Finding Real Cheap Conveyancing

Really cheap conveyancing quotes used to cost from £99 plus VAT (not for scottish conveyancing, only for England and Wales), however, even this has been undercut and you can now find £98 plus VAT conveyancing deals online.

The current economic conditions mean that not only are fees for conveyancing becoming more competitive as companies try to undercut each other to win your custom, they may also cut corners on your conveyancing services.

Many people who need to sell their home for financial reasons may opt for cheap conveyancing to save money and then find that there are extras involved which were only mentioned in the small print, or the cheap deal does not cover all the stages of the conveyancing process.

The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) is also investigating another by-product of current housing market conditions, which may do away with the conveyancing process altogether - the "quick house sale", in which a company offers to buy up a property owner's home for a fast sale; or promises to find a buyer, often in a week or two.

This can not only mean that homeowners do not receive the true value of their home, but the sales process is also taken out of their hands.

Senior director at the OFT Cavendish Elithorn warns:

"Businesses offering quick house sales may provide a useful service for home owners who need to unlock cash in a hurry. However, they are often used by consumers in vulnerable situations and therefore we are concerned about the risk of consumers being misled and losing out on large sums of money."

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If you are struggling to pay your mortgage it is tempting to look for ways of either selling your home cheaply, or even offloading it without having to go through the selling process.

But it is essential to make sure that the cheap conveyancing deal you choose if you handle your own sale - or remortgage - is one which will suit your needs and not cost more in the long run.

The Council for Mortgage Lenders estimates that by the end of 2012, 157,900 people were in arrears with their mortgage payments and if you are thinking of selling or remortgaging to release equity from your home to see you through a difficult period, finding a reputable firm offering cheap conveyancing can save you a headache in the long term.

Not all cheap conveyancing or property deals are scams but vulnerable homeowners like those struggling to meet repayments or the elderly may easily be led into signing up to deals which are either fraudulent or will in the long run cost more than the advertised fee.

When looking for cheap conveyancing deals it is best to look for a conveyancing solicitor accredited by the Law Society under its Quality Conveyancing Scheme (CQS). If they are a member the CQS, the CSQ logo will be on the website or in the window of the conveyancing solicitors.

On its website the Law Society promises that CQS accredited conveyancers will:

  • explain the steps in buying or selling a home
  • tell you what service you can expect from them
  • be honest about what the costs will be
  • keep you informed through the process

Some conveyancing solicitors are Lexcel accredited and this is also a mark of quality assurance and offers protection to consumers.

Licensed conveyancers are accredited by the Council for Licensed Conveyancers (CLC) and these are property professionals who may not be lawyers, but are regulated and qualified in conveyancing.

It is important to make sure that your cheap conveyancing deal will cover all the stages of the process and also that any extras will be charged at a reasonable rate.

Conveyancing professionals can charge £200-£300 per hour and if your £98 plus VAT conveyancing deal requires more work from your conveyancer, an hourly rate will soon result in a large bill.

Try and negotiate a set fee any extras before you agree to the deal and make sure you know exactly what your conveyancing services will cover, from the HIP pack to searches and right through to the Land Registry Certificate. And don't forget to ask about incidental expenses like postage, faxing, phone calls or photocopying, which can soon clock up extra hours of work plus the fee for the service.

Also remember that some cheap conveyancing quotes may not include fees for reading the lease in a leasehold property transaction and may not cover fees for property sales or purchases which are not standard transactions; for example, listed buildings whose deeds are still stored as hard copies rather than electronically stored.

Often cheap conveyancing reduces fees because the whole process is digital. Most property deeds are now stored electronically and so obtaining them is not a lengthy or difficult process relying on photocopying and the post. However, in the case of historic or listed buildings, deeds may still be stored in their original paper or even parchment form.

Queries over conveyancing searches can also result in further conveyancing fees as can any query regarding the Title Deeds; for example, if a previous mortgage on the property was not drawn down properly or a claim to ownership emerges.

Finally, one of the most important factors to consider when choosing cheap conveyancing is whether the firm will be able to deliver by the necessary deadline. If not possible, this could lose you your next home or result in higher fees. Check the firm's track record online on the Law Society also has a list of approved conveyancers is you are not sure about the firms you have obtained quotes or estimates from.

Click here for your genuine fixed fee cheap conveyancing quote from only £99 plus VAT.

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