A conveyancer is a solicitor, but just deals with property, right? Wrong. The two are different, and it is important to have the right one on your team, in order to avoid paying too much while still getting the advice you need.
Whether you're buying property in Perth, Melbourne or the Northern Beaches of Sydney, it's bound to be one of the biggest decisions you will make in your lifetime – so it’s something you want to get right. Every Australian state and territory has different laws, regulations, forms and taxes associated with purchasing property, so having either a solicitor or a conveyancer will help the whole process run smoothly.
For a straightforward property purchase, a conveyancer can do the job. Their main responsibilities include giving advice and information about the sale of property, preparing documentation and conducting any settlement processes.
Although there is a licensing process for conveyancers, they do not have to be legal professionals. As a result, they are generally cheaper to hire than solicitors. However, they can only provide information relating to property, so if you do have additional legal questions, then you will need to consider a solicitor.
While conveyancers are limited to advising on your property purchase, solicitors can provide you with a wide range of legal advice in addition to your conveyancing needs, and this may be necessary if your property transaction isn’t straightforward. For example if there are other matters that affect the transaction like family law, asset protection, asset structuring, tax law or estate planning, you normally will not be able to receive this sort of advice from a conveyancer.
In a nutshell, if you simply need an expert to guide you through your purchase and require nothing else, then a conveyancer may be a cheaper option, whereas if you need them to do extra legal ‘leg work’ associated with the transaction, you’re probably best off with a solicitor.
If you’re unsure, you can always ask your mortgage broker who can steer you in the right direction and should be able to recommend either a good conveyancer or solicitor