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Posted on 18 May 2022

Should I Use My Estate Agents Recommended Solicitor?

Should you use your estate agent’s solicitor? Unsurprisingly, this is a question that comes up a…

Should you use your estate agent’s solicitor? Unsurprisingly, this is a question that comes up a lot and usually when the agent you are talking to asks, “Do you already have a solicitor?”.

So before you answer it is worth knowing a few things which often get left out of any follow-up conversations.

Why shouldn’t I use my estate agent’s recommended conveyancing solicitor?

The unfortunate reality is, that being an estate agent is a heavily commission-based job in a heavily saturated marketplace.

Due to the high level of competition in the UK, it can be said that simply selling houses isn’t enough to make a living anymore.

Agents have to look at increasing their income via alternative means. These ‘means’ often take the form of ‘referrals’.

In this case, referrals are standing agreements between the estate agent and a recommended third party to exchange money when a referral is successful.

Third parties that are commonly referred to homemovers by agents are; mortgage brokers, surveyors, and conveyancing solicitors.

(If you want more information about mortgages, read our article on what mortgages are and how to get one)

Does this mean that the Estate agent’s recommended solicitor will be bad?

Not necessarily but, having someone incentivised to promote specific conveyancing solicitors makes it hard for them not to be biased.

There are over 11,000 conveyancing solicitors in the UK and your estate agent will recommend an average of 4. All this without considering what criteria is most important to you.

So it is worth knowing that each conveyancing solicitor offers a different level of service at a different price. Some solicitors also specialise in specific areas or types of property.

This is where comparison websites such as www.exchangetrain.co.uk are useful. You can get quotes from multiple solicitors based on what is most important to you.

My estate agent said that I MUST use their conveyancing solicitor, is this true?

NO! This is a common misconception among First Time Buyers.

Some estate agents try to rope you in and say that it’s a requirement you use their solicitor however, this is not true.

That said, there are a handful of situations where a request to use a specific conveyancer may arise. For example, a seller requests the buyer use a specific solicitor. This is a rare occurrence and usually when you purchase through a developer on a New Build Developer.

The reason some developers make this request as they have multiple transactions at the same time and it may simplify and speed up the process. If you have a solicitor lined up already you can always challenge the seller’s request.

(If you want to know more about new builds, check out our blog on the pros and cons of buying a new build property)

Why Conveyancing solicitors recommended by estate agents are expensive?

Estate Agents’ recommended conveyancing solicitors are commonly perceived to be more expensive than others.

The primary reason for this is due to the ‘referral fee’ the estate agent receives.

Depending on the agent and their set-up, these fees can be north of £200 and conveyancing solicitors are not too happy if this money comes out of their back pocket.

Therefore, it comes out of yours!

Usually, the reason your estate agent’s recommended solicitors are more expensive is that the referral fee the estate agent gets for the recommendation is paid by you and hidden in the legal fee.

Where to find a good property solicitor?

There are many good property solicitors out there just waiting to help.

While this is a good thing, one of the big challenges for first-time buyers and home movers is, how to find the right solicitor for me them.

Get 5 FREE quotes from 5 hand-picked solicitors tailored to you. We also suggest asking people you know and be sure to ask about their experience before committing.

www.exchangetrain.co.uk compares solicitors from across the UK based on price, speed, location, and customer reviews.

Comparison websites such as www.exchangetrain.co.uk have been created to help you find the right property solicitor at the right price.

 

For more information about moving house, read through our other blogs and download our Ultimate First Time Buyers Guide for helpful tips throughout your home buy.