The Role of a Conveyancer

The Role of a Conveyancer

Buying or selling a property for the first time is a huge milestone in many people’s lives. But while thrilling, the process can be confusing, daunting and full of unfamiliar legal terms and mountains of paperwork. This is why hiring a licensed professional, known as a conveyancer, can help. In this article, we look at the role of a conveyancer and how they can ease the stress of property transactions.

Firstly, let’s talk about what conveyancing is. In simple terms, it’s the legal process of transferring property ownership from one person or entity to another. A conveyancer, therefore, is someone who undertakes this process. They are registered professionals, fluent in legal-ese, who act on your behalf to complete the transaction.

What does a conveyancer do?

A conveyancer’s job is two-fold: they perform the necessary legal and practical tasks, and guide you through the entire process.

A good conveyancer provides information about the property you’re buying or selling and the steps involved in transferring ownership. They listen to and address your concerns and questions regarding the transaction. Most importantly, they do so in simple, easy-to-understand terms. They act as your advocate and interpreter, decoding complex legal terms into plain English, protecting your interests, and keeping you informed.

A conveyancer’s other primary task is to handle the practical steps and paperwork involved in the transaction. Usually, both a seller and a buyer have conveyancers acting on their behalf.

If you’re selling a property, a conveyancer will:

  • Act as your representative
  • Complete a Vendor’s Statement (which essentially discloses the particulars of the property)
  • Inform you of your legal obligations as the seller
  • Outline the terms and conditions of the Contract of Sale
  • Outline your rights as well as the buyer’s rights (including the ‘cooling-off’ period)
  • Verify your identity and authority to sell the property
  • Finalise any outstanding mortgage repayments from the proceeds of the sale (if applicable)
  • Prepare a Settlement Statement and pay the relevant rates, taxes, and levies

If you’re buying a property, a conveyancer will:

  • Act as your representative
  • Research the property and its Certificate of Title
  • Inform you of your legal obligations as the buyer
  • Outline the terms and conditions of the Contract of Sale
  • Outline your rights (including the ‘cooling-off period’) and any rights the seller has to withdraw from the sale
  • Review the seller’s Form 1 – Vendor’s Statement
  • Verify your identity and your authority to buy the property
  • Prepare the Settlement Statement, and pay rates and taxes, such as Stamp Duty
  • Complete the financial settlement

A good conveyancer completes these steps correctly and efficiently, while keeping you informed each step of the way.

Do I have to use a conveyancer?

In order to buy or sell a property, a conveyancer isn’t legally required, but after looking at what a conveyancer does, you can see why having one is strongly suggested.

We advise our clients to hire a conveyancer, well before they sign the Contract of Sale. Yes, it’s another expense, but it’s also an investment – getting a conveyancer to do the job right can save you future headaches, time and money.

How do I choose a conveyancer?

Many real estate agents can provide you with a list of conveyancers they trust and regularly work with. However, it’s up to you to choose the one you want. You can ask friends or family for recommendations or search for one in South Australia on the Australian Institute of Conveyancers’ website. When speaking to potential conveyancers, remember to check that they’re licensed and to ask about their fees.

With the right conveyancer acting on your behalf, buying or selling a property can be stress-free so that you can focus on the important part – moving on or moving in.

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