What Is Online Conveyancing?

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RESOURCES - Conveyancing:
"Online conveyancing" is a widely misunderstood term.
Because of this most people automatically turn to their Family Solicitor (often the most expensive and inefficient option) when conveyancing work is needed.
The good news is that shopping around on the web for a specialist conveyancing firm is how you'll find the best service, at the lowest price!
When you're shopping online for a conveyancing service, you'll come across 3-types of companies. Each has their GOOD & BAD points.
This article explains what they are and will help you choose a robust value for money conveyancing service that will help you to complete your transaction as quickly (and painlessly) as possible.
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The 3-types of Conveyancing Company That Advertise Online

On the web you'll come across:

  1. Volume conveyancing factories
  2. Specialist conveyancing law firms
  3. Conveyancing marketing companies

It will help you to choose a better service if you understand the "pros" and "cons" of each company type.

#1 - Conveyancing Factories

Pros:

  1. Offer a "no-move, no-fee" service.
  2. Offer a "fixed fee guarantee" service.
  3. Offer online case tracking facilities.
  4. Often operate extended opening hours.
  5. Provide instant online conveyancing quotes.
  6. Can be cheaper than your average "High Street" or "Family" solicitor.

Cons:

  1. Reputation for erratic service levels.
  2. Operate from call-centers (sometimes abroad).
  3. Slim chance of ever speaking to the same person twice.
  4. Risk of the "dedicated team" handling your conveyancing being badly managed and/or staffed by inexperienced data-processors/trainees.
  5. Their "conveyor-belt" working style can be inflexible and grind to a halt if your case is anything but simple and straightforward.

Conclusion:

In the house-building world we come across these conveyancing factories all the time.

Whenever we find out that a potential purchaser is using one, our hearts always sink a little.

We know it's going to be a tough ride and our solicitors are going to have to work extra hard, in order to push the transaction through.

Although conveyancing factories tend to market themselves effectively (their service proposition ticks all the right boxes), we've often found their service levels disappointing.

You should be aware that some of the largest and most widely known conveyancing factories are actually owned by estate agencies.

Never blindly use the conveyancing firm an estate agent recommends. Always check their recommendations thoroughly.

Given the choice, we'd always stay away from conveyancing factories - there are better and cheaper conveyancing services to be found elsewhere.

#2 - Specialist Conveyancing Firms

Pros:

  1. Offer a "no-move, no-fee" service.
  2. Offer a "fixed-fee guarantee" service.
  3. Often provide online case tracking facilities.
  4. Often operate extended opening hours (however, not to the same degree as many conveyancing factories).
  5. Most provide instant online quotes.
  6. Often you'll have direct contact with the solicitor of licensed conveyancing handling your case.
  7. Have the experience and expertise to deal with more complex conveyancing cases.
  8. Often cheaper than your average "High Street" of "Family" solicitor.

Cons:

  1. Service levels vary between firms
  2. Some online conveyancing quotes + fees are misleading
  3. Seldom the cheapest option

Conclusion - Shopping For Conveyancing Online:

As long as the firm (and preferably a named conveyancer) is recommended to you by a trusted source, you can be pretty sure of receiving a thoroughly modern and professional conveyancing service.

#3 - Conveyancing Marketing Companies

Pros:

  1. Offer a "no-move, no-fee" service.
  2. Offer a "fixed-fee guarantee" service.
  3. Provide online case tracking facilities.
  4. Monitor and maintain the performance of the solicitors and licensed conveyancers they work with.
  5. Provide instant online conveyancing quotes.
  6. Provide you with direct contact with your assigned conveyancers.
  7. The best companies will provide you with customer reviews and the performance ratings of their solicitors.
  8. The best companies will allow you to choose your conveyancing solicitor based on cost, performance rating or geographical location.
  9. Provide you with additional support in helping you manage your assigned conveyancer and transaction.
  10. Provide you with discounted conveyancing charges - in some cases up to 50% less than if you instructed the solicitor direct.
  11. Cheaper and more efficient service than your average "High Street" or "Family" solicitor.

Cons:

  1. A conveyancing marketing company / web-service is only as good as the law firms it's associated with.
  2. A few of their web sites have a habit of slipping in hidden extras into the small print of the quotes.

Conclusion:

Conveyancing marketing companies / web-services act as "introductory services" for specialist conveyancing firms.

They put together a panel of conveyancing solicitors, negotiate discounted rates, agreed service standards and put you in contact with the most appropriate one.

They then charge the law firms a small fee for providing a constant source of new clients.

The best online conveyancing marketing companies take real care in handpicking the conveyancing solicitors they'll work with and only allow professionals on to their panel that:

  1. Sign-up to and are able to consistently meet strict code of practice and customer service standards.
  2. Embrace all the lasted technological advances.
  3. Are approved by all the major lenders.
  4. Carry full professional indemnity.
  5. Are listed with one of the two professional bodies (The Law Society / Council for Licensed Conveyancers)

Because these conveyancing marketing companies are able to guarantee an agreed volume of work to their panel solicitors, they're able to negotiate much better prices than you can as an individual.

The one problem is, it's not hard to set-up a basic version of this kind of business (and on the web they all tend to look pretty much the same). All you need is a web site and a couple of solicitors.

The quality of conveyancing varies a lot between these competing marketing companies and I'd recommend you stay away from the ultra-cheap (advertising sub £200) operators.

The companies that provide customer reviews are without doubt your best bet -that way you can be certain you'll be receiving top quality conveyancing.

At the end of the day, a reputable conveyancing marketing web-service will provide you with the most efficient conveyancing service, at the lowest price.

Related Conveyancing Articles:

>> Conveyancing In The UK (typical sale)

>> Conveyancing In The UK (typical purchase)

>> How To Compare House Conveyancing Services

>> Does Good Cheap Conveyancing Exist?

>> Conveyancing Quotes & Hidden Costs

>> Conveyancing Fees Explained

>> Conveyancing Solicitors - Making Complaints

>> Why DIY Conveyancing is a Bad Idea

>> Glossary of Conveyancing Terms

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