Specialist conveyancer GWlegal, formerly Goldsmith Williams, has launched a remortgage guarantee where it promises that the fee quoted on day one will be the fee paid on completion.
The new remortgage guarantee applies to the fee quoted by GWlegal for its own legal work, excluding third-party disbursements.
Emma Hall, head of sales at GWlegal, said: “I hear too many cases of firms offering low, so-called ‘fixed fee’ quotes to secure the business, before increasing costs further down the line, when it’s difficult for the client to pull out.”
“Our remortgage guarantee gives clients total upfront payment security. No matter how long the case takes and whatever is thrown up during the conveyancing process, they pay the legal fee we initially quoted,” added Hall.
The guarantee is available on all remortgage cases placed with the business from today, and all cases are completed in house, said the firm.
David Hollingworth, associate director communications at L&C Mortgages, is sceptical however. “There will always be some cases that carry more work than others and therefore could attract additional charges. For example, a basic remortgage legal package won’t cover things like transfer of equity,” he said.
According to Hollingworth, it makes sense that those that don’t require those services are able to keep costs to a minimum, but it’s important that these fees are made clear at the earliest opportunity.
“Frustrations for customers can stem from additional fees being imposed much further down the line at a time when they thought they would face no other costs. A nominated solicitor package, for example, may unfortunately not always make it clear what additional fees may apply as early as would be ideal. From a broker’s point of view it’s important to assess where there could be additional charges so that you can prepare clients for any potential fees,” added Hollingworth.