Since 2004, when the Law Society permitted it, many firms of solicitors have been paying referral fees to estate agents in return for clients being pointed in their direction.
Many solicitors have argued that the introduction of referral fees was not in the best interests of clients and could lead to a situation where a solicitor puts the interest of the referring estate agent before those of the clients. This firm has never paid referral fees.
As part of the Government’s wide ranging review of the house buying process, the Housing Minister has indicated that he wants “transparency in relation to referral fees”. A client should be informed of the referral fee amount before they decide to buy a property. If your estate agent refers you to a firm of solicitors, you should ask why they are doing so and, specifically, if they are being paid to do so. If any agent refers you to us for your conveyancing services, you can be assured that we are not making a payment to them and that the agent will be doing so because they think we will do a good job for you!