Tens of thousands of property purchases fall through between offer and exchange of contracts each year, as the average time it takes for property lawyers to progress to this stage takes just shy of three months.
Research carried out by new conveyancing provider LV= Legal Services, showed that more than one in four (27%) sales have fallen through in the past five years — and of these, in nearly half (48%) of cases, fault was attributed to the conveyancers for taking too long to exchange contracts. This equates to more than 96,000 sales not going ahead last year as a result of poor conveyancing services.
Of those property sales that fell through, a fifth of buyers (21%) were gazumped and one in seven (15%) had the vendors pull out at the last minute. The most common complaints from homebuyers who were unimpressed with their conveyancer included poor communication (74%) and slow and ineffective service (65%).
Around one in seven customers (17%) weren’t aware they could shop around for conveyancing services. Currently more than a third (35%) of those buying or selling simply stick with the lawyer recommended by their estate agent but this can be costly both in monetary and literal terms. Those who follow their estate agent’s suggestion pay around £400 more on average, are more likely to have to chase their lawyer for updates and ultimately, are less likely to be happy with the service.
When it comes to choosing a conveyancer, those who shopped around were most likely to make their selection based on a competitive price, good reputation or recommendation from a family member or friend.
LV= Legal Services is a new independent service in partnership with UK law firm Lyons Davidson, offering practical and easy to understand legal advice at an agreed fixed rate. Straightforward quotes can be sourced online, and Lyons Davidson’s expert advisory teams will be on hand to handle any specialist or more complicated requests.
"It's clear that in many instances the conveyancing industry isn’t working for consumers and those who simply take their estate agent’s recommendation are most likely to pay the price. That's why we have entered the market, offering transparent, high quality conveyancing at a price that is right for the consumer, supplied and endorsed by the LV= brand they trust."
Martin Milliner, Claims Director of LV= General Insurance
In addition to conveyancing, LV= Legal Services also offers practical and easy to understand legal advice at an agreed fixed rate for: