What is a conveyancer and what can I expect?

Narelle Davis

December 13, 2023


Buying or selling a property is one of the biggest financial decisions you’ll make in your life. If you’re a first time buyer or seller, you’ll likely come across a range of property and legal terms you’re not familiar with. When it comes to listing a property or making an offer on your first house, one of the first new terms you’ll hear is conveyancing. This describes the transfer of property ownership, which often requires the services of experts – conveyancers.

What is a conveyancer?

A conveyancer is a legal professional who specialises in conveyancing, which is the process of transferring property ownership between parties and an essential step in a successful settlement. They offer legal guidance on everything from title research through to final settlement details.

While conveyancers are often hired to help with the drafting of contracts involved in the property acquisition and sales, they can also assist with a range of legal matters involved in property transactions. This may include transferring property ownership from joint ownership to one name, assisting with remortgaging contracts or transferring property ownership from a deceased owner to a beneficiary.

Why do I need a conveyancer?

Without sufficient preparation and understanding, the acquisition or sale of property or land can become complex, time consuming and costly. There are multiple legal requirements that need to be completed on time for a settlement to go ahead as planned, including contractual reviews, property searches and legal documents. A conveyancer guides you through the completion of all legal requirements, while keeping you informed and on track to achieve a successful settlement.

Many first home buyers are unsure what to expect when they arrange their first appointment with a conveyancer. However, the best part about hiring a skilled conveyancer is that you don’t need to know everything about contracts and property law – they’ll take care of it for you and explain concepts you’re unsure about. Keep reading to learn more about what it’s like to buy or sell a property with the help of a conveyancer.

What to expect when you work with a conveyancer

While your conveyancing experience may vary depending on the location of your property, a quality conveyancer will minimise your stress, save you time and guide you towards a successful settlement day. Feel prepared for buying or selling a property by taking the time to understand the key milestones to expect in the conveyancing process.

Initial meeting

In your initial consultation you’ll be asked questions to help your conveyancer gain an understanding of your circumstances as a buyer or a seller. You may discuss the property you currently own or want to make an offer on (if any), your mortgage financing plans and any special conditions you need in your contract of sale.

This consultation will likely include or be followed by a quotation for the fee of their services. At NP Conveyancing, we offer fixed-fee conveyancing services. This means the quote we provide is inclusive of all costs for the entire conveyancing process.

If you’re not working with a fixed-fee conveyancer, remember to ask about any additional costs that may arise throughout the process to avoid unexpected expenses, including the cost of ordering required documents and disbursements. These costs can be incurred as part of the general conveyancing process or by contract amendments, non-standard requests or unforeseen changes in the circumstances of other parties.

Contract searches and inspections

A conveyancer will conduct conveyancing searches and guide you on inspections on the property you’re buying or selling. This includes a title search, land tax search and rates search. Not only will these searches inform a contract of sale that meets your requirements, they will keep you informed of any potential risks and costs before you make an offer, and ensure that legal obligations are met.

Contract management

Conveyancers prepare and lodge the legal documents required throughout the process of buying or selling your property. This is inclusive of the contract of sale, which they may adjust to accommodate sale conditions and financing timelines. Your conveyancer will review your contract of sale with you before guiding you through the process of signing it.

Legal advice and ongoing support 

Throughout the entire process of buying or selling a property, your conveyancer will continue to advise you on relevant legal and financial matters. They’ll help you navigate unexpected issues like delays from other parties and problems found during property inspections. Ultimately, they help you fulfil all contractual obligations so you remain legally and financially protected.

Settlement day

On settlement day, your conveyancer works to ensure your settlement is successfully completed. Their responsibilities include ensuring the transfer of property ownership adheres to the contract of sale. While their settlement day services will vary based on your specific requirements, they may also coordinate the transfer of funds, update ownership records and remain available to resolve any final issues that may arise.

The benefits of hiring a conveyancer

The legal requirements of buying and selling a property are complicated. When the consequence of mistakes like inaccurate contracts and delayed document lodging risks the loss of your dream home or offer, hiring a conveyancer becomes the key to making property transactions with confidence.

Buying or selling property in NSW? Get a quote for our fixed-fee conveyancing services

Whether you’re based in NSW, interstate or overseas, our team of licensed conveyancers are qualified to provide you with a seamless settlement experience. Send us an enquiry today and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

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