Thinking of selling your property?

A good agent can take the hard work out of selling your home.

Get Started

Should I Use a Conveyancer Or Solicitor?


Before you start the conveyancing process, it’s helpful to weigh all of your options carefully. This includes determining whether you would benefit most from hiring a conveyancer or a solicitor. The right decision will depend on many factors, including your personal preference and financial situation. If you’re selling property, you’ll need to hire a conveyancer or solicitor on top of a real estate agent for best results.

Your real estate agent may assist you with the first steps of conveyancing, specifically drawing up the Contract of Sale for a private purchase. As such, you’ll want to choose an agent who is qualified to handle this aspect of the sales process.

(A good real estate agent will have professional connections to conveyancers and conveyancing solicitors, compare real estate agents at LocalAgentFinder to find the right agent for your needs.)

Conveyancer vs. Solicitor

Both conveyancers and solicitors will have a strong working knowledge of the rules and regulations in your State or Territory. If the property being purchased is a buyer’s first home or the buyer is working on a tight budget, then they will generally choose to work with a conveyancer. However, if the property being purchased is considered to be an upgrade of higher value, then hiring a solicitor may be better. This is because there is more risk associated with the higher value home.

At the same time, if the property being sold has a low price, then the seller will usually want to work with a conveyancer. A solicitor will usually be hired when the property is valuable. A solicitor will also be a good choice if the sale is due to be complicated, whereas a straightforward sale may be handled by a conveyancer. Examples of complicated sales could include off the plan purchases or when a plan of subdivision is required.

Cost Comparison

Budget is one of the main factors that can determine whether you will need to choose a conveyancer or solicitor. Generally, conveyancers charge less than solicitors. Yet due to the low costs, they may require more files to help stay afloat. This means that clients may not receive the same level of individual attention that they would from a solicitor. Although a conveyancing solicitor may charge more, they take on fewer files and can offer a more individualized service.

Industry Knowledge

One of the reasons why solicitors may charge more is because they have a broader knowledge of the law. This allows them to offer advice on issues which fall outside of the realm of a regular conveyancing transaction. If the transaction is related to a divorce, for example, the solicitor may be able to handle not only the matrimonial breakdown but also the conveyancing. They can also help with issues like tax implications, and help refer you to an accountant or other professionals.

By contrast, a conveyancer will usually have knowledge that is restricted to the process of conveyancing. They charge lower fees, but you will only benefit from their expertise in this area. They can help ensure that your sale settles, but they cannot help you with other issues such as tax implications. This can be compared to a real estate agent who has some knowledge of conveyancing but doesn’t have the licensing or skills to complete the settlement transaction for you. Compare agent qualifications at LocalAgentFinder to find an agent who can help you get started with your transaction, before you complete it using a conveyancer or solicitor.

Smoothness of Transaction

Budget and expertise are both important issues to compare when you are making this decision. Yet the smoothness and security of the transaction are also important. A solicitor may be chosen because they hold the original certificate of title, for example. This makes it easier to use their services rather than going through the time and effort to transfer the title to a conveyancer first. If you have already worked with a solicitor in the past, it’s more convenient to keep up this working relationship.

Security should be a concern for clients as well. Solicitors are accustomed to working with sensitive documents, and usually have steel safes which are used to hold important documents such as certificates of title. Conveyancers usually do not have this same system, because they aren’t required to hold important documents on the premises. Many clients choose to work with the solicitor who holds their title to reduce the risk of losing these important documents.

In the end, whether you choose a solicitor or conveyancer will depend on the size and sensitivity of your transaction. It will also depend on the individuals who are concerned and their particular circumstances. It’s better to weigh your personal options carefully than simply use a certain type of professional because that is what all of your acquaintances have done. If you feel more comfortable working with a conveyancer and are on a tight budget, this could be the right option for you. However, those who want a more one-on-one experience and may be facing a complicated transaction may wish to choose a solicitor.

What’s next?

Choosing the right solicitor or conveyancer is important to ensure that your transaction goes smoothly. Yet you’ll also need to have the right real estate agent working with you, particularly if you are selling property. Most Australian real estate agencies have provided their information at LocalAgentFinder so that you can compare local agent fees and services and find the right agent for your needs, for free.

You can also read our following related articles for more information:

LocalAgentFinder View all articles by LocalAgentFinder

The only place to compare agent fees online.

Need to compare real estate agent fees?

Compare local agent fees and services upfront, for free.

Get Started