Buying/Selling Property: Should you use a Conveyancer or Solicitor?

Conveyancing refers to the entire process involved in the purchase or sale of land. It involves the negotiating of terms of sale or purchase, the preparation of the documents necessary to secure the transfer of title, the investigation of hazards to future ownership of the property and conducting the settlement.

Conveyancing can also involve dealing with mortgage documents, and providing advice to clients regarding their loan documents.

You can use either a solicitor or conveyancer to complete the conveyance on your behalf. If you have never bought or sold property, it can be difficult to choose between the two. Transacting with land is expensive, and can be surprisingly complicated. One small slip up in the contract can be very costly. Although, it may initially seem like solicitors and conveyancers provide the same service, there can be a big difference between the level of training, legal education an experience between solicitors and conveyers.

How are Solicitors and Conveyancers different?

A solicitor has the benefit of complete legal training and accreditation to practice in the law of their state or territory. They will also have knowledge, and often experience, in other areas of law that can be linked to property law in very important ways, such as:
1. Wills and Estates;
2. Family Law;
3. Business Law;
4. Taxation Law;
5. Immigration law; and
6. Legal disputes and court proceedings.

Conveyancers also have tertiary qualifications, usually from TAFE or another tertiary institution. Through their training they have specific knowledge of the practice and procedure relating specially to conveyancing, however they are not in a position to provide you with general legal advice about the potential wider consequences of your proposed transaction (such as the areas listed above). In essence, lawyers can provide additional services that conveyancers are not qualified to provide.
Why are conveyancers cheaper?

Conveyancers are not qualified lawyers. They are trained in the limited processes of conveyancing, however they do not provide the additional skill and knowledge that retaining a solicitor brings. Further, conveyancers often have a streamlined operating process and churn out many clients. If this is your first property, and you wish to have a more personalised and client-focused service, then perhaps engaging a solicitor might be an options to seriously consider.

Why should I use a solicitor?

Although everyone expects that a simple purchase or sale should go through quickly and easily, things don’t always go to plan. If something unexpected or unusual were to occur, having retained a solicitor in relation to the conveyance could become very useful. Solicitors have experience in conflict resolution, negotiation and advocacy, all of which combine to ensure that a legal solution is found quickly and your settlement is no delayed.

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