DCLG calls for transparency for clients buying a home
In recent months, several bodies have been calling for clearer options when it comes to individuals buying or selling their home, particularly when they require conveyancing services. With the market awash with choices of legal services to provide this, John Blake, Senior Residential Conveyancer, evaluates the impact this call for transparency will have for clients, and why real client feedback and recommendations will always be a preferable place to start.
The concept of price transparency originally came from the Consumer and Markets Authority report last year; a part of which calls for law firms to publish their costs online for their potential clients. “While we agree with the principle of giving our clients as much information as possible so they can make an informed decision based on their needs, simply asking us to publish our prices on our website could lead to some unwise choices,” John begins. “Every law firm will be different in terms of the client service they provide, the relationships they have with other third parties in the journey of buying or selling a home, levels of experience etc, and by turning into comparison sites essentially, clients will not have the access to all the information they need to make that decision. Buying or selling a home is one of the most important steps in our lives; choosing the right lawyer is just as important.”
Following this report, the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) launched a consultation to improve the home buying and selling process, considering both internal and external factors to the market. “The DCLG consultation agrees with the Consumer and Markets Authority, and so it is likely that in the future we will be required to publish our prices,” continues John. “By doing so, it will become hard for prospective clients to differentiate between providers; not everyone wishes to be led by price, but instead by what they can expect in terms of customer service.”
John concludes, “It will be interesting to see how this develops over the coming months, and whatever decision is made we will implement the changes needed with our clients in our minds. Client satisfaction is at the heart of how we work here at Warner Goodman, and our client satisfaction questionnaires support our success in this area, with 97% of our clients being very satisfied.”
This is for information purposes only and is no substitute for, and should not be interpreted as, legal advice.