Conveyancing – What is the Role of the Solicitor?

Buying a house goes hand in hand with mountains of paperwork, this is simply part of the deal. From title documents and contracts of sale to valuations, property appraisals and more, the amount of documentation may seem overwhelming, especially if you are a first time buyer. Fortunately, these are not documents you have to handle on your own, a conveyancer or solicitor can take away the stress and do the heavy lifting for you. Robert Wood and Associates is home to a highly experienced team of conveyancing lawyers Melbourne home buyers trust with their conveyancing affairs. Let’s take a look at the role of a solicitor in a property transaction.

What is Conveyancing?

Conveyancing is the legal process of transferring the title of land between two parties. Conveyancing is where all financial, administrative, and legal works of buying and selling property converge. The process of transferring a property to a new owner is a lot of work and generally consists of three stages:

  • pre-contract
  • pre-completion
  • post-completion

A conveyancer or solicitor will do everything necessary to ensure a smooth transaction and ensure all critical dates are met during the process.

What Does a Solicitor or Conveyancer Do for Each party?

If you have purchased a property, a conveyancer or solicitor will:

  • Prepare, clarify and lodge legal documents – e.g. contract of sale and memorandum of transfer
  • Conduct a title and certificates search – check for easements, type of title and any other information that needs to be addressed
  • Review the contract of sale
  • Review the vendor’s statement and advise of any concerns
  • Put the deposit money in a trust account
  • Calculate the adjustment of rates and taxes
  • Arrange settlement of the property – act on your behalf, advise when the property is settled, contact your bank or financial institution when final payments are being made
  • Represent your interest with a vendor or their agent

For the seller, a conveyancer will:

  • Complete legal documents
  • Represent you in dealings with the buyer – e.g. request to extend dates, ask title questions etc.

Conveyancers Vs Solicitors – What is the Difference?

Conveyancers are licensed specifically to handle title transfers, without being fully qualified lawyers. Solicitors area licensed legal professional who may also be qualified to handle title transfer. Essentially, they both provide the same service, with the main difference being that solicitors have more extensive knowledge of the law and can provide more general property advice, such as on tax implications. When it comes to experience, solicitors often study property-related laws during their bachelor degree and as they are equipped with broader knowledge of the law, solicitors are suited to handle complex property transactions that pose more risks. Most states and territories in Australia allow you to choose either a conveyancer or a solicitor to do this work. However, in QLD and ACT you must use a solicitor.

Can I Do My Own Conveyancing?

On the surface, transferring a property form one owner to another may appear easy, but in reality most home buyers and sellers do not realise the full amount of detail, documentation and work that goes into the legal transfer. If you do not know how navigate the process it could take weeks to find and lodge legal documents, let alone understand them. Additionally, if you enlist the expertise of a conveyancer or solicitor, should they make a mistake, you’ll be covered by their professional indemnity insurance. If going it alone and you make a mistake or if there are any issues with the transaction, you risk paying a heavy fine or even forfeiting your 10 percent deposit.

Hiring a Solicitor for Conveyancing

When choosing a solicitor for your conveyancing, it’s important not to let price be the only factor in your decision. You should hire someone you feel comfortable with whose services meet your needs. You should also check their references, ensuring you choose a reputable solicitor experienced in conveyancing and make sure you understand how much their services are going to cost upfront.

There are many hidden details in the legal side of property transfers, so whether you’re buying or selling, you need to engage a trustworthy detail-oriented conveyancing lawyer to ensure your rights are protected – the team at Robert Wood and Associates will do just that. Offering an end-to-end conveyancing service, we will handle all the details, taking away the stress and ensuring a seamless transaction. Call us today to speak with highly trained and professional conveyancing lawyers in Melbourne.

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If you need professional, high quality legal advice from a law firm that puts your interests first, then Robert Wood and Associates is the right choice for you.