Is It Okay To Use Online Conveyancing Solicitors Leicester?
When buying, selling or remortgaging a property in Leicester, you will inevitably come across the term ‘conveyancing’. Put simply, conveyancing refers to the legal transfer of property ownership from one party to another. This complex process involves an extensive range of legal checks and documentation to ensure the exchange is lawful and above board.
Traditionally, conveyancing would be conducted via high-street solicitor firms involving face-to-face dealings. However, as technology has advanced over recent years, a growing number of legal firms are offering online conveyancing services to clients through easy-to-use website platforms and features. This modern approach provides home movers with greater flexibility and convenience. You can upload documents, fill out forms and communicate with your conveyancer online without having to attend appointments in person.
Online conveyancing solicitors Leicester providers market themselves as cost-effective options compared to conventional practices. But is sacrificing the personal touch for cheaper fees a risk worth taking when buying what is likely your most valuable asset?
This article weighs up the pros and cons of using online conveyancing to help you decide if it may or may not be the best route when buying or selling in Leicester and Leicestershire.
The Benefits of Online Conveyancing
For many people exploring the Leicester property space, the allure of online conveyancing lies in its flexibility, transparency and cost-effectiveness. Let’s look at some of the key advantages driving its growth in popularity:
The main selling point of online conveyancing solicitors Leicester firms boasts is the sheer convenience and flexibility they offer busy clients. Outside working hours, family and social commitments seriously limit people’s availability to have face time with a traditional high street solicitor. The beauty of online conveyancing is being able to digitally submit and track documentation, communicate with your solicitor and complete admin tasks like filling out forms in your own time. This avoids the need to schedule appointments and take time off work.
For some, the convenience also extends to the location with online firms covering cases across England and Wales. This appeals to those relocating to the city as there are no geographical barriers limiting client eligibility.
Another major advantage online conveyancing solicitors Leicester providers champion is improving transparency around fees. High street practices are sometimes accused of a lack of openness about additional costs bumping up final quotes. Online firms submit clear breakdowns of standard fees and services not shrouded in confusing legal jargon. This allows clients to accurately budget and anticipate extra expenses when comparing conveyancers like-for-like.
The online conveyancing market’s low overheads and efficiently scaled business models allow solicitors to pass significant savings onto customers. Large firms especially boast huge case volumes allowing them to offer extremely competitive pricing. The extent of these savings compared to high street practices depends on factors like property type, value and case complexity but online conveyancers often estimate between 10% to 50% cheaper than their traditional counterparts.
For homebuyers and sellers cautious about conveyancing eating into budgets in an already costly Leicester housing landscape, this is an important factor influencing the appeal of online solicitors. Compromising personal service for cheaper fees can feel like a necessary and pragmatic decision for many.
Remote Working Capability
The Covid-19 pandemic made remote working a new norm across countless UK industries with law being no exception. Online conveyancing solicitors were uniquely poised to quickly adapt to lockdown measures and restrictions thanks to existing infrastructure supporting remote operations. Where traditional practices lacking sophisticated tech faced barriers adjusting to home working protocols, online providers experienced only minor disruption.
This meant safer and more reassured service provision for clients unable to have face-to-face dealings during an uncertain period. And for those still hesitant to re-enter busy environments as the country transitions out of the worst of the pandemic, online conveyancers present the most sensible option.
Online conveyancing certainly has some clear perks tempting Leicester property buyers and mortgagees to ditch the high street. But is losing that personal touch with your solicitor a risk worth taking? There are some disadvantages to weigh up too:
Can Lack Personal Touch
One of the main reservations people have about online-only conveyancing is the detachment felt from the impersonal experience of dealing with solicitors exclusively via a website and email. Form filling and uploads replace detailed discussions in a sterile digital environment.
For straightforward cases, this can suffice with all bases covered. But the whole conveyancing process is filled with unexpected hiccups like solving title deed errors. In these intricate situations, having face-to-face dealings with someone familiar with your case can prove extremely valuable.
An over-reliance on artificial intelligence chatbots and outsourced offshore admin teams may also negatively impact client rapport. Make sure extensive due diligence is done assessing a firm’s credentials, capacity and internal processes before commitment.
