Pay Peanuts Get Monkeys

May 2016

“Buying a house is probably the biggest financial outlay most of us will make during our lifetime, this alone makes it an anxious and often a very stressful deeply emotional experience. So if we then have the added worry of a significant delay, unexpected legal costs or go on to discover that plans for a new development just behind our new house were not revealed in the searches, we could be forgiven for thinking our lawyers has failed us in some way. Residential conveyancing accounted for around 17.5% of the 7,500  or so complaints handled by the Legal Ombudsman in 2011 to 2012 making it the second most complained about area of law.”
The Legal Ombudsman Report 2012

The unpredictability of the housing market over recent years has seen the rise of marketeers, ‘conveyancing factories,’ into the Conveyancing sector. They operate in a commoditised and automated manner, selling their services on line and offering for example ‘no move – no fee’ agreements.

With the advent of the Alterative Business Structure we now have estate agent groups and mortgage brokers moving into the residential conveyancing market with business plans based on ‘volume conveyancing done’ at unrealistic prices and necessarily therefore undertaken by underqualified and overworked staff. Many if not most consumers nowadays will look around for a good conveyancing deal.

The quotes obtained from traditional high street firms will normally be substantially undercut by the ‘conveyancing factory’ ‘no move – no fee’ merchants.
The consumer would do well to pause and consider why and how such prices could be so much lower and perhaps come to the conclusion that this could well reflect upon the level of service they will received

The Legal Ombudsman 2012 report highlights the rise in complaints concerning poor costs information, misleading fixed fee conveyancing quotes, delays and poor service. The adage if you pay peanuts you get monkeys’ has never been more relevant in today’s conveyancing market.

John Mullaney
Warren’s Law & Advocacy

Disclaimer: While we do all that is possible in terms of ensuring its accuracy, this blog contains general information only. Nothing in these pages constitutes legal advice. You need to consult a suitably qualified lawyer from the firm on any specific legal problem or matter.