Type in Conveyancing on your search engine and you’ll receive a tonne of quotes under a £100 promising you low prices and speedy service in the buying and selling of your house, but are they really what they seem?
The old adage “if something seems too good to be true, it usually is...” couldn’t be more relevant when it comes to Conveyancing quotes. These low cost advertisements cleverly play on our two biggest gripes when it comes to the Conveyancing process; time and money. We all wonder why the process is so long and apparently drawn out and we dread the invoice that awaits us, questioning its perceived value for money. Like most things we aren’t keen on paying for, when we cut corners we usually find out those answers the hard way – hopefully now, you won’t have to!
The Conveyancing process encompasses both the contract exchange and completion stages of your property sale or acquisition with the preparation of the necessary legal documentation.
Budget Conveyancing services sometimes ‘neglect’ to mention one of the more meaty of the disbursements; Stamp Duty. This is the charge enforced by the Inland Revenue which is worked out on a percentage basis, relating to the cost of your property and should automatically be included in your Conveyancing costs but is often given the title of ‘extra’ in some of the ‘supposedly’ cheaper services so that they may lower their initial quote. This smoke and mirrors effect is frequently applied to some of the other costs that should come as standard within your Conveyancing fee. The small print, however eye blurring, should always be consulted when dazzling cheaper quotes are cited to evade these hidden add-ons. A good Conveyancing service will give you a clear, written breakdown of their costs, itemising each disbursement, leaving you with no doubt as to exactly what you’re being charged for. Be wary of any Conveyancing service that doesn’t do this as standard or provide a comprehensive and unambiguous list of expenses when requested.
When it comes to budget Conveyancing services, the hidden extras regularly come in the form of overhead’s that the company already has to pay for but is trying to impart on to its customers. These charges should be accounted for in your Solicitor or licensed Conveyancer’s basic fee and should not be attached to their customers as ‘extras’ unless particularly specific to your case. These can include insurances like professional indemnity which may be listed as a ‘PI contribution’; stationery costs such as photocopying and postage; phone calls unless they are international; liaising with your lender; extra time taken on a leasehold property and false admin charges such as completing a Stamp Duty tax return.
The murky waters of budget Conveyancing services can also lure us with the promise of halving the time it takes to exchange contracts and complete a house sale. With most of us keen to get moving, this can be the biggest draw and the biggest disappointment when it proves not to be true. This particular aspect carries a double edged sword that stems from the same problem as there’s a warranted reason why the Conveyancing process generally takes between 10-12 weeks to complete. With its many complex legal issues and details involved in every stage; those that adhere to these steps are falsifying claims on the time it will take and those that speed through them are missing out necessary legal documentation that could ultimately endanger your move.
Researching and comparing as many Conveyancing services as possible through a reputable agent online will help you find a candid and legitimate Solicitor or licensed Conveyancer, where you can agree on a fixed fee and timescale at the outset to suit your individual needs.