Beware referral fees.

Beware referral fees.  Many home sellers maybe unaware that the recommendation by their estate agent of a particular conveyancing firm to deal with the legal aspects of selling their home comes at a cost. That fee will be added to the total cost invoiced by the conveyancing firm. You will be paying for that fee!  We believe referral fees for conveyancing firms are wrong and can lead to firms being appointed which cannot offer the level of service you require.

How much could it be and why am I being charged?

The fee received by the estate agent could be as much as £500. It’s a very significant cost and could amount to a large part of the overall fee paid by the home seller.  An estate agent will typically have one conveyancing firm with which they have a referral relationship. These fees can amount to a large part of the estate agent’s overall income and is important to them.

The referral fee is a significant cost to the conveyancing firm and puts pressure on their ability to offer a truly customer focussed service.

With research, home sellers can find conveyancing firms which offer high levels of customer service. There is therefore no need or value in paying these referral fees.  Our very clear view is that your conveyancing firm should be appointed solely on their ability to do the job at a fair price.  It shouldn’t be on the basis of a referral fee.

How do I know if I am paying a referral fee, should I?

The estate agents’ regulator has stated that estate agents should disclose if they are earning a referral fee.  They should do this at the earliest possible opportunity. This unfortunately is not always the case.

If your estate agent recommends a particular conveyancing firm, ask the estate agent if they are receiving a referral fee and if so, how much. This is then your opportunity simply to say that you will go direct to a conveyancer and that you are not prepared to pay a referral fee. We have seen home sellers being put under pressure to accept the estate agent’s recommendations. Resist this.

All conveyancing firms must state if they are paying a referral fee. This is sometimes in the small print in the terms and conditions the conveyancing firm will send to you to sign you up. This is another opportunity for you to say to the conveyancing firm that you are not prepared to pay a referral fee and it should be deducted from the proposed fees and charges.

Does Simplermove charge a referral fee?

We do not charge our conveyancing firms a referral or any other type of fee. We believe that referral fees add no value to home sellers and should become a thing of the past.