Price transparency is a concern in a third of all property transactions, according to a review by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA).
Clients were given an unrealistically low initial quote by conveyancing solicitors, then hit with additional fees and charges further down the line.
Those fees were for work that the solicitor had to do to ensure the client's sale or purchase went ahead without any hitches, including bank transfer fees, mortgage administration fees and electronic ID checks.
Up front on all charges
Home buyers and sellers who choose to instruct a conveyancing solicitor through Fridaysmove are always assured of complete transparency in pricing. In fact, we pride ourselves on being up front from the very start on all the fees and charges involved in conveyancing.
Unfortunately, that is not always the case as the SRA review revealed. When their investigators visited 40 law firms across England and Wales to carry out forensic checks on 80 property deals, they discovered that 34 percent of all initial quotes did not contain essential fees and charges that the solicitor should reasonably have included.
Essential fees not included
Among those were the likes of bank transfer fees, electronic ID checks and mortgage administration fees, without which a conveyancing transaction cannot be completed.
What that means is that clients were then hit with unexpected extras when the final bill was tallied, again a situation that will not arise for Fridaysmove clients.
Six solicitors firms have now been referred to the SRA's internal disciplinary processes. Meanwhile, the review will be shared with law firms across England and Wales to encourage best practice in pricing.