Doing Conveyancing Properly

What is the difference between a Property Lawyer and a Conveyancer?

Although both are fully qualified to offer conveyancing services in a property transaction, a conveyancer cannot be a solicitor while a solicitor can be a conveyancer. A typical conveyancer would obtain his or her qualification by completing a two-year conveyancing course.  On the other hand, a solicitor holds a practicing certificate after having obtained a recognized law degree and practical legal experience. A solicitor is automatically qualified as a conveyancer. In the case where things turn ugly and you require legal assistance, a solicitor is fully qualified to provide legal advice to solve the complications however, a conveyancer is not qualified to provide you with legal advice.

  • Conveyancers are not able provide legal advice. Conveyancers may or may not be qualified to provide conveyancing services, being the transfer of ownership of property between parties, but they are limited in the type of work that they can do.
  • Lawyers are qualified to provide legal advice in relation to a broader range of legal services, in addition to property law and conveyancing. If a complex legal issue arises – a lawyer can provide you with legal advice, but a conveyancer cannot.

At Burns & Tinney, Paul Burns is an accredited property law specialist – one of only about 60 Law Institute of Victoria Accredited Property Law Specialists.

If something goes wrong with a property transaction, you want a lawyer on your side – preferably an accredited property law specialist.

Should I use a lawyer or conveyancer?

Some key points to help you decide on who to use for your conveyancing transaction:

  • Specialist advice

Lawyers can practice in many areas of law and are not only limited to conveyancing and property law.

  • Legal issues

If legal issues arise in your conveyancing matter, a lawyer will be able to provide you with legal advice and guidance which a conveyancer cannot do. If the work extends beyond the scope of conveyancing work, a conveyancer will need to refer to a lawyer.

If you are a vendor, lawyers can tailor a Contract of Sale to meet your needs.

If you are a purchaser, lawyers can provide legal advice in relation to issues such as restrictive covenants, easements, mortgage & loan advice, subdivisions, co-ownership agreements, lost title applications, ‘structuring’ a purchase to assist with estate planning, stamp duty advice and complex contractual special conditions.

  • Protection

As lawyers we provide our clients with full protection under our Professional Indemnity Insurance, which all lawyers are required to have in place.

  • Legislation

Laws are constantly changing.  As lawyers, we keep up to date with changing of property laws.

  • Cost

Most lawyers and conveyancers usually charge a fixed fee for standard conveyancing services. Conveyancers may offer a cheaper conveyancing fee, but unlike lawyers, conveyancers not able to provide advice in complex legal matters. 

If you want to have peace of mind that if something goes wrong with your conveyancing matter, you are adequately protected and you have a qualified legal professional to give you advice and guidance, you are better off engaging a lawyer.

The advantage of opting to use our team is that we are fully aware of the conveyancing process and will regularly communicate with you to keep you updated during the process.

At Burns & Tinney we also have the expertise to perform electronic conveyancing using the Property Exchange Australia (PEXA) digital property network.