Specialist conveyancing articles to inform you about conveyancing for a house or a flat; whether you already own your own home or if you are buying one. These are free to read and written by specialists in this area.

At SAM Conveyancing we give you all the information you need to know written in a way that makes it easy to understand. We also have a panel of conveyancing solicitors should you need someone to help with conveyancing for buying a home, lease extension, remortgage, transfer of equity, collective enfranchisement, independent legal advice or deed of trusts.

Please click, read and enjoy. If you get stuck or need any help then call us and speak to a friendly member of the SAM Conveyancing team - 0333 344 3234 (local call charges).

Online Conveyancing

19/03/2020

Online Conveyancing Quote with an Excellent rating

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The term 'online conveyancing' is used for solicitors or conveyancers who provide conveyancing services without the need to see their clients face to face. For many clients looking to venture into this new arena, they can find themselves unsure of what to expect and feel nervous about the 'bad press' some conveyancers get; especially as they are receiving a service from a conveyancer they never get to see. And some will understandably wonder if they can meaningfully compare conveyancing quotes on the web.

However for the 3 out of 5 clients who work with an online conveyancer, it appears their fears fade away with the hope of saving £100s from their conveyancing fees.

Are online conveyancers actually solicitors?

The fear many people have with working with conveyancers is that there conveyancing is going to be handled by someone who is untrained, that they work with a team of people and generally can't rely on the work that has been completed. Sadly this can be the case, especially if you work with some of the larger conveyancing warehouses.

You can, however, get to work with solicitors when you find them via a Google search. In fact we offer this service, however all of the work is completed by firms of solicitors and you get to work with one person and not a team. For other website solicitors you need to make sure you ask if you'll be working with one person from start to finish.

Avoid Conveyancing Warehouses
Some conveyancing firms assemble teams of conveyancers which they feed masses of conveyancing work to and this is sometimes referred to as a conveyancing warehouse. Often a number of conveyancers work on the same case which can lead to discontinuity, confusion, bad communication and not least, the client feeling that they are not receiving a proper service because no one person is accountable.

Another side to this is the sheer volume of cases which the conveyancers in the warehouse are often expected to run simultaneously. Ideally a conveyancer should only take on as many cases as they can personally look after comfortably so each client is taken care of properly. The dynamics of a warehouse work against this.

You should avoid conveyancing warehouses because you can end up feeling invisible, that no-one in the firm is accountable and sometimes because of the length of time it takes to get to completion compared to other solicitors.

3 ways to get a conveyancing quote
    1
    High Street Solicitor

A high street solicitor is normally referred by the estate agent and with that comes a premium. The reason for the premium is that many solicitors pay estate agents for referring clients and with referrals as high as £300, you can see why the high street solicitor often carries a premium. Find out more by reading - Forced into using Estate Agent's Solicitors

    2
    Digital Conveyancing Quotes
Web based conveyancing quotes come with less of an estate agent premium and firms are fiercely battling with each other to win your business. In fact, if you type conveyancing solicitor quotes into Google you'll find results ranging from £99 upwards when you come to compare conveyancing quotes. The challenge you'll find with these conveyancing quotes is that they never stay at this low price. To find out more, read - Online Quotes - The Truth Behind the Low Fees

    3
    Conveyancing Recommendations
Solicitors like ours come with a number of recommendations. When reviewing which conveyancers to choose when looking for your best quotes, make sure you check their recommendations on third party websites like Google Reviews, Yelp or Yellow Pages.

Always examine the worst review in the list first to see what happened as these can often give an insight into what the conveyancer is going to be like.

We are a highly recommended conveyancing service and we only work with highly experienced solicitors.

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Top tip: When you are getting your quote for conveyancing ask if the person handling your conveyancing has the training required to give you the advice and support you need. These are the qualifications you should look for:
  • Solicitor - Regulated by the SRA and registered with the Law Society
  • Licensed Conveyancer - Regulated by the Council for Licensed Conveyancers
  • FILEX - A Fellow of the Institute of Legal Executives
The person assigned to look after your conveyancing may have none of these qualifications but you can be sure that their work is overseen by someone who does. If this is the case you should ask who the qualified person is, what qualifications they have and how much involvement they will have with your conveyancing on a day to day basis.

Conveyancing-Online
Frequently Asked Questions
How can you get the best conveyancing quote online?
When searching for a solicitor for buying a home or selling a home there are essentially two things you should pay most attention to so you can give yourself the greatest chance of getting the best conveyancing quote. You need to be careful because even though you can get an instant quote, if you don't check it carefully you could be led down a false - and expensive - path.

The first thing to do is to find out as much as possible what you can about what each property lawyer firm's service includes and what they're intending to charge for it. It can prove more challenging than it seems to compare quotes because while most conveyancing solicitor quotes are fixed fee quotes some are still initial – and sometimes temptingly low-priced – estimates.

Additionally – and even with fixed price solicitors quotes – you might have to delve into each property lawyer firm's terms and conditions to find out which services are included in the fixed price or estimate and which are regarded as extras to make a meaningful comparison.

