Tips for Choosing the Right Conveyancing Solicitor for a Smooth Property Transaction with Expert Tips
Buying or selling a property can be a complex process, and choosing the right conveyancing solicitor is crucial to ensure a smooth and stress-free transaction. But with so many options out there, it can be challenging to know where to start. In this 2023 guide, we’ll provide you with expert tips and advice to help you choose the right conveyancing solicitor for your needs, so you can complete your property transaction with confidence.
Why Choosing the Right Conveyancing Solicitor is Important
What is Conveyancing?
Conveyancing is the legal process of transferring ownership of a property from one person to another. It involves a range of tasks, such as conducting searches, reviewing contracts, and ensuring all legal requirements are met. Choosing the right conveyancing solicitor is essential to ensure these tasks are carried out accurately and efficiently.
The Consequences of Choosing the Wrong Solicitor
Choosing the wrong conveyancing solicitor can have serious consequences, such as delays in the transaction, mistakes in legal documentation, and even the loss of your deposit or being sued for breach of contract resulting in having to pay vendors loss, damages, default interest and compensation. It’s essential to choose a legal representative who has the right experience, qualifications, and expertise to ensure a smooth and successful transaction.
Tips for Choosing the Right Conveyancing Solicitor
Research Your Options
Start by researching conveyancing solicitors in your area or conveyancers that specialise in your type of transaction. Look for solicitors who specialize in property transactions and have a good reputation in the industry. Read reviews and testimonials from previous clients to get a sense of their level of expertise and customer service. Speak to your Real Estate Agent, they may know of a great Conveyancer in the local area whom they transact with on a regular basis.
Check Their Credentials
Ensure that the lawyer you choose is qualified, has correct indemnity insurance, and licensed to practice law in your area. Check their credentials and look for any relevant certifications or accreditations that demonstrate their expertise in conveyancing. Conveyancers do not have to be in the same location as the property being purchased. As most transactions are online Conveyancers can now specialise in state wide services. For example a Brisbane Conveyancer can act for a property being purchased on the Gold Coast however may not be able to act in a Victoria contract.
Consider Their Experience
Choose a solicitor who has experience in handling property transactions similar to yours. Ask about their experience with properties in your area, and whether they have any specialized knowledge or expertise that could benefit your transaction.
Look for Transparent Pricing
Make sure you understand the fees and charges associated with your transaction upfront. Look for a solicitor who offers transparent pricing and who is willing to provide a detailed breakdown of all costs involved or offer all-inclusive conveyancing package. Ask the Conveyancer or Paralegal what searches they conduct. When purchasing a property less searches can result in the conveyancing being cheaper however can cause vital information being missed, this could have substantial effect on the value of your property in the near future, such as a Highway being planned to be built in your area or land planned to be resumed by council. You should also ensure you have allowed adequate room in your budget and confirm with your bank whether these fees will be included in your mortgage or if they will be out of pocket expenses.
Communication is Key
Choose a solicitor who communicates clearly and regularly throughout the transaction. You should be able to get in touch with your solicitor easily and receive updates on the progress of your transaction regularly. When choosing a law firm, speak to the solicitor or conveyancer on the best mode of communication, whether it is via phone call or email and the expected frequency of updates. This will vary from the individual firm to the next. Confirm what timeline you will receive relevant documents and expected timeframes to return the paperwork from when the Contract of Sale is forwarded to their office.
Check Their Availability
Ensure that your solicitor is available to work on your transaction within your required timeframe. You should also check whether they have any conflicting commitments that could impact their availability during the transaction.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How much should I expect to pay for conveyancing services?
A: The cost of conveyancing services can vary depending on the solicitor and the complexity of your transaction. Look for a solicitor who offers transparent pricing and who is willing to provide a detailed breakdown of all costs involved and whether taxes are included. Law Firms with Cheap Conveyancing advertised may result in inexperience or lack of knowledge that could end up in costly mistakes. A Vendor’s (seller) conveyancing will usually be cheaper than a buyers as a seller has to complete less searches.
Q: How long does the conveyancing process take?
A: The length of the conveyancing process can vary depending on various factors, such as the complexity of the transaction and the efficiency of the solicitor. On average, the process can take between 4-12 weeks.
Q: What should I do if I have concerns about my solicitor’s conduct?
If you have concerns about your solicitor’s conduct, it’s natural to feel frustrated, angry, or even betrayed. After all, you’re trusting this person with one of the most significant financial transactions of your life. If you have any doubts or concerns, it’s essential to take action to protect yourself and your investment. The first step is to speak to your solicitor or head of the company directly about your concerns. Be clear and specific about the issues you’re experiencing and ask for an explanation. If your solicitor is not responsive or dismisses your concerns, it may be time to seek legal advice from another source.
In Queensland you can also file a complaint with the Queensland Legal Services Commission, which is responsible for dealing with complaints about lawyers, law practice employees and unlawful operators.
In New South Wales you can speak with The Office of the Legal Services Commissioner. Each individual State or Territory in Australia will have their own Governing body and guidelines/ regulations on how to complete Conveyancing Transactions.
Q: Are conveyancers’ services the same across the board?
A: While all licensed conveyancers or Solicitors are qualified to provide conveyancing services, the level of customer service offered may differ depending on the conveyancer. Some conveyancers may offer additional services or have more experience in certain areas, such as commercial property, apartments, or subdivisions. It’s important to research and compare different conveyancers to find one that best suits your needs and offers the level of service you require.
Q: Can conveyancing fees be increased from the initial quote?
A: Yes, conveyancing fees may increase from the initial quote depending on certain circumstances. For example, if additional work outside of the initial scope is required, such as preparing deeds of rescission or variation, addressing neighborhood disputes, or dealing with non-disclosure issues, the conveyancer may charge additional fees for this work. It’s important to discuss with the conveyancer any potential out-of-scope work and associated fees before signing the contract to avoid any surprises or unexpected costs.
Remember, choosing the right conveyancing solicitor is crucial to ensure a smooth and successful property transaction. If you have any concerns about your solicitor’s conduct, don’t hesitate to take action to protect your asset and your peace of mind.
This is general advice only. For specific legal advice please contact your legal representative.