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What is a Property Conveyancer and what do they do?

Written by Ben Saravia,  
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You’ve spent endless hours online, attended countless inspections, and finally, you have found the perfect home for you.  You email the real estate agent your offer and that same day you hear that it’s been accepted!  Attached to this great news is your ‘contract of sale’.

At this point (before you sign anything), you must find legal representation. When buying a property, this comes in the form of either a licensed real estate conveyancer or a solicitor that specialises in property law.  Both of these professionals specialise in the legal process of transferring ownership of the title of the property and/or land to the new owner.

So, what’s the difference between a Solicitor or a Conveyancer?

While both a solicitor and conveyancer will get the job done, a solicitor may be preferred in more complex property purchases. For the average property purchase, a licenced property conveyancer can offer more budget certainty - and better value - as they tend to charge lower and fixed fees.

Whoever you choose for the task, they will both also ensure all your legal interests, and that of the property, are protected throughout the whole process and will make certain that the contract of sale is sound. 

What does a conveyancer (also called a legal conveyancer or property conveyancer) do exactly?

A conveyancer will take care of all the legal and paperwork aspects throughout the settlement process. They will communicate with the seller’s lawyers and generally see to it that all forms are completed and dates for settlement are adhered to, as well as seeing to any amendments that might be required.

Title

Your conveyancer will check across all specifics of the title on the property you’re about to purchase, including the legal status and history of the property certificate - this document is very important, so you’ll want to ensure you have a secure storage site in mind for this certificate once it’s back in your hands (to avoid any land and identity fraud!).

The deposit

The funds you’ve set aside for your deposit will also be handled by your conveyancer and put into a trust account prior to settlement. The settlement process, as noted earlier, can also be managed by your conveyancer, and they can liaise with your bank when the final payment processes are completed.

Legal Protection and Insurance

Having a conveyancer you trust to do all this also ensures that you are covered in the case that anything goes wrong with the legal aspect of the purchase, as you will be covered by their professional indemnity insurance. Importantly, legal and real estate jargon across contracts can be confusing, and a property conveyancer will make sure nothing slips past or is misunderstood - for such an important process, it’s a worthwhile cost to take on to ensure you don’t run into added legal fees later on down the line for errors now!

Peace of mind 

With your conveyancer taking care of the admin, you’ll have peace of mind across these final steps to secure your home, and you can focus on other important things, such as getting ready to move - and arranging those essential pre-purchase pest and building inspections!

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