New builds: Why you should not always agree to use a developer's solicitor
These days, a new build developer’s sales team will often push homebuyers into using a preferred conveyancing solicitor. On the surface, this might seem like a tempting proposition. After all, with so much admin involved in a house purchase, it takes one less decision out of the equation.
However, despite the promises you might hear in the sales office, when you sign up with a developer’s conveyancer, you’ll often end up paying more, and receiving a poorer service. So before you agree to anything, it’s always best to consider your options.
Do I legally have to go with the developer’s recommendation for a solicitor?
No, not at all.
And it’s important to not feel pressured by the developer. They may tell you that other solicitors are too slow, or even offer you incentives to sign with their preferred solicitor, but the decision is always yours to make.
Will it not make things easier if I just agree to use a developer’s solicitor?
It makes life easier for your developer. However, when it comes to trusting a firm of solicitors to handle large amounts of your money, and be responsible for covering your back when it comes to the conveyancing process, it’s important to take the time to research the market.
This shouldn’t be a decision you make in a sales environment.
Surely it’s in the interests of a developer to provide me with a good solicitor though?
It’s right to say that a new build developer has an interest in ensuring a smooth transaction, and a good conveyancer is vital to this. If, for example, your solicitor made a mistake on your paperwork, things would be held up, and the conveyancer wouldn’t be paid.
Of course, while a developer isn’t likely to recommend a terrible solicitor, there are other factors at play.
Do developers get a referral fee when they recommend a conveyancing solicitor?
This is the bit that can muddy the water. And unfortunately, a developer’s sales team will often recommend a solicitor based on how much commission they can get, rather than on the standard of service you will receive.
What if the developer is offering incentives to use their solicitor, such as a discount or cash sum?
With substantial referral fees up for grabs, developers will often throw in a sweetener to encourage you to use their recommended solicitor.
And while the developer, or their sales representative, may profit from this part of the process, you’ll likely be the one paying for their bonus through higher conveyancing costs.
How can I find a good independent new build conveyancing solicitor in Suffolk, Essex or London?
At Attwells, we specialise in removing the stress from the new build conveyancing process. We are completely independent from developers, answer our phones when you need to talk to us, and care only about providing our clients with the best service.
New build conveyancing can often be more complex than other forms of conveyancing. Our highly experienced solicitors are experts at navigating the various issues, such as non-compliance with planning regulations, failure to arrange inspections, and problems with sewers and roads, that crop up with new developments.
We offer a transparent, reliable and diligent service at a fair price, and work hard to make sure everything moves as swiftly as possible for you.
In the process of buying a new build? Before you sign up with the developer’s solicitor, give us a call, and we can save you time and money.