Were you recommended the best solicitor for your house move?
A job well done is the best way to please clients, according to property lawyer, Victoria Marshall.
Choosing a conveyancer for your house move is a big decision and in a recent survey our clients reported high levels of satisfaction and were pleased to recommend us to family and friends, but many home movers rely on their estate agent to help them find a solicitor totally unaware the agent may be getting paid to recommend them regardless of quality of service.
According to new research from specialist property lawyer regulator, the Council for Licensed Conveyancers (CLC) movers are unaware of the fee arrangement.
“Client care is the ethos of our company therefore rather than paying referral fees for work from agents we like to think that by offering clients a good service we get recommended to family and friends,” said Victoria.
“Our client satisfaction is high, people are on their third and fourth move with us so that speaks volumes, rather than buying work with referral fees we bank our quality of service,” she added.
“The agents that refer work to us trust our team and chose to pass us work for the outcome rather than the fee. This is a model we have used for years and look forward to the day others see the value in getting the job done well.”
Recommendation by an estate agent was number one in their choice of a conveyancer – 26%, compared to 21% who went on price, 20% on previous use of that lawyer, 18% on recommendation from family/friends, and 15% on the firm’s general reputation, according to a YouGov survey of almost 500 consumers in England and Wales who have bought a property in the last 10 years.
However, 59% of those who took a recommendation did not know whether or not the estate agent was paid a referral fee.
As part of new rules the CLC is bringing into effect this December, firms it regulates will be expected to provide payment of referral fees earlier in the buying process, when consumers are shopping around for a lawyer. In that way the whole process becomes more transparent and consumers have greater awareness and choice.
Sheila Kumar, Chief Executive of the CLC, says:
“We are not saying that it is wrong for conveyancers to pay referral fees, but transparency is key and that is why CLC lawyers have always had to inform clients about them. However, it is important that the client is aware of the payment of referral fees before deciding who to appoint. So, we welcome the government’s proposals that estate agents should be required to be transparent about referral fees they will receive if their client follows their recommendation."
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