Are Estate Agents Best Placed to Make Conveyancing Recommendations?

Are Estate Agents Best Placed To Make Conveyancing Recommendations?

Latest research shows that the majority of consumers are relying on Estate Agents to decide on a Conveyancer

According to the latest Home Moving Trends Survey undertaken by the Property Academy, the majority of home buyers are relying on recommendations from their estate agents when choosing a conveyancer. The research shows that 68% of home buyers would seek advice from their estate agents when looking for a conveyancer.

A further 46% then go on to make their final decision based on this recommendation. Given that estate agents are not conveyancers or legal professionals themselves, are consumers placing their trust in the right people when choosing a conveyancer?

Estate Agents are often the most convenient point of contact for clients even during the legal aspect of the home buying process. They have experience of dealing with conveyancers on a daily basis and generally have a good
understanding of the conveyancing process, particularly senior estate agents and specialist sales progression staff within the agency.

The first priority for any agent when recommending a conveyancer will always be the level of service provided. With the current abortive rate in the UK at around 30% and the average conveyancing timeline at around 13
weeks. A conveyancer who can provide a fast efficient service, thus minimising the risk of the transaction aborting, will always become an agent’s preferred recommendation. The bottom line is that an agent will always prioritise getting the sale safely to completion over any other factor which is always reassuring to the consumer.

In addition to this, an estate agent must be able to fully trust the conveyancer that they recommend as the recommendation has a definitive effect on the agent’s reputation as well as the recommended conveyancer.

Nathan Reeks, owner of Nathan James Estate Agents in Caldicot and Magor commented:
“The nightmare scenario as a recommending agent is to have a client come to back us with a complaint regarding their conveyancer. Not only do you have a disgruntled client and a damaged reputation yourself but the chances of the transaction falling through also rise. As such we take a great deal of care in choosing who we recommend to clients and the level of trust between us and the conveyancer is of paramount importance.”

Rob Hosier, Sales and Marketing Director at one of the largest conveyancing companies in the UK, Convey Law, based in Newport, offered his own thoughts on how best to choose a conveyancer:
“Estate agent recommendations are certainly a very reliable way for clients to choose a conveyancing service, estate agents are property professionals who quite often have a strong working relationship with their recommended conveyancer. This adds another benefit to the client as that relationship can often help reduce transaction timelines with the agent’s assistance along the way.

However, it is important for clients to make informed decisions on their legal representation and taking the following steps would certainly help this:

Speak To Your Conveyancer Before You Instruct – Assess their personality and whether you feel reassured and comfortable that they will be representing your interests over the coming weeks.

Look At The Documentation – The presentation and level of detail in the documentation from a conveyancer will often give a good indication of how the conveyancer operates. Is the documentation thorough and considered or has it been quickly thrown together with little care or resource provided?

Ask Your Estate Agent How Long They Have Worked With The Recommended Conveyancer –Generally, the longer, the better. It is always a positive sign when the estate agent can say with
confidence that they have been recommending the conveyancer for a number of years. This points to a level of consistency and trust between both parties which will likely benefit client during the transaction.

Ask For Reviews From Previous Clients – The best barometer for service, other client’s experiences, ask your estate agents for previous clients’ reviews and recommendations. No jargon, just their experiences, it is still the most reliable way to judge a level of service.

February 18, 2014