Conveyancers pushed to publish prices

In a move to encourage competition and provide help for consumers, conveyancers are to be told to publish the charge for their house-moving services.

A legal services market study revealed that those moving house often lacked the appropriate information to make a genuine decision regarding the best conveyancer for them, according to the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA).

They stated that: “Many rely on recommendations via word-of-mouth without doing further research on what the market has to offer. This doesn’t guarantee value for money or a good service for the buyer.”

The CMA went on to mention the state of the existing situation has ‘a lack of clear and comparable information [which] limits the ability of consumers to shop around and compare legal providers’.

The authority go on to state that they plan on working with legal industry regulators in order ‘to require legal providers to advertise their prices directly on their websites so that pricing is transparent’ as well as encouraging ‘legal providers to engage with reviews and ratings online’.

By getting regulators to make data available to the public, the CMA believe development of online legal comparison tools will be improved.

In order for it to become ‘a go–to tool for would-be home hunters’ they are also pledging to revamp the current Legal Choices website.

Prior to actually beginning the process of buying or renting, the website changes will allow consumers to understand their own legal wants and enable them to identify the various choices available and make a choice based around their needs.

Commenting on the benefits of increasing customer awareness was Rachel Merelie. The legal market study supervisor of the CMA stated: “Better informed consumers who are more equipped to assess and make choices will increase competition, not just on price – where currently a similar service can cost twice as much depending on the provider – but also on quality and innovation.”

Today's Conveyancer