Fixed-price conveyancing fees scrapped

THE cost of buying a house is predicted to fall after fixed conveyancing fees were abolished.

THE cost of buying a house is predicted to fall after fixed conveyancing fees were abolished.

The Channel Islands Competition and Regulatory Authorities has welcomed the Guernsey Bar decision to remove its professional conduct rule that had fixed charges for property deals – a decision that followed the introduction of the competition law in the island.

‘Based on our experiences in Jersey, I’m confident that Guernsey consumers will benefit from lower conveyancing fees with more choice and the ability to shop around in future,’ said Cicra chief executive Andrew Riseley.

‘Since the fixed fees for conveyancing were removed shortly after the competition law came into force in Jersey in 2005, Jersey consumers have benefited from considerable reductions in conveyancing charges as law firms began to actively compete on price.’

Comments for: "Fixed-price conveyancing fees scrapped"

Ambulance Chaser, LLB (Hons), QC

Guernsey lawyers lowering fees?

Very much doubt it.

They will find a way to make up for any reduction.


So the cost of buying a property will drop eh? It might for high priced property but lower value homes may end up costing more as the firms try to balance their income. Gawd help the first time buyers if the firms start charging purely on an hourly rate. £180 per hour minimum for conveyancing staff and some of the more difficult properties require many hours of research that was previously absorbed into the tariff charge. A step in the wrong direction? Maybe, only time will tell.


Sorry but estate agents and the states stamp duty is a much higher % fee than what conveyancers charge, on a lot of property's they hardly make any profit.


I suppose it depends whether they decide to compete against each other or form a little cartel to keep prices artificially high.

Terry Langlois

I am sure that CICRA will be on the lookout for any such practices.

Anyway, there is nothing that lawyers like more than undercutting their rivals and stealing work from them.


The bulk of the cost of buying property remains the Document Duty that the States collect on each purchase. £15,000 on a £500,000 purchase. Advocates fees are considered high but estate agents charges are often over double that charged by advocates. A friend of mine is unable to set his house which he bought last summer. It seems that his advocate failed to advise him properly on something to do with the title. He got what he thought was a good deal but I guess like everything the cheapest isn't always the best.


On a number of flats in a block the documents are the same all they change is the name of the flat and parking space number. The documents have all been checked several times before. I wonder how low the fees will go?

From Channelonline

Organisations that don't comply with the competition law may face a financial penalty of up to 10% of annual turnover, for a period of up to three years of the infringement.


If they remove the fixed price, aren't the fees more likely to go up and not down? Guernsey lawyers are running a racket, they'll find some way of putting them up.


Wouldn't it make more sense to scrap the estate agents percentage based fee and replace it with a fixed rate; say £1000 per house sale? That would stop the estate agents from trying to sell a property for the highest amount, to maximise their profit.



I am an estate agent and i can tell you that people are responsible for the exponential increases in house prices. Every market in the world is driven by demand and prices fit in in due course.

I am more than happy to sell your home at a low price if you like?

No ? Didn't think so. I can honestly say when people ask me for a realisitc value they say 'great, now lets go on the market for 10% more than you recommend'

That is the way IT IS !


Like many islanders, I'm in a position where I can't afford my own home, so mine is a fairly one-sided perspective. I do see your point though, so thanks for the insight.

Terry Langlois

slight problem: it is the seller who appoints the agent to sell their house for them, and they want the agent to be incentivised to get the highest price


Its a growing industry when you see the amount of estate agencies now on the island.



A true story for you - my neighbour put his house up for sale and got 3 estate agents to value it. The three valuations were £400K, £430K and 499K. He gave the business to the highest valuer. It sold for £435K. Thus it must pay to over value a property in order to get the sale and therefore the commission.


But your neighbour still went for the higher price not the middle more relistic value.

so it is the sellers pushing the market up!.... what would you do when 99K is involved?.. yes same as me!