Solicitors behind the buying and selling of houses need to be publicly celebrated.

I am looking at the website of a law firm, slogan ‘a small friendly firm’. The website also lists the areas of work undertaken, and the buses that could take you there. It’s quite basic.

I know they are an incredibly good law firm, because they are my lawyers – I’m not sure I’d live in the house I do had they not kept things going up and down the housing chain, found practical solutions and been generally great through one sale that fell through, and another that threatened to.

I also feel residual guilt at what our lengthy transaction must have done to the firm’s ‘lock-up’ days, turning an ideal of 90-120 days into a cool 340.

Opening a second tab on my browser, I type in my home address – and all the lead hits relate to properties sold or for sale. One click and I find out which estate agent sold which property and for what price.

Now I find this depressing, as I think there are any number of things that are more interesting about my little street of post-Great War ‘hero homes’. But the ubiquity of estate agents in the results list tells me that they own this online ‘space’.

And the message is clear – estate agents may not be universally liked, but they take the credit for putting people in the homes they want to buy, and selling the ones they want to move from.

The solicitors (or licensed conveyancers) on these life-changing transactions were… well, who?

In fairness to the legal profession, many who do residential conveyancing have a zippier website and do more marketing than my lawyers. But this still doesn’t get proper ‘billing’ for the role they play – relegating their role to the professional singers from the golden age of musicals who, unacknowledged, provided the singing voices of the stars.

In Singing In The Rain, a curtain is dramatically raised to reveal the real person behind the ‘star’ – to achieve the same for solicitors will probably be a slower process.

 But it would surely be possible to make a start.

I have never seen, on a law firm’s website or in a reception area, pictures of the properties the firm has helped its clients buy or sell. I think that’s a must – maybe even just set up a Facebook page for the firm, and upload pictures, with street names, to that. (With client permission of course – maybe offer £10 off the bill for a photo?)

And whereas I disliked the two estate agent boards outside the flat we sold, I’d have happily nailed the name of our solicitors to the post when exchange and completion dates were agreed.

But, of course, I wasn’t asked. It’s not something they do.

One aim, when enough solicitors have done this for a while, is for a website like to feel it has to have not just the name of the estate agent who sold a property, but that of the solicitors too.

Why bother? After all, most property solicitors report a good market at the moment.

Well, any situation where a professional doesn’t truly ‘own’ the client relationship, or get the full credit for what they do, is vulnerable. It is more price-sensitive, is too reliant on intermediaries, and does worse in a downturn.

Also, of course, a profitable market attracts competitors which, as basic economics tells us, is how profit margins fall.

And we’ve all noticed one thing about the property market – even in a downturn, people spend a lot of time looking in estate agent windows. Maybe it’s time to put some pictures of houses in yours.