For people who are new to the world of real estate deals, the concept of a conveyancer might be a foreign one. What exactly does it mean to “convey” a property, and what does a conveyancer do? Who does the conveyancer represent? Is a conveyancer a necessary part of every real estate deal, or do conveyancers only play roles in larger ones?
Never fear: we’re breaking down everything you need to know about conveyancers, from the basics of conveyancing and the law to the process of getting the right conveyancer for your real estate deal.
The role of a conveyancer
In law, and particularly in law systems that descended from English common law, “conveyancing” is a key part of some types of property exchanges. Essentially, conveyancing works as a safeguard: it breaks the process of buying a valuable thing into steps, allowing professionals to make sure that everything is set up correctly for the orderly transfer of the property.
A conveyancer is the professional who is in charge of dealing with this process. When you sign a contract in a real estate sale, the sale doesn’t go through immediately. There are still steps to be done before the deal reaches “settlement” (also called “closing” in some countries). The time between the signing of the contract and the settlement is the time that the conveyancer has to spot any issues with things like the title, mortgages, and other complicating factors.
Or, to be more precise, that’s the time the conveyancers have: because, in a real estate deal, there are going to be two of them. Both the buyer and the seller should secure their own conveyancer, and the conveyancers are tasked with protecting the person that they’re representing by looking for any potential issues that would hurt their side of the deal.
If the conveyancer is representing the buyer, they’re going to help the buyer understand terms of the contract that might otherwise go unnoticed. They’ll also make sure that the buyer is protected from unwanted costs. For instance, they could help ensure the deal includes an agreement that the buyers won’t have to pay for utility bills that were racked up prior to (but potentially received after) the settlement date.
If the conveyancer is representing the seller, they’ll focus on making sure that the contract is free of terms that could complicate the sale after the settlement date. They can also help coordinate the closing date, which is especially helpful when a seller is also buying a property in a separate transaction.
Conveyancers are important, and it’s vital to get a good one. There’s a lot to keep track of in conveyancing, as different laws might apply in different places. In Australia, for example, conveyance laws vary from state to state.
What sorts of real estate deals require a conveyancer?
Renters don’t need conveyancers, of course, because they’re not actually acquiring any property. But if you buy a home or a rental property, you’re going to need a conveyancer, say experts who work for a conveyancer on the Gold Coast of Australia.
And that is a good thing. Homeowners put a huge chunk of their net worth into their properties. Without the protection of a conveyancer, it could become a real financial trap for unwary home-buyers. Companies and individuals who own rental properties face plenty of risks already as they attempt to land reliable clients with free tenant screening and balance maintenance priorities. Few would wish to add to the risk by buying a property without the proper paperwork and inspections done. Therefore, a conveyancer should be seen as an important ally to any real estate purchaser.