Conveyancing refers to transferring the deed or title of a piece of property from one person to another. During the process, the buyer or seller or both may hire a conveyancer, who manages many aspects of the transaction for them. If you're thinking of buying or selling a piece of property, note a few common questions about this process and about hiring a conveyancer so you know the best decision for yourself.
Should I hire the conveyancer recommended by the realtor?
Many buyers will find that a realtor will recommend a conveyancer for them, and this can be good as it means not having to shop around for such a professional. A realtor and conveyancer who have a good working relationship may also be able to communicate more easily so there are fewer risks of the process being delayed. However, in some cases a conveyancer may give a referral fee to a realtor and this can mean that they charge you more money to make up for that fee. You may want to compare prices for different conveyancers so you know you're not being overcharged for that referral, although you may be happy to pay a few dollars more just to save you the time and hassle of interviewing other potential conveyancers.
Is a conveyancer the same as a solicitor?
A solicitor or lawyer can give you legal advice about your transaction, but a conveyancer simply handles many of the administrative tasks related to conveying property. Unless they have a legal degree, they should not give legal advice. Note, too, that a conveyancer is also not a property appraiser or real estate agent; they cannot give you advice about the value of the property, if it will hold its value over the years, if it will pass inspection, how much you might expect to pay for property insurance, and the like. You need to understand the tasks they can do for you, including property searches and exchanging paperwork, but not confuse them for an appraiser or realtor.
Why does conveyancing take so long?
Even with a conveyancer, there are certain aspects of the process that cannot be rushed; a conveyancer can request certain searches and follow up on paperwork they don't receive in a timely fashion, but cannot rush another party that is preparing that paperwork. Buyers and sellers also have a certain timeframe that they are allowed to consider offers and respond. While a conveyancer can work to avoid delays in the process, they also cannot make it go faster simply because you're in a rush to buy or sell a certain property.