Most agents choose a conveyancing partner based on their quality of work and reputation, rather than the referral fee.
New research among 92 smaller independent agents shows that only 5% have no relationship with any conveyancer, 70% have a relationship with more than one conveyancing partner, and 25% refer customers to just one law firm.
The most important reason cited by the agents for choosing a particular conveyancer is quality of work, followed by reputation, locality and price, with the referral fee coming last.
Agents also achieve high conversion rates, with just under 80% converting around one-third (31%) of sellers to their preferred conveyancing partner.
The research, among 93 agents with up to three offices, was carried out at the end of last year by Landmark Estate Agency Services.
Landmark said that such a high conversion rate would be a “massive carrot” for conveyancing suppliers to work more closely with agents.
However, the agents were not uncritical of conveyancers.
Asked for ideas to speed up the home moving process, a number of agents were critical about communication, including the use of outdated methods such as post and fax.
Others suggested that there was too much duplication of effort, and that there should be shared universal documentation – for example, relating to client verification and property ownership.
Almost four in ten agents (37%) mentioned Home Information Packs directly, or called for a legal pack to be prepared prior to offer.
The survey identified 56% of agents who believe delays in conveyancing are one of the barriers to faster home moving.