Before you start you should get some idea which particular individual services you'll most likely need for your particular purchase or sale (or both). Are you buying/selling a freehold or a leasehold? Are you buying a Help to Buy or a shared ownership property? Are you intending to buy or sell using the Discount Market Scheme (DMS)? Each of these factors will vary the final bill you'll have to pay so you should try and include them from the outset when drilling down into the detail.

Picture of two professionals looking at documents to compare online conveyancing quotes
Most of all, don't be sucked into taking up that ever-so-cheap estimated quote which most likely will have a host of extras added to it before it becomes your vastly more inflated final bill.

The second matter concerns you finding out as best you can how likely you are to get the best customer service standards from your solicitors firm. Any firm in any sector worth their salt will use powerful marketing, advertising and PR techniques to tempt prospective buyers but what if it's all just smoke and mirrors?

For this reason it's highly important when you come to compare quotes to consider evidence from reviews very carefully. Not only should you look at the average review levels stated by Trustpilot and Google but you can help yourself further by considering things like the number of reviews. If there's just a handful, these might arise from friends and family connected to that firm leaving positive – but disingenuous – feedback. That's unlikely to be the case if there are hundreds or thousands of reviews. Thinking like this is always likely to help your comparison easier.


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The upshot of this last point is that when you search for the best conveyancing quotes, Google presents results which it thinks are best for you according to complex algorithms. It also provides for previous clients to give reviews which are also used in its rankings, so there is inherent vetting in a Google or Bing search. And you'll get a few results making it easier to compare quotes.

Solicitors do not need to have any local knowledge to complete your conveyancing unlike, say, a RICS surveyor. It's always worth securing a surveyor with a good knowledge of the local area your house is based in because they're knowledge of similar properties, local building styles and even any local issues known to be common is of great value to you as a potential buyer.

Contrast this with a conveyancing solicitor whose stock in trade is scrutinising contracts and other required documents which come with a house move and which, in most cases, can easily be accessed and considered on the web. In fact, the use of electronic methods to search for, secure and transfer these kinds of documents normally vastly outperforms non-electronic methods. You only have to compare the time an email takes to send with how long Royal Mail takes to deliver a letter.

Happy couple just sold their house representing the people who've worked carefully to compare solicitors quotes Into the bargain, not only does a physical solicitor firm on the high street have to pay for renting high street retail space and pay the rates required but also, if you go into see one, let's say to prove your ID and source of funds, your solicitor will most likely want to charge you by the hour for the privilege of doing so, which can be very expensive.

On top of this, your conveyancing solicitor works best when they're working directly on the nuts and bolts of your conveyancing, such as examining your contract of sale or purchase. Taking time out to check your ID and where your funds are coming from isn't the best use of their time and can be more efficiently achieved electronically.

So in sum there's nothing to be gained by not getting an online quote and arguably much to be lost. Additionally any property conveyancer firm worth their salt these days will have a website presence even if they also maintain a physical high street address. And if they do not, you might want to question why they haven't moved with the times…and wonder if their conveyancing efficiency standards are similarly rooted in a bygone era.

What is an online conveyancing quote?

A quote you get via a Google search is merely a conveyancing quote which you've generated from an web based source i.e. from a conveyancing firm's website or similar.

It's important to grasp that there's no essential difference between the work completed whether your solicitor is based on a high street near you or somewhere else. All conveyancing professionals and solicitors in general these days should be using efficient modern electronic communications when possible and conveyancing is one of those aspects of law which does not require you to meet up physically with your solicitor.

People have sometimes erroneously developed the impression that there's somehow something less reliable and 'concrete' about conducting your home move essentially via electronic means. But when you pare down to the fact that this essentially means the use of email – and that virtually all of conveyancing is concerned with scrutinising documents – the impression is certainly very wide of the mark.

It's therefore good to think of online conveyancing as modern conveyancing and where you most likely secured the initial quote (including checking reviews) and checked out what you thought were the best quotes. You can still instruct a property lawyer to carry out your home move by visiting a physical solicitor firm's office, but the chances are that from that point, invariably all your interactions with that firm will be conducted online or via telephone. And if they're not, you should question why they're not – whoever heard of using a fax machine in the modern era, for example?

Are online conveyancing fees cheaper?

Conveyancing fees are conveyancing fees ultimately. However you should consider the factors which have to be covered in making up your final bill for your home move. First and foremost you're paying for your property conveyancer's professional expertise. But there's a whole host of other services required stretching to the fairly mundane, such as routine photocopying of documents, paying for electronic communications and so on.

Now if your solicitor firm does not use modern electronic communication such as email, you'll also be paying for further costs. Think of Royal Mail's – and other carrier's – charges. If you have to visit its offices physically, it'll have to maintain a rented space on a high street somewhere and with all the additional costs that that entails.

So in these senses, the more modern and tech-savvy your conveyancing solicitor firm is, the more that funds from your bill are devoted purely to getting you moved into your new home rather than in servicing fixed – and arguably unnecessary – costs. So we'd always argue that you'll get the best quotes from these types of firms.

We are very happy to state that our solicitors all use the most modern methods of technology for client and other communications and you'll never need to visit them in person for any reason. That said, you can always contact them directly – you'll have your named solicitor's phone number – or contact your dedicated case handler at SAM Conveyancing in the first instance who can answer any of your queries and put your mind at rest.

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