Why You Should Use a Solicitor for Your Conveyancing
Serving all of Melbourne’s inner-western suburbs, the Norton Legal team of property, conveyancing, and wills and estate lawyers are committed to advising local residents and business owners in an open and professional manner.
Unlike licensed conveyancers, the team at Norton Legal are legal professionals, and are qualified to conduct the full range of conveyancing and legal services.
We recognise that the buying and selling of property is a complex process, and often one of the biggest transactions many people make in their lifetime.
For this reason, it’s crucial that individuals seek out advice from highly trained and experienced professionals. It is important to note that a “conveyancer” is not a lawyer but rather a person who holds a licence to practice in the area of conveyancing.
While services from licensed conveyancers could be cheaper than those from a property and conveyancing lawyer, there are several things you should ask before you decide to use a licensed conveyancer:
What kind of service can they provide?
While we do charge a little bit more than a low cost or budget licensed conveyancer, it’s worth considering the level of service that they may provide.
Because they don’t charge enough, low cost conveyancers don’t care if your settlement doesn’t go through on time, and they won’t be responsive to answer your questions. At Norton Legal, we charge a little bit more so that we can provide a high level of expertise and give you the attention that you deserve.
How much will they actually charge me?
Many conveyancers quote low fees, but when it comes down to it, you usually end up paying much more due to the add-on fees that aren’t included in the quoted price.
Make sure you ask to see their costs disclosure document, which should include information on additional fees and charges. This is particularly important if the sale or purchase does not go to plan.
What are their qualifications?
In many cases, conveyancers have only a TAFE qualification, whereas lawyers (such as those at Norton Legal) have studied for six years to obtain a law degree.
Although conveyancers are required to be licensed to practice, there are limitations to the services they can provide.
While licensed conveyancers have knowledge about conveyancing law, they are unable to advise on many legal-related matters, such as mortgage or guarantee documents, Powers of Attorney and contract disputes.
You may experience difficulties with your transaction if your bank requires mortgage or guarantee documents to be witnessed by a solicitor.
Because their insurer advises against it, solicitors rarely take on this work unless the person is already a client of their firm. This is a very common situation and can result in settlement delays with additional costs and penalties to you. If you can’t settle on time because your licensed conveyancer isn’t qualified to provide you with a full service, your worst case scenario is that you risk losing your deposit.
This is a good example of how you might choose to work with a licensed conveyancer at the outset, only to find down the track that you need to seek legal advice from a lawyer anyway.
When you choose a lawyer, you’re choosing to work with a property law expert who is qualified to carry out the full spectrum of conveyancing and legal services.
Can they help you out when things go wrong?
When the purchase or sale doesn’t go to plan, can your conveyancer help you out? More often than not, the answer is no.
In the event that something goes wrong or a transaction becomes more complicated, the conveyancer will need to refer you to a lawyer. This could result in a far more drawn-out and costly experience than you first anticipated.
Lastly, it’s probably worth considering that if you’re already spending hundreds of thousands of dollars in the transaction of your property, why not spend a little bit more to receive expert service from experienced lawyers who can advise and represent you at every stage?