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  1. Blog
  2. Are Purplebricks conveyancing any good?
Online Estate Agents Reviews
26 October 2019

Are Purplebricks conveyancing any good?

Rosie Hamilton
Writer & Researcher
a purple bricks for sale sign outside an unsold house

Table of contents

  1. 1. Who does Purplebricks use for conveyancing?
  2. 2. Premier Property Lawyers
  3. 3. My Home Move
  4. 4. Simplify conveyancing
  5. 5. eWay
  6. 6. Are Purplebricks conveyancers registered with the Law Society?
  7. 7. How much do Purplebricks charge for conveyancing?
  8. 8. Purplebricks conveyancing reviews
  9. 9. Should I use Purplebricks conveyancing?
  10. 10. FAQs

Purplebricks claim to be a refreshing alternative to the traditional high street agent. They tout low prices and positive reviews. Yet their services remain divisive. Although the company have an ‘Excellent’ 4.5 star review on Trustpilot, rival review site AllAgents rates the company at just 1.3 stars. Many of the poor reviews focus on a lack of communication, low motivation, and delays.

A significant number complain about the conveyancing services you have to use if you choose the ‘Pay Later’ option. We decided to take a closer look at the online agent’s legal services partner to see whether the poor reviews were justified.

Who does Purplebricks use for conveyancing?

Purplebricks use Premier Property Lawyers for conveyancing. The company trade under 62 different names so they may be called something else when you receive your conveyancing quote. Their trading names include:

  • eZie Conveyancing
  • Homemover Direct
  • My Home Move Conveyancing

Among several other firms, Premier Property Lawyers are owned by the conveyancing group - Simplify.

If you choose to use the conveyancers Purplebricks recommend, these are the conveyancing companies you are most likely to deal with.

In the past, Purplebricks used Advanced Conveyancing. It’s unknown when they stopped enlisting their services.

Premier Property Lawyers

Premier Property Lawyers are proud of their status as the largest conveyancer in the UK. In the past few years they claim to have completed more cases than any other UK conveyancer. They credit this to their ability to combine ‘an innovative use of technology with personal service.’

Currently they employ 38 Licenced Conveyancers, 70 Solicitors, and 13 Legal Executives, with a combined experience level of over one thousand years. Along with this expertise, Premier Property Lawyers offers an ‘enhanced online case management service’ called eWay. This service allows you to track the status of your sale, and stay up to date with everything you need to do and what documents you need

Premier Property Lawyers reviews

As of 24th January 2022, Premier Property Lawyers have 3,473 Google Reviews with an average rating of 3.5/5. Some of the poorest reviews (ranging from 2-1 stars) cite the November 2021 online breach as having huge ramifications on their property sale, while others refer to a general lack of communication and information. Interestingly, most of their Google reviews are either 1 or 5 stars with little in-between.

A number of other estate agents recommend their services, including:

  • Hunters
  • Andrew Grant
  • Fine & Country
  • Homesimple

and receive commission for their recommendations. The amount they get varies, but according to their website, it averages £252.82 per referral.

My Home Move

My Home Move is a trading name under Premier Property Lawyers. Whereas Premier Property Lawyers works with Purplebricks, My Home Move Conveyancing works ‘directly with the public’.

Besides a PR campaign where the company sought a ‘mansion tester’ to live in a Grade II listed building back in September 2021, My Home Home hasn’t received the same publicity as its in-house law firm Premier Property Lawyers. The last time My Home Move made the news was back in 2017, when it acquired the award-winning conveyancing firm, Advantage Property Lawyers.

Who owns My Home Move?

Simplify Group is the conglomerate owner of My Home Move and Premier Property Lawyers.

My Home Move reviews

While essentially the same company, My Home Move has a much lower rating on Google Reviews than Premier Property Lawyers, with a score of just 2.8/5. The last time they received a five star review was over a year ago. On the other hand, My Home Move's Trustpilot reviews are glowing, with more than 6,000 reviews, and an average score of 4.3/5.

Simplify conveyancing

Simplify is the UK’s largest conveyancing and property services group. They were formed in 2019 when The Simplify Group and My Home Move merged together. Their list of conveyancing firms include:

  • Premier Property Lawyers
  • My Home Move
  • Advantage Property Lawyers
  • DC Law
  • JS Law
  • Cook Taylor Woodhouse
  • GB Law

Purplebricks recommend the services of Premier Property Lawyers, making them an affiliate of Simplify Group. This relationship left many Purplebricks customers in limbo late last year, when Simplify experienced a data breach.

Simplify 2021 data breach

On the 7th November 2021, Simplify Group experienced a major security breach. Multiple conveyancing firms owned by (and using the same systems as) Simplify Group were affected. This included Premier Property Lawyers, Advantage Property Lawyers, and JS Law.

The holding message on the Simplify website read:

“We are aware and are working to resolve an ongoing systems outage. This involves multiple systems across our business including eWay and ieWay. We are working non-stop to restore systems and we recognise this could be a difficult time for clients. Our priority is to help customers exchange/complete on time. If you are a customer affected by this outage please click here, this will help us prioritise contact. We are doing all we can. Thank you for your patience.

