Lawyer versus conveyancer: what’s the difference?

Many people get confused between a conveyancer and property lawyer. They are both qualified to act for you in a conveyancing transaction, so what’s the difference and who should you choose?

To help you, we’ve put together some information which should make your decision a little easier.

Conveyancer vs Solicitor

A conveyancer is a professional, other than a legal practitioner, licensed to undertake conveyancing work, and do legal work, or give legal advice about the transfer of title. Typically, a conveyancer will liaise with your bank to ensure you are prepared for critical dates during the purchase, sale or transfer of your property. They will prepare relevant transfer and state revenue office forms required, and they are also in regular contact with the other party’s lawyers dealing with settlement issues etc. They can give professional advice on title transfers and to ensure your purchase or sale runs smoothly.

If you’d like to understand about what to expect from conveyancing services, feel free to jump onto our articles: Buyers: what you need to know before you purchase and Sellers: what you need to know.

A solicitor is a more general legal practitioner. They hold a practising certificate for law, and may have the specialist knowledge required to handle the transfer of property, however they may not necessarily be property experts. On the other hand, all licensed conveyancers are qualified to handle your property affairs.

Which professional should you use?

After understanding the above, now, you can take your pick of who to use. This section takes a look at the pros and cons of whether to hire a conveyancer or a solicitor when selling or buying your property. Here are some aspects to think about:

Industry knowledge: Generally, conveyancers have more knowledge in the area of property settlement. Since there is frequently a lot of variation across property sales and purchases, hiring a professional conveyancer can ensure that your transactions go smoothly. By contrast, solicitors who do not specialise in property may not be as knowledgeable as conveyancers when it comes to nuances with settlement, even though they may have a broader understanding of the law. If your transaction involves other family law implications, solicitors will be able to handle these particular needs which fall outside of the realm of a regular a conveyancing transaction.

Cost comparison: Budget is also one of the main factors that can determine whether you will need to choose a conveyancer or solicitor. In general, lawyers charge more than conveyancers. This is because lawyers usually have higher fixed costs (e.g. insurance, administrative staff etc) to run their firms. Therefore, they will tend to charge more than conveyancers even though your property transactions are straight forward.

A rule of thumb

We recommend the following strategy for our clients: if you have a straight-forward purchase, sale or title transfer, then it will be more economic and hassle-free to ask the help of a conveyancer. If more complex legal issues arise in addition to the property settlement (eg. Wills, divorces, legal disputes), you always have the free option of bringing in a lawyer at that point in time.

We are of course biased towards conveyancers, but you will find a greater level of property expertise and more affordable fees if you approach a conveyancer first.

How Wealthsource can help

Wealthsource has a dedicated and committed team consisting of both conveyancers and solicitors. Our team member has a strong working knowledge and experience in relation to settlement. And the additional expertise of those with legal qualifications will be beneficial for looking after your specific needs going forward.

If you have any questions or our conveyancing services, do not hesitate to email us at [email protected] or call us on +61 3 9590 6180. With the experience and expertise, we can handle your sale or purchase of property with minimal fuss.