Risk of Delays
Critics of online conveyancers argue such impersonality and detachment from clients carries real implications. Streamlined systems prioritising scale over specialised service can lead to communication breakdowns. Messages get missed, documentation sits pending and delays creep into even standard cases.
For people racing against time to meet housing chain deadlines or excited first-time buyers, this can jeopardise transactions and cause major stress. While cost-cutting technology delivers faster turnaround times for most, horrified home movers recount nightmarish experiences too. Caution buying into promises of speed without substance is advised.
Less Access to Senior Solicitors
Large nationwide online firms make no secret senior solicitors manage gigantic caseloads daily. Their time is a hot commodity meaning most frontline communication falls to junior legal associates or non-qualified conveyancing executives.
For those wanting the security of an experienced industry expert overseeing transactions closely, this may deter choosing online routes. Yes, you sacrifice convivial chats over coffee but also potentially lose the safety net of a distinguished legal veteran guiding the process.
Due Diligence Still Vital
Saving money appeals to everyone but remember cheapest does not always mean the best, especially regarding major financial decisions. Just like traditional practices, all online firms are not equal regarding credentials, capabilities and legitimacy. Compromising on due diligence because a slick website promises bargain conveyancing can seriously backfire without proper checks.
Make sure solicitors listed on the Council for Licenced Conveyancers register, read verified reviews, check recent case studies and request client references. While online solicitors provide cheaper options, inspect credibility thoroughly like any firm playing a critical role in securing your property assets.
Using Online Conveyancing Safely: Key Tips
Online conveyancing presents an attractive proposition for Leicester property buyers and sellers if managed sensibly. Follow these tips to smooth the process while still benefiting from more flexible and affordable solutions:
Chase Progress Proactively
Once instructed, chase the progression of your case regularly even if deadlines are being met. Flurries of email and phone communication may feel like a nuisance but establish your presence as more than a faceless case file. Building rapport remotely raises the chance of solicitors prioritising your transaction if delays threaten to creep in.
Request Direct Contact Options
Insist you are provided email addresses and phone numbers granting you access to speak with your case handler directly when needed. Some firms intentionally restrict contact modes to keep overheads low but having open lines for voicing concerns directly prevents issues escalating.
Manage Expectations Realistically
Online conveyancers provide cheaper fees by systemising processes through automation technology and offshore admin hubs. Understanding such streamlining naturally detracts from bespoke personal service traditional practices favour. Manage expectations aligned with online delivery models focused overwhelmingly on the scale by acknowledging trade-offs made electing cheaper over intimacy.
Check Credentials Extensively
While online firms must meet the same legal obligations and service standards as any practice, double-check credentials and inspect legitimacy thoroughly before instructing. Sorry tales litter review sites warning how cowboy conveyancers compromised cases and life savings against a backdrop of sweet-talking jargon. Do homework ensuring firms listed on industry registers, are fully accredited and positively reviewed.
Conclusion – Weighing Up the Options Carefully
Online conveyancing solicitors Leicester homebuyers now demonstrate tangible advantages over conventional high street practices if cases run smoothly to plan. Stripping out office space overheads and integrating automation technology creates genuinely cheaper solutions for clients needing flexibility aligning with busy lifestyles.
However, placing full trust in faceless websites using offshore hubs handling soaring caseloads carries real risk too. For every positive testimony of responsive service at a fraction of traditional quotes lies sorry accounts of confusion, errors and delays threatening transactions.
Ultimately, conveyancing matters because securing UK property assets safely to progress housing aspirations remains most people’s biggest financial commitment. Weighing up online options against high street firms demands balancing upfront savings against long-term security. Gather referrals, check credentials and inspect case studies before rushing the cheapest route blinded by pounds saved.
The rise of online conveyancing is impossible to ignore as digital transformation continues to dominate most UK sectors. But the lingering presence of respected, reputable Leicester practices provides an essential choice for those still favouring personal touches over reduced fees.
Evaluate your priorities, risk appetite and unique situation before deciding which approach makes the most sense ensuring your property dreams become reality with minimal fuss or complications.