Beware ‘cheap as chips’ conveyancing, warns Harpal Singh, managing director of Conveyancing Alliance Ltd.
Lately my mind has been exercised by the price of the products, goods and services we all purchase. Before you accuse me of being one of those people who know the price of everything and the value of nothing, I should point out that I am not a ‘cheapest at all costs’ type of individual. In fact, in terms of services, I hold firmly to a deep suspicion of those offering theirs for a knock-down, too good to be true, price.
While no-one wants to pay over the odds, it is possible that every one of us will have opted for a ‘cheap as chips’ service only to come unstuck later on during the relationship as something inevitably goes wrong.
Conveyancing is no different in terms of a service which is often offered at what seems to be a fantastically competitive price. I have lost count of the number of brokers and their clients I have spoken to, who when faced with a choice of conveyancing services, opted for the cheapest one, and came to regret their decision later down the line. In our business, cheapest is definitely not the best, in fact, I would go as far as to say that cheap conveyancing is always the worst.
The reasons behind this are obvious. If the service is too cheap it means that the staff are probably overworked trying to do volume work to justify the low pricing. This means that the service the broker and client receive will be affected – how many times have you had to phone a cheap conveyancer who doesn’t return your calls or you have found that the paperwork is continually not up to scratch?
Generally brokers are caught in the middle in this type of situation because they are having to deal with a conveyancer selected by either the client themselves or the lender. The time has come for those brokers to take control of the situation and ensure their recommendations are heeded.
When a client comes to look at their conveyancing options they often chose a service provider using one of three drivers: price, familiarity or a recommendation. As we have discussed, price (i.e. opting for the lowest cost) is not the best option similarly familiarity may not be a good move as this could still be the wrong service provider for them. The box seat therefore should be given to recommendation, and who better to provide a recommendation on the right conveyancing firm to go with than the broker?
Choosing the firm based on your expertise and experience will benefit not just you but the client. Brokers know the propositions that deliver each and every time, they also know which organisations take the least amount of money but never back this up with the quality needed. It therefore makes sense for you to make your recommendation and ensure you can control the process. It takes the aggro away from the situation and allows you to provide the necessary updates and regular communication you would supply as a matter of course.
While your client may be focused on price, it is up to you to ensure they value the service. You will know what good looks like for both you and your client, and therefore while it may only be between £50 and £100 extra, your recommendation will eventually make all the difference.