Is a conveyancer the same as a solicitor? Melbourne and Brisbane, Australia, 2021?


When buying or selling real estate in Australia it’s advisable to engage a property lawyer to act on your behalf and guide you through the real estate settlement process. You can choose to hire either a solicitor or a licensed conveyancer to assist you, but what is the difference? Many people get confused between a conveyancer and a solicitor. It is possible for them both to act for you in a conveyancing transaction, but what’s the difference between the two professions and who should you choose to hire?

The decision of whether to engage a property conveyancer or solicitor can be confusing. Both professions are qualified for the role, so to a large extent it is simply a matter of personal choice, although there are factors ranging from cost to experience that should be taken into consideration when making a decision about who to hire. Buying or selling property usually involves considerable sums of money and can therefore be very stressful, so it is important that you are comfortable with your legal representation.

What does conveyancing work entail in Australia, 2021?

During the process of buying or selling real estate it’s advisable to hire a trusted legal representative, such as a solicitor or property conveyancer to handle the legal paperwork as well as performing crucial checks and providing you with advice relating to relevant legal matters as well as decoding any legalese, or legal jargon, along the way.

Your conveyancer or solicitor will advise you on contract details, deeds and titles, as well as drawing up and examining contracts and raising any queries on your behalf. As your legal representatives, your conveyancer will take responsibility for negotiating with the other party’s solicitor over any necessary issues. 

Amongst the crucial roles that your conveyancer will perform are verifying that the person or entity selling the property has a right to do so and whether there are any reasons for the sale to become invalid. The conveyancer will also carry out local authority searches and check that any necessary building licenses or planning permissions have been obtained.

What’s the difference between a solicitor and a conveyancer?

While both a solicitor and a conveyancer are qualified to perform conveyancing work, there are differences between the two roles. A solicitor is a legal professional with broad legal training in different fields of law, whereas a conveyancer is a specialist in the legal aspects of real estate sales. Because solicitors are more broadly qualified, they are usually able to provide a more extensive range of legal services. By contrast, a conveyancer is typically less expensive than a solicitor and specializes only in property law.

How should I decide whether to choose a solicitor or a conveyancer?

Unless you have a more complex real estate transfer, sale or purchase, or if you have ongoing legal needs, it will probably make more sense to hire a conveyancer. Both conveyancers and solicitors are fully qualified to assist with legal matters relating to the transfer of property ownership. If you have a straight-forward purchase, sale or title transfer, then it is probably going to be much cheaper to hire a conveyancer to perform any legal tasks.

It’s important to take your time when hiring a conveyancer, to talk with friends to get recommendations and to choose someone who has the proper qualifications and experience. Try to choose a conveyancer who works in your area to ensure that they will have local knowledge about building and development rules and regulations in the area, as well as any potential areas of flooding or properties that may previously have been used for industrial purposes.

What to take into consideration when choosing a solicitor or property conveyancer

A trusted and reliable conveyancer will be able to considerably decrease the stress and strain of the process of buying, selling or transferring property. There are two main factors to take into consideration when you are choosing between hiring a solicitor or real estate conveyancer: 

  • For more information about Jim’s Conveyancing Brisbane, or here for information about Jim’s Conveyancing in Brisbane. Or for expert advice on property conveyancing services in Australia, please contact our friendly and experienced staff on 13 15 46.
  • Local industry knowledge. A local conveyancer will often have more extensive knowledge about the rules and regulations relevant to the area in which your property is located. There can be big variations in the building regulations in an area as well as nuances with settlements and a local conveyancer can therefore be more efficient. A solicitor who doesn’t necessarily specialise in property may not be as knowledgeable as a local conveyancer, despite having broader understanding and experience of legal matters. However, if your case is more complex or likely to involve other legal issues a solicitor might be a better choice to assist you.
  • Price comparison. Cost is often one of the main factors in determining whether a client hires a solicitor or property conveyancer. Solicitors generally have higher rates than conveyancers, although it always worth asking for a quote and checking that includes any fees that might need to be paid after settlement.

For more information about Jim’s Conveyancing Melbourne, or here for information about Jim’s Conveyancing in Brisbane. Or for expert advice on property conveyancing services in Australia, please contact our friendly and experienced staff on 13 15 46.