Halifax has announced the launch of a fixed fee conveyancing service as part of the first in a raft of new legal products it says it intends to launch in the near future.
The lender says the service will offer a panel of selected legal practices, which it says runs into the hundreds in order to give full UK wide coverage, which will undertake the legal work for customers and provide legal advice. It says the conveyancing service will be offered at a fixed fee of £299 for properties values at less than £50,000 up to £799 for properties valued at between £401,000 and £500,000.
Halifax adds the service will be offered on a ‘no sale no fee’ basis so that if the sale of a house does not complete the customer will not be charged for any of the legal work carried out to that point. While the service is currently being offered to customers through Halifax’s branch network the lender has indicated it intends to offer it through it intermediary channels and is currently in the process of consulting with the industry as the how best to implement the service.
Paul Fincham, a spokesman for Halifax, says: “The reason we are offering this new service is simply because customers have continually asked us for it and because strategically it makes sense for us to be able to point customers in the right direction for legal advice when they come into get a mortgage.”
Fincham also denies Halifax is trying muscle packagers out of the market by beginning to offer the same services as them. “At the end of the day it is still down to customer choice and at the moment this is still a high street service. Its not about the packager market in terms of challenging the competition,“ he says.
Nigel Payne, head of the Halifax Conveyancing Service adds: “Conveyancing is just one of the everyday legal products which Halifax is launching this year. Providing home related legal products is a natural extension to our role as the country leading mortgage provider.”
Customers will also be able to track the progress of their move online as well as receiving updates by text message and email. Each update is triggered at key milestones throughout the process. Home movers using the service are automatically contacted when completed documentation is received, search results are known, a mortgage offer is received from the lender and when contracts are exchanged.
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