Choosing a Conveyancer
Traditionally in Australia, solicitors were the only people who undertook conveyancing work but that is no longer the case. Today, there are licensed conveyancers who are specialists in property law and are qualified to assist home buyers and sellers with all type of property transactions. While saving money is top of most people's agenda when buying or selling property, there are a number of other important considerations when deciding whether to choose a solicitor or a conveyancer for your conveyancing work:
- It is important that you trust your solicitor or conveyancer. Your conveyancer is your personal legal representative in the property transaction. You need to be sure that they are acting in your best interests and keeping you informed of your rights and responsibilities. Eliminate anyone who you don't feel comfortable with, even if they offer you the best price.
- Check insurance, licenses and qualifications. You want to make sure you are protected (financially and legally) should your conveyancer make a mistake.
- Get a recommendation. Call references and ask about quality of work and customer experience.
- Who is doing the bulk of the conveyancing work? You don't want someone who is overworked or inexperienced as they may miss important details.
It is advisable to contact a conveyancer as early as possible in the home buying / selling process. Conveyancers can advise you on a number of pre-sale legal procedures such as contract negotiations and exchange and organising pre-sale property inspections. If you are selling, they can help you draw up the contract of sale or vendor statement.
Regardless of whether you are buying or selling property never sign anything until you have sought independent legal advice!