There are a number of obstacles faced by those who are looking to buy or sell a house and one of the biggest of these is the cost. House sales and purchases can be costly – particularly when it comes to the additional costs involved in the process, few of which can be avoided if the transaction is to go through smoothly. For many people, one of the most important costs can be that of the conveyancing solicitors. Although this kind of advisor is clearly essentially in ensuring that a house sale or purchase is properly processed, fees can mount up considerably – especially if there are any issues that arise – adding significantly to the basic cost of buying or selling the property. As a result of the cost concerns of those looking to buy or sell property, and in order to offer a more cost effective solution, the ‘no move no fee’ conveyancing solicitors have become extremely popular.
The way no move no fee conveyancing solicitors work is that a package of conveyancing services is made available to the potential client, who will pay a small amount as a deposit of sorts. The fee is usually payable per transaction so for each sale or purchase a client undertakes, the fee will be payable. This fee could be as low as £50. Once the transaction gets under way, the no move no fee conveyancing solicitors will go ahead as a ‘normal’ conveyancing solicitor would, processing searches, negotiating with the other side, drawing up documents etc. The only difference is that if the transaction does not go through, the seller or purchaser will not be charged any solicitors fees. Any ‘disbursements’ that have been run up in processing the matter – i.e. any expenses that the solicitors have incurred, such as paying for searches – will need to be settled by the client, but this should usually be the only money that is due if the transaction does not complete. The costly question of paying for the conveyancing solicitor’s time is put to one side as the no move no fee option means that these fees cannot now be charged.
The arrival of online conveyancing has heralded a new era for those who are buying and selling their houses, as it has significantly increased competitiveness. The upshot of this has been that conveyancing solicitors’ fees have become much more reasonable, much more flexible, and much more tailored to the budgets of those who will be instructing the solicitors. The new online options represent a significantly more purse-friendly alternative for house buyers and sellers, particularly given the opportunities that are available to bundle up various services and do everything in one go.
The introduction of online conveyancing has meant that different packages are available and the whole process of instructing conveyancing solicitors has become much more like buying something from an online shop. Most online conveyancing options will now offer separate sale and purchase packages, joint packages, packages that also deal with remortgaging, as well as other connected areas like dealing with re-writing wills.
In order to compete with this kind of instant, cheap conveyancing, most solicitors have responded with their own online conveyancing services, or by dropping fees to make them more competitive than using an online service. The face to face nature of using a conveyancing solicitor over online conveyancing is a huge advantage that conveyancing solicitors have, as buying or selling a house is a very big deal for those involved and not usually something that many people would feel good about entrusting to a faceless website. If that can be offered at the same price as online conveyancing (or thereabouts), then for most people the personal service will be the obvious choice.
Conveyancing solicitors are also matching those packages that are offered by online conveyancing sites, bundling together services that those involved in conveyancing situations are most likely to use and offering a discount on the total fee, in order to drop costs even further and make the conveyancing solicitor even more competitive. Of course, there may have been an argument that conveyancing solicitors’ fees were a little too high in the first place (although give the property boom pre-2008 it’s not surprising that this was the case). Whatever the reality, it is clear that the new era of online conveyancing is going to be very beneficial for house buyers and sellers looking to cut down their costs.