Solicitors and Conveyancers: everything you need to know

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So, you’re ready to buy or sell property but don’t know where solicitors and conveyancers come in? What even are the differences between solicitors and conveyancers? Well, worry not.

Benevolence Financial Group has you covered in this guide to everything solicitors and conveyancers.  

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Have any questions we missed or require more detail? Contact us via email or call today! 

What does a conveyancer do?

Fundamentally, conveyancing is the legal and administrative process of transferring property title or ownership from the seller to buyer. Put simply, they handle researching properties, preparing and verifying documentation.

Licensed conveyancers aid in selling, purchasing, settling residential and commercial properties. The process usually takes six weeks though it can be done in four.  

There are three stages of the process: preparing the sale contract, exchanging contracts and completion. During this process, the conveyancer:

  • Gives their client status updates
  • Negotiates with the other party and verifies their information
  • Organises any outsourced activities- which falls under disbursement expenses. 

Outside of legal activities, fees and disbursements can also include:

  • Building and pest inspections
  • Survey report
  • Mortgage establishment and insurance 
  • Home building insurance
  • Property valuation fees
  • Levies, depending on if the property is in a strata or community scheme
  • Council and water rates

Normally, conveyancers offer fixed price conveyancing services, including search costs, legal advice, and other expenses. It usually costs between $1000 to $2500 in NSW.

To pay the fees, the seller pays their conveyancer a percentage of the sale’s total or a negotiated flat fee. However, the buyer pays a small portion of the purchase price or negotiated flat fee. Before your conveyancer starts researching, we recommend requesting an itemised statement to get a better idea of the total costs. 

You can do your own conveyancing. However, there is a high amount of legal work involved and any mistakes may be costly.   

Solicitor 101 

Typically, solicitors are more general legal practitioners with specialist knowledge to handle property transfer. However, solicitors are often better equipped than conveyancers to handle more complicated and riskier sales. Because of this, they may charge $1,000 to $1,100, in addition to disbursements for their services. 

Though real estate solicitors can conduct conveyancing, they also handle all property related matters and documents.

What’s the difference? 

Importantly, both can oversee property ownership transfer, but only solicitors can deal with and advise on complex legal matters (like tax implications and estate issues). 

However, conveyancers are better equipped to guide clients through straightforward purchases as this is their specific field.  

Where to go from here?  

Ultimately, the choice is yours between solicitor and conveyancer (except Queensland and the ACT, where you must use a solicitor).

To help you decide, we made this list of factors to narrow down your options:

  1. Cost: Conveyancers are cheaper than solicitors, but solicitors offer more services. If your property or financial details are likely to throw some legal curveballs, go for solicitor. If a conveyancer needs to refer you to a lawyer for legal advice, you may end up paying more overall.
  2. Attention: Due to their lower charges, conveyancers often take on more customers. This means you may get lower attention than you would from a solicitor. Consider how much assistance versus autonomy you want.
  3. Prior experience or word of mouth: If you have had a good experience with a solicitor or conveyancer before, or know someone who was happy with theirs, it’s a great idea to go with them.

How BFG can help

Of course, why choose a solicitor or conveyancer if you don’t know who to turn to with your real estate matters?  

At Benevolence Financial Group, we negotiate and compare loans from over 30 different lenders to find the best deal for you and your requirements.

Additionally, by working with a mortgage broker like us, we will be with you every step of the way.

But beyond that, with each home loan made with us, you also give back. We invest half the profits into our socially responsible partner charities addressing issues both in Australia and overseas. We make each investment in the name of our customers and is tax-deductible, and they can relax knowing their home loan contributes to ethical finance. 

Want to use BFG for your home loan needs? Click here to book an appointment with one of our specialists today!

Disclaimer: The information provided is general in nature and does not constitute financial advice. Please speak to us for recommendations on your individual circumstances and requirements.