait for the results of your enquiry to be returned. These are usually shown on- screen or a link is emailed to you. The better systems should allow you to drill down to the full details of the quote to see what is included as standard and what will be included for an extra charge.