New Zealand Law
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You could likely get quotes locally, to start with and then later when you actually do the work, and are in the district, get local quotes from the house location area. I think the lawyer acting for your mother in law is being cautious, because his client will have a second mortgage rather than first, which means it will be less secure. So to ensure his clients interests are protected he has asked for the quotes. You won't be bound by the quotes until you start to do the work, and you could get new quotes at that time. They are likely just looking for a budget for the work. I don't know if this helps, but feel free to ask further