Buying a house is an exciting yet complex process involving multiple steps such as securing a loan, negotiating a contract, and transferring the property title. In New South Wales, it isn’t legally required to have a conveyancer or solicitor conveyancer to buy a house.

But, having one can help to understand legal requirements and obligations, and to navigate them with ease.

A conveyancer, or a solicitor conveyancer, plays a vital role in ensuring the smooth transfer of property ownership from the seller to the buyer. Understanding what a conveyancer does as their roles and responsibilities is essential to navigating the home-buying process with confidence.

The role of a conveyancer when buying a house

A licensed conveyancer is a professional who specialises in conveyancing but is not a lawyer. 

They are qualified to handle the preparation and review of legal documents, conduct property searches, and provide guidance on regulatory requirements. Licensed conveyancers are regulated by their respective state or territory conveyancing licensing authorities and must hold a conveyancer’s license to practice. 

Their key roles when helping buy a house include; preparing and reviewing contracts, and property searches and investigations.

Preparing and reviewing contracts

Similar to a solicitor conveyancer, a licensed conveyancer is responsible for preparing and reviewing contracts of sale for a property. 

They ensure that the contract is accurate and compliant with all relevant laws and regulations. While they cannot provide comprehensive legal advice like a solicitor conveyancer, they are qualified to assist with the conveyancing process, ensuring that the necessary documents are in order.

Property searches and investigations

Licensed conveyancers also conduct property searches and investigations to uncover any potential issues or limitations associated with the property. 

They may examine zoning restrictions, land covenants, easements, and any outstanding rates or taxes. These investigations help to provide the buyer with the necessary information to make an informed decision and mitigate any potential risks related to the property purchase.

The role of a solicitor conveyancer when buying a house

On the other hand, a solicitor conveyancer is a qualified lawyer with a specialisation in property law

They are not only able to assist with the residential conveyancing process but can also provide comprehensive legal advice and representation in property transactions, disputes, and other related matters. Solicitor conveyancers are regulated by their respective state or territory law societies and are required to hold a practising certificate. 

The primary roles of a solicitor conveyancer when buying a house include conducting property searches, liaising with financial institutions, ensuring compliance with relevant laws, and providing guidance throughout the process.

Legal advice and representation

When buying a house, a solicitor conveyancer offers comprehensive legal advice and representation. 

They help clients understand their rights and obligations during the property transaction and provide guidance on property laws, tax implications, and potential disputes. Solicitor conveyancers are also qualified to represent their clients in court, should any legal issues arise during or after the property transaction.

Preparing and reviewing contracts

A solicitor conveyancer is responsible for preparing and reviewing contracts of sale for a property. 

They ensure that the contract accurately reflects the terms agreed upon by the buyer and seller and that all necessary clauses and conditions are included. Solicitor conveyancers also review contracts prepared by the seller’s legal representative, identifying any potential issues or discrepancies that may need to be addressed before the transaction proceeds.

Property searches and investigations

Solicitor conveyancers conduct thorough property searches and investigations to uncover any potential issues that could affect the buyer’s rights to the property or its future use. 

This may include checking for zoning restrictions, land covenants, easements, and any outstanding rates or taxes. These searches help to ensure that the buyer is making an informed decision and is aware of any potential liabilities or limitations related to the property.

Reasons when you need a solicitor conveyancer or conveyancer to buy a house

Couple Stressed About Legal Implications Without A Conveyancer 1

For help navigating legal documents

Property transactions involve various legal documents like the Contract of Sale, Transfer of Land, and Mortgage Agreement. Navigating and deciphering legal jargon included in these documents is one of the reasons homebuyers engage with conveyancers to buy homes. 

A solicitor conveyancer has the training and experience to prepare, review, and lodge these documents. In turn, conveyancers and solicitor conveyancers help ensure accuracy and compliance with laws while helping homebuyers understand what they’re signing.

Couple Looking At Financial Implications

To meet legal obligations

There are plenty of legal obligations that buyers need to fulfil during the property transaction process. For example, the buyer needs to conduct due diligence on the property. This would include various property searches and investigations like:

  • flood and fire risk
  • surrounding land use
  • obligations to manage pests and weeds
  • soil and groundwater contamination
  • ability to build new dwellings
  • planning controls

A solicitor conveyancer or conveyancer can carry out these tasks and identify any potential issues that could impact the buyer’s rights to the property or its future use

Couple in new house calling for help from a conveyancer

For help navigating financial implications

The conveyancing process can have financial implications that you might miss without professional guidance. 

For example, if there’s an error in the contract or an essential clause is omitted, it could result in financial losses or legal disputes. By having a solicitor conveyancer or conveyancer on your side, they can help negotiate the terms of the contract, protect your interests, and potentially save you money in the long run.

When to engage a solicitor to buy a house

While it’s not a legal requirement to engage a solicitor conveyancer or a conveyancer when buying a house in New South Wales, the invaluable expertise, guidance, and peace of mind they provide make them a wise addition to your home-buying team.

At Marc Hardman & Associates, we believe that our role in your property journey extends far beyond the transaction. Our firm is defined by our relationships with our clients – relationships that we build for life. With over three decades of service to the community, we take pride in our ability to retain clients across generations – it’s part of who we are. It’s not just about buying your first home; it’s about our team being there for you and your family through all the milestones of life.

We understand that buying a house is not just a significant financial investment but an emotional one as well. The legal complexities associated with it can often be overwhelming, leading to anxiety and fear. Our commitment to personal service aims to alleviate these fears. We listen carefully, speak in plain English, and provide clarity throughout the most complicated legal challenges. We want to ensure that you feel confident, informed, and supported at every step of your home-buying journey.

So whether you’re buying your first home, managing the legalities of succession, or navigating any other property law challenge, Marc Hardman & Associates is here to help. Contact us today, and let’s take this journey together.