The Estate Agents Conveyancing Firm of the Year 2013

08 Aug 2013

Law Firm Services Limited (LFS) are for the second year promoting excellence within the conveyancing market. The quality between conveyancers ranges dramatically, something the Law Society know very well, since their deliberate creation of an accreditation for excellent conveyancers under their CQS (Conveyancing Quality Scheme).

This laudable effort by LFS overseen and managed by Richard Mathias is a compliment to this task, and a promotion to the public and other estate agents of choosing a dynamic and excellent conveyancing solicitor.

On 26th September the above title will be awarded by LFS to the conveyancing law firm with the most number of votes cast by different estate agents – all of whom have a chance to vote for who they consider to be their favourite conveyancing firm of the year.

Estate agents have a huge chance to send out a message to the public and to the conveyancing industry that they expect quality conveyancers and that for some, they are tired of being told to recommend conveyancers by their own HQ when they would not personally use them.

Is there nothing worse for an estate agent than after working night and day to secure a buyer for your property, they find an inefficient conveyancer taking charge of the legal process, who causes the deal to collapse, whether through delay, inexperience, being too busy or just sheer ineptitude?

And remember that being an estate agent is a tricky job. It is simply folly and cliché to suggest an estate agent “does nothing for their fee”.

Having recently observed an estate agent's office, we could witness for ourselves once again just how constantly active they are. Phone call after phone call. Customers popping in, calls of advice being handled, client frustrations at the fact that their property is not selling quite as easily as all homeowners think theirs will. And remember, estate agents can spend months and months trying as they might to sell your property – and having given you the freedom to do just this, you then withdraw your instructions and they end up having worked for free.

Just calculating the hourly rate for all these months of work, or the loss to them of all the abortive deals that do find buyers because the chain elsewhere has a collapse, and you start to see how their fees averaged out to the office is not as significant as they might seem.

Add in the insurance they must carry, the monthly fees paid to Rightmove (and the other property portals), press advertising, printing, rates, rent, overheads, wages, and you will see that a lot of commission – and not upfront fees either – needs to be earned to make their business work and to allow them to offer all their work for a 'no sale, no fee basis'. Few service businesses offer that perk, but estate agents do it to help you – the home seller.

But what estate agents actually do is often overlooked . It is simply not the case that “they take a few photos and then Rightmove takes over”.

Here is just a layman's view of what they do:

  • Visiting you to discuss the property, walking the boundaries, and taking photographs.
  • Perfecting your printed sales details.
  • Featuring your property in a wide variety of property related advertising media all carrying a charge – online and offline.
  • Handling walk-in, postal, email and website enquiries.
  • Accompanied viewings with interested buyers (first vetting them for time-wasters).
  • Providing periodic feedback on how the marketing is proceeding.
  • Advising on necessary adjustments to the price/sales tactics.
  • Negotiating with those who make an offer, either to advise you that they are not serious/worthwhile or to ensure they up their offer (which is where they so frequently pay their way by squeezing best price, more ably than had any of us perhaps attempted a sale and accepted a lower offer).
  • Once an offer is accepted, they prepare agreed terms and circulate to all parties and their conveyancers.
  • They – and this is so often overlooked – chase the conveyancing chain even after a buyer is found, and make sure that conveyancers are pulling their weight and not adding to the delay.

Seen in this light, estate agents are crucial in finding a buyer, achieving the best price for your property, but also keeping the subsequent legal chain moving – all under risk of them not being paid because they offer 'no sale, no fee'.

Estate agents see the quality of all the conveyancing solicitors in their locality and nationwide too. They know the bad ones, and they know the good ones. They are ideally placed to give their opinion on who they consider to be their favourite and who they implicitly recommend to others. Estate Agents are worth listening to, they are worth our support and conveyancers will appreciate their vote for the above Award.

But hurry, voting closes 12th August.

Estate Agents can cast their vote here (