Do I need a conveyancer?

When buying or selling a house, many ask if they need a conveyancer or if they can manage the contracts themselves. Here’s the expert answer.

It’s just a few signatures on some pages, right? So when they are selling or buying a home, many ask the question, “Do I really need a conveyancer?”

Having a conveyancer can feel like an additional expense and it has people wondering if they can just take a DIY approach to save a few dollars. 

But here’s what I have to say, as a conveyancer who has seen it all:

The short answer when it comes to dealing with the legal aspect of buying or selling a home is yes, you can try doing it yourself. 

The sensible answer is definitely do not attempt to take care of this on your own! 

Here’s what a conveyancer does and why they are so important:

What is a conveyancer?

A conveyancer is a legal professional who will help you review and sign contracts when it comes to purchasing or selling a home. While it may add two or three thousand dollars to the cost of the transaction, it’s definitely worth it. 

Consider that your home is one of the most important assets you will ever own. For this reason, you want to make sure that each step of the process to either buy or sell is done properly, that there are no issues with the contract and that everything has been checked thoroughly. This is the service your conveyancer provides.

The conveyancer’s role is to go through the contract of sale with a fine-toothed comb to make sure it is fair for both parties, legally binding and doesn’t have any clauses that will trip you up in the future. Having seen many contracts during their career, they know exactly what to look out for so you are protected. 

Why you need a conveyancer?

When it comes to the legal aspect of exchanging property, as the saying goes, “You don’t know what you don’t know”. If you’re not experienced and not qualified in conveyancing, it’s so much better if you leave the job to an expert. This is the case whether you are planning to buy or sell a home.

By attempting to do the conveyancing yourself as a buyer, you are leaving doors open to making lots of mistakes. You may even end up with a property which you shouldn’t be buying in the first place because there are issues you aren’t aware of. Your conveyancer will go through your contract carefully to ‘read between the lines’ and let you know if there is anything worth asking about before you sign.

If you are selling a property, there are a lot of requirements to disclose certain information and to provide certain documents in the contract for the sale. If you fail to do any of those things and don’t follow regulations, you may inadvertently give the purchaser the right to rescind the contract, which means you would lose the transaction. The purchaser may also be able to sue you for not disclosing a material fact of the transaction. 

Unless you are qualified and experienced enough to do it yourself, it is always recommended that you engage a licensed conveyancer or a solicitor who specialises in property law. This professional knows best what should happen, when things should happen and how to handle a transaction. 

When you work with a professional, your interests are protected and you will settle your purchase or sale with confidence, knowing that everything has been taken care of in the right way.

Don’t set a trap for yourself

Another aspect you should consider when you are deciding whether to do your own conveyancing is your liability for making mistakes. 

Whether you are experienced in conveyancing or not, you are still liable for mistakes and having no knowledge or a lack of experience is not an excuse. If you make a mistake, you will be responsible for the cost of rectifying those mistakes and if the person you are exchanging property with decides to sue, you will be liable for damages, if you are found to be at fault. 

There are few people who would recommend doing conveyancing yourself, even though you may be able to buy a conveyancing kit. Such a kit would provide very basic and general information and it may not cover all things that you need to consider. Therefore, it’s best to leave such a significant transaction to a person who is qualified in this area.

Need the support of a qualified and experienced conveyancer to buy or sell your home? Contact Thorpe Conveyancing today.