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Choosing a Conveyancer in Australia? Make Sure You Ask Them These 7 Questions

May, 3rd
Settled Team
Conveyancing Tips

Are you ready to take the plunge and buy or sell a house? Great news. But before you jump in, you need to consider the crucial step of conveyancing. In basic terms, this is where the legal process of transferring property ownership from the seller to the buyer happens. It’s a complex process that involves a lot of legal and administrative procedures that need careful attention and expertise to successfully navigate.

Now, you have two options when it comes to conveyancing: you can do it yourself or hire a licensed professional to handle it for you. Keep in mind though, that it can be challenging, time-consuming, and stressful doing it yourself. So, it’s often best to have an experienced pro by your side to guide you through the process and ensure everything goes smoothly. Don’t let the legal jargon scare you off, with the right help, you can confidently navigate the conveyancing process and move into your dream home or make a successful sale. In this article, we’ll give you our top 7 most important questions to ask a conveyancer to make sure you find the right fit. 

7 Crucial Questions to Ask a Potential Conveyancer

When buying or selling a property in Australia, a conveyancer ensures the settlement process goes smoothly. However, not all conveyancers are the same, and it’s essential to choose the right one for your needs. Here are 7 important questions to ask your potential conveyancer to make sure they’re a good fit: 

What are your qualifications?

It’s important to choose a conveyancer who has the necessary training, education, and experience to handle your specific transaction. You want to make sure that the conveyancer you choose has the expertise and knowledge to navigate the complex legal and administrative procedures involved in the conveyancing process. Ask potential candidates about their qualifications, work experiences, and professional memberships to determine their knowledge and expertise. To become a licensed conveyancer in Australia, you need to complete an accredited course in conveyancing, such as a diploma or degree, and obtain a licence from the relevant state or territory government.

What properties do you specialise in?

Conveyancers may specialise in handling certain types of properties, clients, or locations. For example, some conveyancers may have expertise in dealing with first home buyers, while others may be more experienced in dealing with investment properties. Asking this question will help you determine whether the property conveyancer you’re considering has relevant experience handling transactions like yours. This can give you peace of mind knowing that the conveyancer has dealt with similar properties in the past and can anticipate and address potential issues that may arise.

How much does your service cost?

Cost is one of the most significant factors in choosing a conveyancer. It’s important to get a detailed quote from the conveyancer to help you understand the breakdown of their fees, including their professional and search fees, as well as other disbursements like administrative expenses and stamp duty charges. Understanding the cost upfront will help you prepare for the expenses involved in the conveyancing process and avoid any unpleasant surprises later on.

How long will the conveyancing process take?

The conveyancing process can be time-consuming, and it’s essential to have an idea of how long it will take to complete the process. The timeframe will depend on the specific circumstances of the transaction, including the terms and conditions of the contract. Understanding the timeline will help you prepare the necessary documentation and financial transactions before property settlement. It can also give you an idea of how quickly you can expect to move into your new home or receive payment for the sale of your property.

How often will I expect to hear from you?

Effective communication is critical in any professional relationship, especially in real estate transactions. If you’re a first time seller or buyer, you might want a little more hand holding, so your conveyancer should provide regular updates and be reachable via phone, email, or text. Asking about the frequency and method of communication will help ensure that you are informed of the transaction’s progress and that the conveyancer meets your expectations. Clear communication can help you avoid misunderstandings or delays and ensure a smooth and successful transaction.

Do you have insurance coverage?

While conveyancers are experienced professionals, mistakes can happen. It’s important to know whether the conveyancer carries indemnity insurance to protect you in case something goes wrong. Accredited professionals often carry this insurance, but it is still essential to ask. Knowing that the conveyancer is insured can give you peace of mind knowing that you are protected in case of any errors or omissions.

Do you offer online conveyancing services?

In today’s digital era, an increasing number of conveyancers offer online conveyancing services. Electronic conveyancing or e-conveyancing allows for faster and more efficient communication and monitoring of transactions. Knowing whether a conveyancer offers this service can help streamline the process and make it more convenient for you. It can also give you more flexibility in terms of scheduling and access to information.

What Does a Conveyancer Do?

Conveyancing is the legal process that deals with all the paperwork and documentation needed when buying or selling a property. It’s an essential process but the exact requirements vary depending on whether you’re the buyer or the seller. However, the typical steps involved include:

For Buyers:

  • Property and land title searches
  • Arranging purchase order financing and reviewing mortgage contract
  • Deposit payment
  • Reviewing and preparation of legal documents
  • Working out rate and tax adjustments, stamp duty, and other financial obligations
  • Completing final checks prior to settlement
  • Exchanging the signed contract of sale and attending the settlement

For Sellers:

  • Completion of legal documents
  • Reviewing the contract of sale
  • Checking the property’s compliance with state and local laws
  • Arranging payments of deposit and stamp duty
  • Completing final checks prior to settlement
  • Exchanging the signed contract of sale and attending the settlement
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What’s the difference between a Conveyancer and a Solicitor?

A quick note on the difference between a solicitor and a licensed conveyor – although these terms are sometimes used interchangeably, it’s important to know the difference.

While a conveyancer is specialised in conveyancing and the property market, a solicitor has a wider understanding of the law and can provide legal advice on issues that may not be directly related to conveyancing, such as tax implications, property law and land tax. Additionally, solicitors are better suited to handle more complicated transactions that may involve more risks.

Typically speaking, however, conveyancing costs and fees are less when you hire a licensed conveyancer over a solicitor, which can be a benefit for those looking to save costs on conveyancing fees.

Keep in mind that in the Australian Capital Territory and the state of Queensland (Brisbane), conveyancing licences are not recognised. So, if you’re buying or selling a property in these areas, your only option is to hire a conveyancing solicitor. If you’re in Sydney NSW or Melbourne Victoria, South Australia, Northern Territory, Western Australia or Tasmania, you can hire a licensed conveyancer.

Take the Stress Out of Property Transactions – Contact a Conveyancer Today

If you’re planning to buy or sell a property, hiring a licensed conveyancer or solicitor can help ensure a smooth and successful transaction. By asking the right questions, you can make an informed decision and choose a conveyancer who best meets your needs.

If you’re ready to get started on your conveyancing journey, get a quote today. With the help of a qualified professional, you can save time, reduce stress, and enjoy peace of mind knowing that your property transaction is in good hands.

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