Chat with us, powered by LiveChat

Role of a Conveyancer or Solicitor in Settlement

Role of conveyancer or solicitor

With a wealth of legal and financial intricacies involved, ensuring you have a properly licensed and experienced conveyancer or solicitor on your side is essential for navigating property settlement in Australia. 

Able to streamline and facilitate smooth settlements, your chosen legal representation is also responsible for safeguarding your best interests and negotiating optimal outcomes. 

But what exactly does this look like in practice? What does a conveyancer or solicitor do and how much do these services cost? 

In this guide, we’ll take a detailed look at the role both these legal experts can play in your property transaction, what to expect in fees and other factors. Giving you the information needed to choose the right representation and enjoy a stress-free settlement. 

 

Conveyancer Vs. Solicitor – What Is The Difference? 

In Australia, either a solicitor or conveyancer can assist you with the legalities and proper management of property settlement. 

However, while they are both able to help in this area, they are not the same thing and depending on your situation, you may be better off choosing one over the other. 

What Is A Conveyancer?

A conveyancer, meaning a person whose job it is to manage legal processes for the transfer of ownership of land and property, only specialises in property law. 

While they are a licensed legal professional, they are not classed as a lawyer. This limits their scope of expertise and the type of services they can provide. 

What Is A Solicitor? 

In contrast to a conveyancer, a solicitor also specialises in property law but has additional expertise in a range of other related areas. 

Qualified as lawyers, they offer a deeper knowledge of property laws and a wider range of services as a result. 

One way to separate the two is to understand that a solicitor can act as a conveyancer, but a conveyancer cannot be a solicitor. 

 

Which Should I Choose To Handle My Settlement? 

There are a few factors to consider when choosing between the two, these include but are not limited to:

Location

Depending on where you are buying, your state or territory regulations may make this decision for you. 

In the ACT and Queensland for instance, you must use a solicitor for all property transactions. While you’re likely to be working with companies that advertise as conveyancing experts, they will be operated by solicitors who have chosen conveyancing as their specialty.

Type Of Property Transaction 

For simple, straightforward purchases with no need for detailed negotiations, such as a simple home purchase, a conveyancer is usually all that is needed.

Where you’re buying off the plan, building a new home or dealing with possible subdivisions a solicitor is going to offer a greater level of insight and expertise. Making them better suited to these more complex situations. 

Property Value

For high-value properties, some buyers prefer to engage a solicitor as they can also advise on possible tax implications or other legal ramifications. 

The greater level of risk associated with high-value transactions can be better mitigated through the engagement of a solicitor over a conveyancer also. 

Budget

If you’re seeking to keep costs down, opting for a conveyancer over a solicitor can assist with this. As a lawyer with additional qualifications, solicitors generally charge more than a conveyancer for handling property settlements.

Legal representation for homebuyer

What Are The Responsibilities Of A Solicitor Or Conveyancer During Settlement? 

Depending on the complexities of your settlement, exactly what your solicitor or conveyancer does may vary, however, generally they will:

  • Provide legal advice and guidance to clients throughout the settlement process, including reviewing and advising on the terms and conditions of the contract of sale.
  • Conduct detailed research to identify any potential legal issues or risks such as zoning, development plans, easements, encumbrances, compliance of existing structures (including pools) and more. 
  • Examine strata reports and provide advice where applicable. 
  • Arrange pest and building or final handover inspections on behalf of their clients. 
  • Calculate adjustments for council and water rates. 
  • Draft and review additional legal documents, including contracts, deeds, and agreements as needed.
  • Represent clients in negotiations and manage the resolution of any disputes that may arise during settlement.
  • Ensure compliance with all legal requirements, including relevant laws, regulations, and contractual obligations in your state or territory. 
  • Oversee the execution of legal documents such as the transfer of title of ownership. Ensuring they are properly lodged with the relevant authorities.
  • Manage the final transfer of funds and payment of stamp duty.
  • Attend settlement proceedings as needed. 

Ultimately their role is to manage the entire settlement process, starting from the moment you send them a contract for review right through to the day you get the keys. 

While you may be in communication with them throughout this time and need to supply various documentation, by and large, they will do the bulk of the work involved with settlement. 

Role during settlement

How Much Are Solicitor Or Conveyancer Fees? 

As indicated above, the fees charged by a solicitor or conveyancer will vary.

You should expect to pay anywhere between $500 to $3000 for conveyancing services depending on your state or territory and whether you elect to engage a solicitor or a conveyancer.

While these fees are not always regulated, it is worth checking your local legislation. For instance, in Western Australia, the maximum payable fee for conveyancing is set by law at $2,200 with an average fee of around $1700 as of March 2024. 

In terms of what these fees include, there is typically a legal service fee to be paid as well as the cost of disbursements. 

These include things like title searches and registration, mortgage registration, photocopying and certificate fees outlining information on water, electricity, roads, planning or similar. 

These fees do not cover additional costs associated with buying such as:

  • Building and pest inspections
  • Survey reports
  • Establishment of mortgage
  • Valuation fees 
  • Strata levies etc. 

 

Enjoy Streamlined Purchasing & Property Settlement With Stop Renting Perth

At Stop Renting Perth, we support a stress-free and easy settlement experience through our uncomplicated approach to home buying and professional collaboration with your chosen legal representative. 

Offering competitive house and land packages, we maintain utmost transparency regarding available sites and the building process. Removing many of the challenges experienced when buying an established home – and not only in regards to settlement. 

We are passionate about supporting everyday Australians to escape the cycle of renting and achieve their dreams of home ownership. 

With a holistic approach to finance, many of our clients can qualify for their ideal house and land package without having a deposit or significant savings. 

This, combined with the opportunity to take advantage of available government grants when building or being a first-time buyer can help you to buy a home sooner without compromising on what you want. 

Through our proven roadmap for success, you can enjoy living in a brand-new home, without the stresses associated with buying and settling on an existing home. 

To learn more about our available house and land packages, whether you qualify and how we facilitate easy purchasing and settlement, book your call to chat to the friendly Stop Renting Perth team today.

See If You Qualify

We’re here to help, so let’s get started! it’s time to stop renting and start taking steps towards home ownership.