To Fee or not to Fee? That is the Question.

31st August 2021

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by Iain Grimes, Partner and Head of Conveyancing

When an estate agent recommends a property lawyer, is it because they believe you will receive a great service? Not always!

Estate agents do recommend solicitors that they know and work well with. However, sometimes an estate agent will recommend a solicitor who has paid for that referral. Professional rules allow this, and many solicitors pay referral fees to people or companies who provide them with work.

In many cases this doesn’t affect the quality of service that clients receive, all solicitors are strictly regulated and are required to work to a high standard. However, you could be referred to a solicitor in another part of the country and may never meet them in person. They also may not have the local knowledge and relationships which can help your transaction progress more smoothly.

There is nothing inherently wrong with referral fees but clients should be aware when estate agents are paying them, because the cost will usually be passed on to the client. Referral fees can vary enormously, from small sums to hundreds of pounds.

It is advisable to read the small print before signing any agreements with your estate agent and if you are still in doubt, ask them about referral fees, estate agents should be transparent about whether they are paid to refer anyone.

The Solicitors Regulation Authority has a strict referral code. As well as detailing professional costs, disbursement costs (SDLT, land registry fees, etc.) and associated expenses, solicitors must also reveal how much they have paid to obtain your business.

Fraser Dawbarns doesn’t pay referral fees; we have built our business on a solid principle of local knowledge, transparent pricing and outstanding client care that delivers professional, personal legal services.

Contact us today at any of our offices for help with any of your conveyancing needs.

 

Find out more about Iain Grimes

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This article aims to supply general information, but it is not intended to constitute advice. Every effort is made to ensure that the law referred to is correct at the date of publication and to avoid any statement which may mislead. However, no duty of care is assumed to any person and no liability is accepted for any omission or inaccuracy. Always seek advice specific to your own circumstances.  Fraser Dawbarns LLP are always happy to provide such advice.

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*We are recommended for the following practice areas: Corporate and Commercial, Debt Recovery, Employment, Personal Injury: Claimant, Agriculture and Estates, Contentious Trusts and Probate, Family, Personal Tax, Trusts and Probate & Commercial Property.

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