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Which ONLINE conveyancing solicitors have you used?

(13 Posts)
fourwalls Sun 30-Sep-12 06:52:49

Had a quote for roughly £2100 from a ''real world' solicitor for a sale and purchase and a quote for the same work from an online only firm for just under £1000.

Have never used online before but suspect most of the work can the done perfectly well by them and am very tempted by saving a £1000 - at least.

Have you used an online conveyancer and if so, how did it go?

Did you do sale only, purchase only, or both? Freehold or leasehold?

What problems did you encounter?

How much did it cost and/or save you?

Who did you use and would you use them again/recommend them?

Nelliethehefalump Sun 30-Sep-12 06:58:28

As with everything, you get what you pay for to a certain extent. Online conveyancers tend to just check the basics like whether the person selling is the owner etc. They wouldnt check complicated access issues/burdens etc that might not be immediately obvious from first look at the Title Deeds.

fourwalls Sun 30-Sep-12 07:41:33

Fair point - and this would be my major worry.

Yet, despite years of using 'local' solicitors, I've never had one give me a snippet of knowledge based on their real world presence, which aided me in any way with a purchase decision.

The best advice I had was from an expensive London solicitor who didn't know anything about where I was buying but gave a very detailed lease analysis in layman's terms.

I'm sure that online conveyancers would always act in such a way that they couldn't be considered professionally negligent or be remiss to the point of causing a client financial loss - surely if there are complex lease matters they would refer them in-house to a more qualified lawyer - or would they?

The only time I've found solicitors are really, really thorough and cautious is when there is a bank or mortgage company involved where the solicitor knows they will get their ass well and truly and properly sued if they do not do the whole job properly.

If you aren't getting a mortgage they tend to be more 'on your head be it'.

azazello Sun 30-Sep-12 08:06:12

Online conveyancers often aren't solicitors. They may be people with some legal background working in an office where there is a qualified solicitor but are unlikely to have practising certificates/ be regulated by the SRA etc so 'professional negligence' won't be the same as a solicitor being professionally negligent.

If your sale and purchase is reasonably straightforward then it is likely to be fine. If there are any additional problems (rights of way/ estate management issues/ listed building & conservation area / lease issues then I would instruct a solicitor from the outset.

wendybird77 Sun 30-Sep-12 08:07:09

I use MovingAhead.co.uk - and they are excellent. Used them when we bought our last house, then was swayed away by EA who promised a faster transaction if we used her recommended local conveyancer when we sold. Needless to say this time we are back with MovingAhead and I've already been really impressed as (again) we are under time pressure. They always answer the phone and e-mails and have an online tracking system as well. They are slightly more expensive than other online firms, but so so worth it IMO.

nocake Sun 30-Sep-12 08:10:05

We've used Simpson Millar and were very happy with their service. They were much better than local solicitors I've used in the past. They were just as thorough (don't kid yourself that with a local company you get anyone other than a clerk or licensed conveyancer doing the work) and far more accessible and convenient.

Simpson Millar are a firm of solicitors so you get exactly the same protection as with a high street firm.

herhonesty Sun 30-Sep-12 08:17:58

We used shoosmiths mainly to save money and they were excellent, despite initial misgivings that we had. Levels of service were higher than other local and family solicitors we had used in the past. But that was in 2008.

herhonesty Sun 30-Sep-12 08:22:13

Also should add they dealt very swiftly with two very unusual and quite significant issues very swiftly-so I really dont buy this "if there's anything unto wards they won't help you" stuff. We dealt directly with the solicitor in this regard.

fourwalls Sun 30-Sep-12 10:04:06

I used to work in the legal sector so iirc in any firm with a solicitor as principal - the solicitor is responsible for the professional actions of all staff from mail man to partner - so yes, they employ licensed or unqualified conveyancers - but they are supervised by qualified solicitors (unless you use a licensed conveyancer operating independently). No firm of solicitors uses qualified solicitors for all conveyancing matters anyway unless they're sole traders.

herhonesty - Shoosmiths are quite a big firms of solicitors I believe aren't they? - will check them out for a quote and Simpson Millar - don't know Movingahead but will check 'em out!

cheers all

hospidium Tue 23-Sep-14 09:31:37

Take a look around and make sure you do your research. Cheapest isn't always the best. Make sure you get a fixed priced fee including your VAT and all disbursements (searches, ID checks, mortgage fees) etc.

We used The Conveyancing Network to get our solicitor. Fairly low cost, local to our purchase and good communication and service from the solicitor. Can't fault it

ThunderboltKid Tue 23-Sep-14 10:49:59

Think the OP is probably sorted by now hmm

Adda1 Tue 10-Feb-15 13:07:45

Hello,
I just happen to find this thread about the solicitors. I noticed that Simpson Millar was mentioned. Please be aware! I and my husband are using their services at the moment and I am sick when I have to deal with my solicitor. Unfortunately, I can't say anything positive about their service. If you have straight forward case and you don't have to contact them they may be useful, but if you have extra inquiries it is a nightmare to get old of them and get any advice. Whenever I (or an agent or mortgage advisor) try to call the solicitor they always are on another line, deal with completions or are not in the office. When I send an email it is never answered! Soooo frustrating. We are going to have completion in 3 days and we still haven't send the documents as they didn't reply to our questions regarding the documents which I sent last week! When they speak to me I feel like an idiot as they don't explain things properly. I think over the last few days I grew few grey hairs on my head. The purchase of the property has been dragged for the last 5 months and I have really enough. On the top of that having a 2 year old toddler and a 4 month old baby at home when you try to do anything doesn't helpsad Obviously, not all solicitors are the same as my one, but if you decide to use them first ask them some questions and find out if they get back to you. If not, change them or make a complaint straight away.We were so stupid to use them!!!

specialsubject Tue 10-Feb-15 13:28:41

why use a solicitor that makes you throw up? You should have changed long ago.

I don't think you are getting completion in 3 days because it doesn't sound like you have exchange yet?

if it is really too late to change, be very careful about paying the bill. Trouble is they will take their fee out of the completion monies..

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