Stamp Duty conveyancing issues loom

Ryan Fowler

December 8, 2014

SortRefer has already changed its quotation system to accurately reflect the changes to Stamp Duty announced in the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement last Wednesday but Tunnicliffe is concerned that many brokers will be unable to quote accurately as the changes could take many conveyancing providers days or even weeks to respond.

He said: “Making changes to systems to take account of what is great news for house buyers can take time.

“At SortRefer we have been able to make these changes almost instantly because of the investment we have made in the SortRefer system but other portals and individual legal practices might not be able to respond so quickly.

“Clients deserve to be given the most accurate breakdown of costs at the outset, but the Chancellor’s announcement could put many brokers at a disadvantage as their preferred source of quotations might not be in a position to guarantee the accuracy their clients expect.”

And Tunnicliffe said conveyancers need to do more to improve the accuracy of quotations.

He added: “From our own analysis of the market, the accuracy of conveyancing quotations, especially from conveyancing portals is by and large pretty inadequate with many clients puzzled to find that some really basic fees have not been included when they see the actual fee charged at the end of the process.

“We would like to see steps taken to ensure that all firms that generate quotes, offer a full and transparent illustration as these are being used to help clients assess the total costs of their housing needs.

“It has long been a requirement of the mortgage industry, but with conveyancing, too many are ‘ball park’ estimates dressed up as a full quotation, whilst others deliberately omit additional fees or charges in order to make their quotes ‘appear’ cheaper than others”

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