The listing of on-line conveyancing service ‘In-Deed Online’ on the AIM market in June heralded the coming of age of on-line conveyancing (www.in-deed.net). In-Deed was founded by founder of RightMove, Harry Hill, and Peter Gordon, former partner at private equity group 3i.
The quote from Phil Spencer (of TV property programmes such as Location, Location) sums up for many buys (and sellers) their frustration with the conventional way of engaging lawyers to do conveyancing: “Finally a property lawyer on your side!”
In-Deed Online de-mystifies the complexities of conveyancing with a seven stage process which progresses step-by-step whilst a single named qualified lawyer works on your behalf. There is a commitment to complete actions within a time limit, fixed quotation up front, ‘no completion no fee’ guarantee and everything is completely visible for the client on the In-Deed Online website.
My personal experience in buying two properties and selling one was; that I had to chase the lawyer every step of the way, had no idea what was happening, what was causing the hold up and that it felt like that I was doing all the work that the lawyer was being paid to do. It is for people like me that In-Deed Online, if it can keep its promises, will be a dream come true.
But for others there will always be the ‘on-hand’ alternative. Rod MacClancy of Ashley Wilson solicitors comments: “Internet Conveyancing Companies love to state that Solicitors are expensive and slow however the use of the internet has been embraced by solicitors and licensed conveyancers and has helped to reduce delays in the conveyancing process. Local Searches can now be obtained in days rather than weeks and the land Registry has made great leaps forward and is one of the most efficient government agencies today. Email has also dramatically speeded up communications between solicitors involved in the conveyancing progress.”
“On June the 5th when Stamp Duty rates were due to rise at midnight I actually attended at a very expensive London property from 7pm until 23.40pm p.m., when completion was eventually agreed with my solicitor counterpart who was also still working at that hour”
Perhaps there is no alternative sometimes to the ‘On Hand’ service of face-to-face advisors committed by personal relationship to do the very best for you whatever the circumstances. But I can confidently predict that we will access more and more of our legal services on line and the right brands with the right offers will be bigger winners.