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Solicitors vs. Conveyancers

When looking to buy or sell property, it is essential that the transfer of ownership is handled with the utmost precision and professionalism.

It is therefore important to know the right personnel who can assist when making this important transaction. On the face of it, the skills of solicitors and conveyancer may appear to be similar, but they actually differ greatly in terms of experience, knowledge and qualifications.

Which professional to use? This would depend on the type of conveyance that is taking place. Generally, straight-forward transactions can be easily completed by a conveyancer. However, if there is a slightly complicated sale or purchase, it may be beneficial to engage a solicitor as they have greater legal expertise and knowledge.

The main differences between solicitors and conveyancers are:

Limitations: Conveyancers are limited in what they can do. Conveyancers typically only handle standard documents associated with conveyancing, while solicitors handle more complicated conveyancing or transactions that require legal expertise or have other non-standard issues.

Fees: As conveyancers are typically only able to carry out more standardised work, their fees are generally cheaper in comparison to solicitors Commonly used terms in conveyancing:

Commonly used terms in conveyancing:

  1. Caveat

    Literally means beware. It is a note on a Title warning that a third party has an interest in the land and can affect the ability to transfer the title of a property from one party to another.

  2. Certificate of Title

    A legal document issued by the Titles Office that details the registered owner of the property, a legal description of the property and any interests such as mortgages, encumbrances or caveats on the property.

  3. Cooling-off period

    The legal right of a buyer to cancel the contract and walk away after a set period of time (currently 3 business days after the signing of the contract). The cooling-off period may not apply to some contracts.

  4. Covenant

    A note on the Title that creates an obligation or restriction on the owner to do or not to do certain things.

  5. Disbursements

    Costs paid on your behalf for information or searches required in order to proceed with the conveyance.

  6. Easement

    A right to use the property of another person for a specific purpose. Usually applies to water drainage pipes or other utilities.

  7. Encumbrance

    A right, interest or claim against a property. Some examples include mortgages, and caveats.

  8. Final Inspection

    Refers to a final check on the property before settlement to ensure that the property is in the same state and condition that it was in at the date of signing of the contract.

  9. Fittings

    Goods or items that can be removed from the property without causing damage to the property (curtains, lights).

  10. Fixtures

    Goods or items that are built in or fixed to the property and cannot be removed without causing damage to the property (e.g.: cupboards, stoves, bathtubs).

  11. Mortgage

    A loan for which the property is used as security or guarantee of repayment.

  12. Mortgagee

    The lender.

  13. Mortgagor

    The borrower.

  14. Purchaser

    The buyer of the property.

  15. Registered Proprietor

    The registered owner of the land, whose name appears on the Title documents.

  16. Restrictive Covenant

    A restriction that limits or governs the use of the land.

  17. Settlement

    The time and date when the transaction is finalised, where money is usually paid and transfer documents exchanged.

  18. Transfer of Land

    A document that is registered with the Titles Office confirming the change of ownership in the property.

  19. Unencumbered

    Describes a property that does not have any charges, mortgages, caveats or other third party interest.

  20. Vendor

    The seller of the property.

  21. Vendor’s Statement

    A document containing important information about the property such as the Title details, zoning information, building permits, council and water rates etc.

If you wish to obtain legal advice or assistance regarding conveyancing, contact Jaclyn Tang using the details below.

Hutchinson Legal

Jaclyn Tang
Hutchinson Legal
Ringwood Office: 10-12 Warrandyte Rd, Ringwood VIC 3134
City Office: Level 10, 459 Little Collins Street, Melbourne VIC 3000
Direct: (03) 8873 6815
Tel: (03) 9870 9870
Fax: (03) 9870 5704
Email: jaclyn@hutchinsonlegal.com.au
Web: www.hutchinsonlegal.com.auhutchinson_legal_logo


*Disclaimer: Please note that the information provided in this article is for general information only and is not to be used or relied upon as legal advice. You should seek legal advice from a professional before making a decision to buy or sell property.



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