Lawyers bare all!

Don’t worry. It is not as bad as it sounds. We are only talking money.

Online shopping for legal services is tricky. You want to see someone local but you can’t tell what they charge. We charge fixed fees for a lot of our work, but we are a funny lot in that we want to talk to you about what you want before we tell you what it will cost. Some things can be more complicated, or more simple, than they look.

The Legal Services Board, who oversee all things legal, want more transparency in fees.

This should be easy enough on the legal side of buying or selling a house.

Our regulator, The Council for Licensed Conveyancers (CLC) announced last week that we will have to publish our scale of fees from the end of the year. Bring it on, provided it is truly open and transparent! We get a bit narked by conveyancing firms who publish headline fees with a list of add-ons as long as your arm and snaffle the business with a low up front quote that grows like Topsy as you go along.

We are often told that our quotes look higher than other firms. But dig deeper and we find our fees are competitive when you look at the extras other firms are slipping in.

Example- a common add on is £75 plus VAT for completing a Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) return ‘if needed’. That suggests you might not need it. Sneaky. A return is required in all cases if you are buying at over £40,000, or less if it is a second home. We include the return in our fee for buying a house.

We have one fee for dealing with a transaction from start to finish, so you know your budget, no surprises.

We provide a written quote which will state our fee for acting for you, with all ‘extras’ listed in plain sight. SDLT, the returns, the Land Registration fees, bank transfer charges. You don’t need to be Hercule Poirot or Carol Vorderman to add up the costs.

Subject to a few upfront checks, and provided there is no potential conflict of interests, we can do the legal work for you even if you are buying a house that we are selling.

If you would like a quote, please call or email us and ask, and we will send one. No messing.

We are happy with the CLC’s proposals and are working on implementing them as soon as we see the detail of what they expect to see.

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Trust our team of local experts to provide the best advice on a wide range of legal and financial issues whenever you’re facing a life change and need the best support.

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Poole Townsend solicitors Ltd (Company no:10964550) is a company registered in England and Wales with its registered office at 69-75 Duke Street, Barrow in Furness, LA14 1RP. A list of directors is available at the registered office address. Authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority number 647087. We are independent financial advisers authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. VAT registration number :154365563.

Poole Townsend Estates Ltd. (Company No: 10960705) is a company registered in England and Wales with its registered office at 69-75 Duke Street, Barrow in Furness LA14 1RP. A list of directors is available at the registered office address. Regulated by the Council of Licensed Conveyancers to provide Conveyancing services. (Firm no: 3438) VAT registration number 288092466. Our Estate Agency is a member of the Property Ombudsman scheme.

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