Buying your first home can be a really exciting time. You’ve trawled the real estate pages, been to the open homes, attended the auctions and finally (finally!) you’ve secured your first home.
It’s time for the magic moment when your beautiful new home will be transferred from the former owner to you. But who do you need to make this happen? A solicitor? A conveyancer? Both? Or is it something you can do on your own?
Conveyancing includes all the legal and procedural steps that need to be taken in order to successfully transfer your property out of the vendor’s name and into yours. So, while there’s no requirement that it be handled by a lawyer (or even a licensed professional), we strongly advise that you do.
Conveyancing can be complicated. It can be fiddly. It can be time consuming. And your home loan contract (and other legal documentation) can be difficult to untangle. So, unless you’re a trained lawyer, or have a background in real estate or conveyancing, we highly suggest that you let the experts take the reins.
In the end they’ll do it more quickly and efficiently. But, even better, you’ll have the confidence of knowing that it was done right – no hiccups or hold ups.
Solicitor vs. Conveyancer
Once you’ve decided to engage a professional, who should you choose – a solicitor or a conveyancer? Both can do the job, but depending on the process, and your needs, one might be better suited than the other.
When to choose a conveyancer
Conveyancers are not lawyers (though, just to confuse things, lawyers can be conveyancers). Instead, conveyancers are professionals licensed by the state regulator who can help you with all the elements of your property purchase.
Conveyancers prepare and review all the transfer documentation, conduct title and certificate searches, communicate with the vendor on your behalf and help you deal with any issues that might arise throughout the transfer process. They are generally very well versed in local laws and procedures. And because they are less expensive than qualified lawyers, are often an excellent choice to help with the more straightforward property transactions.
When to choose a solicitor
As opposed to a conveyancer, a solicitor is a full-fledged legal professional. They do the same tasks as a conveyancer (in fact, in this role, they are conveyancers), but they have a greater knowledge of the law. They are more equipped to deal with complicated or out-of-the-ordinary issues or complex sales. And they can advise you on difficult matters, such as tax implications.
When you don’t have a choice
Of course, you don’t always have a choice. In the ACT and Queensland, you must use a solicitor for all property transactions, including the purchase of your home. While you’ll find specialised conveyancing companies in those states, these will be solicitors who have chosen to focus on conveyancing as their specialty.
So, who should you choose?
Well, if you’re in the ACT or Queensland, your choice is made for you. But in the other states and territories you should weigh the various factors to see which option makes the most sense for you.
For example, you would likely choose a conveyancer if:
● You have a simple, straightforward, 20% down first home purchase.
● You really just need help with the process of the transfer, rather than any specific advice.
● Budget is a concern.
On the other hand, you should choose a solicitor if:
● The transfer is more complex.
● The transfer has tax or other legal implications (or you’re unsure if it might).
● You need advice on any element of the transfer or its legal ramifications.
● You live in the ACT or Queensland.
Choosing the best conveyancing option will ensure that the transfer of your new home will happen smoothly, quickly and at the best price. And the sooner you make that happen, the sooner you can move in and enjoy everything your new home has to offer.
If you’d like advice on getting started with a new home loan, why not pop into your local BOQ branch and chat with one of our lending experts today? They’re always happy to help!