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Online estate agents: The start of a conveyancing revolution?

The advent of online estate agencies could give conveyancers the opportunity to build new business and rethink the solicitor-estate agent dynamic, explains Mark Riddick

27 October 2015

Earlier this year (in SJ 159/3), I wrote about the imbalance of power in the solicitor and estate agent relationship that leaves solicitors seething and estate agents in the driving seat. To some, it's the way of the world these days, but the digital revolution is already in the process of redistributing power in many other industries. Maybe, just maybe, a conveyancing revolution is round the corner.

There was a time, now fading into a distant memory, when solicitors were the principal players in a property transaction; in fact, in the 1960s, conveyancing made up almost half of the legal industry's income. With the advent of cheaper licensed conveyancers, high-street law firms resorted to undercutting each other in terms of fees, thereby commoditising what used to be a vital offering in the eyes of buyers and sellers.

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