When Dealing with a Property, Do You Need a Conveyancer, Solicitor or Both?

Posted on: 3 January 2017

You can't afford to make any mistakes when you're selling or purchasing a property. If you do, you could become mired in the legal process for an eternity, or in the worst-case scenario, you can lose a valuable opportunity. So it stands to reason that you need an expert on your side. However, should you just choose a general-purpose solicitor to help you, or somebody who specialises in conveyancing?

What's Involved?

Conveyancing can be a very long and drawn-out process, and it can be confusing for the layman. It begins as soon as an offer is made on a property and ends when the keys are exchanged at a function known as a "settlement." There's a lot of ground to cover in between these two milestones, and you need to ensure that your legal rights are front and centre at all times. Often times, conveyancing is much more complex than a standard business transaction, and this is why you need a specialist in your corner.

Conveyancer Versus Solicitor

You should be aware that there is another option available to you, and that is to engage somebody who is simply trained as a conveyancer. This person may not be a solicitor by definition, but they are a specialist in their area nonetheless. Solicitors and conveyancers are all qualified when it comes to property law and can certainly take you through the entire process. Both are covered by the necessary indemnity insurance and will be able to advise you about all the potential pitfalls related to the path ahead.

Two Minds May Be Better Than One

However, other legal matters may arise that are not directly related to conveyancing, per se, but would nevertheless impact either your decision to proceed or to purchase. In this case you should consult a solicitor, who has access to a lot more information, knowledge and experience in tangential legal matters.

There's A Lot to Consider

There are many issues to consider, including whether the property is free of any encumbrances and is in good standing. You will need to work out how to get a building inspection done and check to see if the property is free of pests. You may have to get an independent survey commissioned, or you may need advice with regards to your financing structure. You will likely need advice regarding the different types of insurance available for a property of this type and may want to know if the investment is a good one from a future proofing point of view.

Who Should You Call?

This is why you need a good team of individuals on your side and why you can benefit from the services of both a conveyancer and a general-purpose solicitor at various points along the line.


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Hello, my name is Jenny. I am happily married and have two kids. A few years ago, I started a company with my husband. At first, it was just the two of us working away from home, but as the business took off we had to think about hiring more staff. The company grew in size from 2 people to 4 people to 10 people. Once the number of staff reached double figures, I realised that I needed to make sure that I had legal paperwork and contracts in place so I could hire and fire staff if need be. We hired a lawyer to work with us so we could make sure our business was well within the law.