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Lichfield law firm issues warning on cheap conveyancing offers

A Lichfield law firm has joined two other Staffordshire companies to warn that cheap conveyancing offers on residential properties may not be all they seem.

Ansons, Dunham Guest & Lyons and Gardner Iliff & Dowding say they have come together because of an increase in the number of larger out-of-town conveyancing firms quoting a low estimate to help gain new business.

But they have warned customers that the headline price offered by such companies may not be the complete picture.

David Williams from Ansons Solicitors explained:

“Buying and selling a property is the biggest transaction that most people are ever likely to make and so deciding who is going to deal with the legal element based on what would seem to be the lowest estimate isn’t always the best criteria to use.  However many people do, and some of the out-of-town conveyancing firms know this and base their marketing and initial estimate of fees on this.

“I have had numerous people come back to me and say that although our initial estimate appeared to be more than the out-of-town firm they instructed, that actually when it came down to the bottom line final cost, we were cheaper or pretty much the same on price.”

The three local law firms believe this is because such firms don’t include some of the basic work within their fee and charge it as an extra.

Kevin Sherriff from Gardner Iliff & Dowding added:

“The work carried out by the larger out-of-town firms is often not dealt with by a qualified solicitor or legal executive with the first point of contact being an unqualified staff member with no local knowledge.

“I urge all house movers to consider the advantages of using a local firm.   You are able to meet with qualified conveyancers and you won’t deal with unqualified call centre personnel.”

Allan Binns of Dunham Guest & Lyons said:

“I believe you have to go a long way to beat the benefit of using a conveyancer who has expert local knowledge and experience. The most valuable bit of advice I can give when comparing estimates is to check the total amount quoted and not just what is thought to be the professional fee.”

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