Why Are Conveyancing Prices On The Rise?

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RESOURCES - Conveyancing:
For a generation now residential conveyancing prices have borne little correlation to the fees charged by solicitors practising other areas of law. A solicitor representing you in litigation for example, or in a criminal case, will charge by the hour. The rate will depend on the seniority of the solicitor dealing with your case but is likely to be at least £100, often more.
Conveyancing prices on the other hand are usually charged on a fixed fee basis and are likely to be around £300 - £500 for the whole job, sometimes even less. But the tide may be starting to turn.
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Why Are Conveyancing Prices So Low?

At one time ordinary working class people, who of course make up the majority of the population, could never afford to own their own property and consequently would not be in need of conveyancing services. Conveyancing prices were comparable to prices charged for other legal services. That started to change with the introduction of the right to buy legislation, which offered council tenants the chance to buy their properties at a discount.

All of a sudden a brand new legal services market was created but the potential customer, being on an ordinary income, was nervous about the potential final bill. Seeing the opportunity of a high volume of work some solicitors started to offer fixed conveyancing prices , realising this would be a great way to attract clients. Fairly soon everybody cottoned on and a price war began. Over time conveyancing prices came down and down, particularly in the housing boom of the last decade.

Why Are Conveyancing Prices on the Increase?

So what can cause conveyancing prices to rise all of a sudden? The housing boom caused a great number of firms to spring up, or for existing firms to expand their conveyancing operations. Once the bubble burst a lot of firms went out of business. Also, a lot of firms conducted some dubious practices that only came to light when lenders came to sell houses they had had to repossess. As a result lenders started to reduce their panels (the solicitors who they would allow to act for them when dealing with mortgages). A solicitor who cannot act for a lender is not much use to a purchaser buying with a mortgage.

In addition, the number of claims against solicitors caused insurance premiums to rise to such an extent that it is now not economically viable for many firms to do conveyancing work. This means control is moving back to the lawyers. Though we are unlikely to return to the days of conveyancers charging an hourly rate, conveyancing prices are expected to rise in the coming months and years as large firms corner the market.

RESOURCES - Conveyancing:

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