Why has my Estate Agent quoted me a figure of costs for conveyancing which is greater than the quote that I have received directly from the same solicitor?
Referral fees. You should always obtain your quotation for the conveyancing work directly from the lawyers of your choice as increasingly you will find it cheaper than that quoted to you through a third party.
Any difference, of course, represents a referral fee – or a fee payable to the third party introducer. There is absolutely no reason why a seller should have to pay a higher total fee for his conveyancing if arranged through an estate agent than he would otherwise have to if he instructed his choice of solicitor direct. This is because the agent is receiving a payment for simply referring the business to their chosen firm of conveyancers.
Specialist property solicitors have for many years adopted highly competitive fixed fee rates which pale into insignificance in comparison with other costs involved in the selling and buying process. To ensure that you only pay the amount actually charged by the solicitor, you should obtain your quotation directly from the solicitor, cutting out these unnecessary additional fees paid to the agent by way of referral fees.
If you have a recommended solicitor, whom your friends or relatives have spoken highly of as a result of their own personal experience, this is the best recommendation you can get and you should approach that firm, or any solicitor of your choice, direct to ensure that you are not paying a penny more than they actually receive for undertaking the work.