Will Punivalu, Principal at WJ&M Geelong, shares his insights
Whether you are selling or buying, you should consider whether you need a property lawyer or a conveyancer to help guide you through the process.
Selecting a property lawyer or conveyancer or both for your property transaction
Choosing between a property lawyer or a conveyancer usually depends on the level of service you are seeking or the complexity of the transaction. It is important to remember that buying and selling property is more than just signing on the dotted line. There are several differences between a property lawyer and a conveyancer that you should bear in mind.
Conveyancers know the conveyancing process and what is involved in selling or buying property. They can complete the property transaction from start to finish.
Property lawyers can also complete the conveyancing process and have extensive knowledge of relevant property legislation and case law. Therefore, they can guide you if there are issues that require the involvement of the Courts or Tribunals.
Property lawyers often provide advice to clients regarding onerous or complex special conditions which may be particularly difficult. This can be complex property transactions, matters with multiple parties or off the plan purchases.
Lawyers can also provide advice about other legal matters which may affect the property transaction such as deceased estates, family law, insolvency, or related party transactions.
Sometimes issues arise or develop from property transactions that appear straightforward. Property lawyers are regularly required to deal with a party failing to comply with their obligation under the contract, a delay to settlement causing loss to one party or issues with funding of the property purchase. If issues develop while a conveyancer is dealing with the matter, it should be referred to a property lawyer. This would not be necessary if a property lawyer were handling the matter from the beginning or if you are dealing with a conveyancer that is employed and working as part of a law firm.
Lawyers are regulated by strict rules and are required to act ethically and in the best interest of their clients. As they are in a unique position to provide advice in relation to other areas that may affect the property transaction, they can offer a greater level of service to suit your needs. For example, your recent property purchase may affect your current assets, and you may require a new Will, or it may affect your asset protection in your business, and you need to restructure the business, or it may have implications for your current family law proceedings. A lawyer can assist you with all these issues.
Stand-alone conveyancers have streamlined processes to complete a property transaction. This may mean that they cannot provide you with the complex level of service you require.
There is a perception that property lawyers charge considerably more than conveyancers. This is not always the case, and it is worth doing your research. For many people, paying a lawyer for the peace of mind and level of service “just makes sense”.
Property lawyers and conveyancers in Geelong
At Whyte Just & Moore we have conveyancers and property lawyers that can assist you with your sale or purchase depending on your property needs. Our conveyancers are supported by our property lawyers who can assist you with property transactions that require additional legal advice.