By Frances Traynor
11th December 2017
Thu 26 Oct 2017 by Tony Lilleystone
You have a property to sell, or have found a new home to buy and you want a good solicitor to do the conveyancing. So you turn to the internet to find a suitable firm.
But if you browse on your smartphone (as more and more of us now do) you are quite likely to find that many solicitor firms won't have a web-site with a mobile-friendly display.
And if you do find a firm that offers conveyancing in your area will you be able to get an on-line quote or are you expected to phone them? Often you find that their website doesn't even display their phone number where you can see it easily.
If you do phone you will expect your call will be handled by someone who sounds helpful and introduces themselves by name.
... it's not always that easy
A recent study shows that if you can get through you will more often be talking to a nameless person who doesn't seem to be bothered about you, won't quote their fees on the phone and then doesn't even send a quote by email or post.
The study carried out for TM Group (UK) Ltd., a leading conveyancing search provider, looked at 100 conveyancing firms of all sizes across the country. 'Mystery shoppers' phoned the firms and asked for quotes on the purchase of a £280,000 home (or £520,000 in London.)
These mystery shoppers found that 31% of conveyancers offered no quotation at all for their services whilst a further 24% gave a quote over the phone but failed to follow it up with a professional email.
Why don't solicitors offer free conveyancing quotes?
The survey found that some solicitors feel that dealing with enquiries from would-be homebuyers is a waste of time, especially if they are busy and they know that such calls often do not lead to instructions to act.
And there is also a belief that giving quotes is a waste of time because unless they are rock-bottom many buyers will just go with the cheapest figure they can see on the internet (probably from some 'factory' firm advertising ridiculously low figures).
The solution for home buyers/sellers and conveyancing solicitors
One solution for solicitors who realise that marketing is a skill they don't have is to work with a firm such as Homeward Legal. Our website attracts many would-be homebuyers and sellers and offers a full, free quote on-line straight away. Lots of helpful information about conveyancing is also provided on our site.
We offer a first point of contact for potential clients, with telephone lines open for extended hours and at weekends. More importantly our staff have time to talk to callers and discuss their particular needs.
We can explain why '£99 conveyancing' is usually not such a good deal. And we find that people are often suspicious of very cheap quotes and are quite prepared to pay more if they feel they are being offered a better service.
Our staff can explain what's involved in conveyancing and why search fees and stamp duty have to be paid (and make it clear that these do not end up in the solicitor's pocket!).
And with our panel of solicitors in all parts of the country we can offer clients a locally-based service.
So it is hardly surprising that we find a phone call leads to the client confirming their instructions – often straight away.
Looking for a conveyancing quote?
You can run a free conveyancing quote here and see your quote instantly online. If you then choose to instruct through Homeward Legal, you will benefit from a no move, no fee guarantee.
If you're a solicitor looking for new clients, get in touch with us on firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are interested in this story, you can download the whitepaper Customer Service Home Truths for Conveyancers from TM Group.
This story was also referred to on the Legal Futures website.
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