We regret we are not operating as normal. Further updates to follow.”

The breach left thousands of Purplebricks’s users unable to complete or proceed with their transactions. While Simplify restored their systems on the 15th November, many homesellers were unable to get their sales back on track for many weeks more.

eWay

If you’ve sold with Purplebricks conveyancers (Premier Property Lawyers) or have used any of Simplify’s other conveyancing firms, you’ll have used eWay. eWay is an online case management software which allows customers to track their property transactions through their phones or desktops. Important documentation can be signed over the phone, while conveyancer’s contact details can be accessed at the drop of a hat. eWay was one of the platforms affected by the Simplify data breach.

Are Purplebricks conveyancers registered with the Law Society?

Yes. According to the Law Society, Premier Property Lawyers are not regulated by the Solicitor Regulation Authority. But, they are regulated by the Council for Licensed Conveyancers.

How much do Purplebricks charge for conveyancing?

Purplebricks don’t charge for conveyancing directly but you may be charged an admin fee of around £360. They refer you to their preferred legal services provider and collect commission. The amount quoted by Premier Property Lawyers will depend on the type and location of the property you are selling. They’ll also take into account whether you’re buying as well as selling.

You are not obligated to use their conveyancing service if you choose to pay the Purplebricks fee upfront. However, if you choose their ‘Pay Later’ option, you’ll need to use Purplebricks' conveyancer.

‘If at any time you have agreed to take advantage of the Conveyancing Services and thereafter withdraw, fail or refuse to use the Conveyancing Services you will be required to pay Administration Charges once you agree a sale of your property.’

According to Property Industry Eye, Purplebricks receives a commission payment of £382.85+VAT from every individual they pass on to Premier Property Lawyers. You can expect this amount to be added onto any quote offered.

If you decide you don’t want to work with Purplebricks’ preferred conveyancer, you’ll have to pay an ‘administrative fee’. It’s unclear on their website exactly what this amount will be. Various sources suggest it is around £360 - essentially the same amount as the referral fee. If you’ve chosen deferred payment, and then sell your property with a different Estate Agent, you are still bound by this agreement to use their conveyancers or pay the fee.

Purplebricks conveyancing reviews

As of 25th of January 2021, Purplebricks has a rating of 4.5/5 on Trustpilot and you can read our own review of Purplebricks here. Most reviews are positive but some of the negative reviews highlight problems specific to their conveyancers, Premier Property Lawyers.

Poor reviews of Premier Property Lawyers tend to focus on poor communication and delays. It seems common to wait several months to complete a sale. Sellers often report having to repeatedly call in order to move things forward. Although Premier Property Lawyers claim you will have a personal case handler, many complainants note difficulty in contacting their appointed representative.

Even fairly positive reviews of Purplebricks suggest there are problems with Premier Property Lawyers. One (pictured below) describes how they (PPL) had ‘spoilt the whole process’ by making a very straightforward sale last over six months.

On the other hand, most positive reviews of Purplebricks describe using their conveyancing services without any complaints. However, in these reviews much of the focus is on the estate agents rather than PPL.

Should I use Purplebricks conveyancing?

You shouldn't use Purplebricks conveyancing if you are looking for a speedy completion. Premier Property Lawyers are probably not the best option for you based on the reviews and feedback from people who have used them in the past that we mentioned above.

The need to pay an ‘administrative fee’ could be a contributing factor in deciding to work with Premier Property Lawyers regardless. Especially if you don’t know which conveyancing firms are the best for you.

However, GetAgent’s research found that Purplebricks completed on just 57% of its listings*. We found that many customers eventually chose to appoint a traditional high street estate agent to sell their property. Not only do home sellers in this position have to pay both Purplebricks’ fee and their new estate agents commission, but if they chose the Pay Later option, they are also tied into using Premier Property Lawyers, even if they sell with the new agent.

‘It is a condition of Pay Later that you agree to instruct the Conveyancing Services to act on your behalf once a sale is agreed with a purchaser and you hereby agree that you will irrevocably instruct the Conveyancing Services to make payment in full of the Product Service Fee to Purplebricks or any third party entitled to collect payment of the Product Service Fee’

The best option, if you’ve decided to instruct Purplebricks, is to pay their fee upfront. This will allow you to compare their conveyancing services and fees with other local lawyers and give you an opportunity to pick a lawyer best suited to your needs, saving you time and money in the long run.

For more advice on how to find a trustworthy conveyancer, check out our tips here.

See how long conveyancing should take in the current market

FAQs

Does Purplebricks include conveyancing?

No, Purplebricks does not include conveyancing in its fees, but you might have to pay for conveyancing if you click the Pay Later option. Purplebricks has two payment options: Pay Now or Pay Later with Conveyancing. If you choose the Pay Later with Conveyancing, you have to use their recommended conveyancers.

Do I need a solicitor with Purplebricks?

Like any property sale, it's highly recommended that you use a solicitor (conveyancer) to help finalise the sale when using Purplebricks. Whether you want to use Purplebricks’s recommended solicitors is entirely up to your discretion.

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