Sunday, 9 June 2013

Does 'No Sale No Fee' result in delayed conveyancing?

Let me first of all confess , even though I have worked at firms that have offered it, I don't like ‘no sale no fee’ as sales tool . I think it cheapens conveyancing and my previous posts make it clear what I think about the race to to be the cheapest conveyancer. I am not even convinced that it is something that the public expect.

This post is more about an adverse side effect of ‘no sale no fee’ conveyancing.

I believe that the commercial reality of ‘no sale no fee’ purchase conveyancing is that some solicitors (not all) will wait to receive the mortgage offer before they do a full investigation of title.

The introduction of defensive conveyancing, centralised in the hands of those more interested in reducing fees than providing a service, means that little gets done until a loan offer appears.

Meantime an impatient public and an even more frustrated agent will point the finger of blame in only one direction. Perhaps a compromise is to make it perfectly clear to purchase/borrower clients that your work will be limited to confirming instructions and ordering searches but that you will not start reviewing the paperwork or raising detailed enquiries until the mortgage offer is in. In the new world of OFR, form a regulatory perspective, your terms should make it clear if you intend to operate a defensive conveyancing protocol by waiting for the mortgage offer.

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