Conveyancing is one of the most crucial steps in the purchase and sale of a home – and just like other procedures, it entails a myriad of legal and administrative processes that require proper knowledge and sufficient attention to successfully navigate.

There are two ways to about this this task – you can either do it yourself or enlist the services of a licensed professional. The latter option may be better if you don’t have the time or ability to handle the complicated work and any issues that might arise.

How does conveyancing work?

Conveyancing refers to the legal branch that deals with the preparation and filing of documents necessary for the sale or purchase of property. You may need to follow these steps depending on whether your are a seller or buyer.


  • Land title and property searches
  • Arranging purchase order financing, and reviewing a mortgage contract
  • Deposit payment
  • Review and preparation legal documents including the contract of sale and vendor closure.
  • Calculating tax and rate adjustments, stamp duty, as well as other financial obligations
  • Final checks before settlement
  • Attend settlement by exchanging the contract of sale

For sellers

  • Completion and signing of legal documents
  • Examining the sale contract
  • Checking the property’s compliance with state and local laws
  • Arrange payments of stamp duty and deposit
  • Final checks before settlement
  • Attend settlement by exchanging the contract of sale

What’s the difference between a conveyancer and a solicitor?

If you decide to hire a professional, a solicitor or licensed conveyancer can be enlisted. It is common to use these terms interchangeably. However, it is important that you know the difference.

Conveyancing and solicitors generally do the same job. However, solicitors are legal professionals with a deeper understanding of the law who can help you in transactions that need to be attended in Australian courts.

Important note: The Australian Capital Territory (ACT) and Queensland (QLD) do not recognize conveyancing licenses. If you’re looking to buy or sell a property in these areas, you must hire a conveyancing lawyer.

What are the questions you should ask potential conveyancers?

Conveyancing takes a lot of work and careful attention. Conveyancers have the responsibility of making sure that everything goes smoothly.

There are many conveyancers out there, and not all conveyancers will be the same. It is important to ask the right questions to find the right one. These seven interview questions can help you make the right decision.

1. What are your qualifications?

It is important to look at the qualifications of a potential conveyancer when making a decision. This can vary from one state or another. While some states require conveyancers must complete an accredited course or have ongoing education requirements, others do not. A conveyancer who has years of experience can have a vastly different skill set than one who is just starting out. Talking with potential candidates about their work history and qualifications will help you get an idea of their knowledge and expertise.

It is important that you check with the Australian Institute of Conveyancers to verify the registration of the conveyancer. This will ensure that your conveyancer adheres to certain ethical and professional standards. AIC also has local offices throughout the country that provide training and support to its members.   

2. Which properties are your specialties?

Conveyancing professionals may specialize in particular types of clients or properties located in certain areas. Professionals may specialize in dealing with first home buyers, rather than investors or homes in cities. It is important to verify that they have experience working with clients in similar circumstances to yours. This can often mean they are better equipped to handle contract negotiations for you.

3. How much does your service cost?

Your choice of a conveyancer will be influenced by the cost. It is important to know how much they charge so you can budget for them. A typical quote from a conveyancer includes the professional and search fees and any other disbursements, such as administrative expenses or stamp duties. They can help you apply for various state-sponsored grants. However, this is often an extra cost.  Here’s a breakdown of the fees that you will need to pay.

  • Conveyancer’s fee: $500 to $1,200
  • Search Titles: Maximum $50
  • Certificates and searches for council members: $100 to $1,000
  • Title registration and transfer: $50 – $200
  • Settlement fees: up to $80
  • General clerical duties: up to $50

4. What time will it take to complete the conveyancing process?

Most settlements for existing properties take between one and two weeks after contract signing, depending upon the terms and conditions. Ask your conveyancer for details about the timeline so that you can get an idea of how long it will take to complete the financial transactions and documentation before settlement.

5. What frequency can I expect to hear from your company?

Communication skills are essential for any profession. This is especially important in real estate where poor communication can cause you to miss out on huge opportunities. Discuss your expectations regarding communication with potential conveyancers. This includes when updates are expected and how best to reach you via text messages or telephone calls.

6. Are you covered by insurance?

No matter how skilled a conveyancer may be, mistakes do happen. It is therefore important to find out if you will be covered. It is common for professionals who are accredited to carry indemnity insurance. This will protect you in the unlikely event that something goes wrong. But it is always a good idea to ask.

7. Are you able to offer online conveyancing services

An increasing number of conveyancing professionals offer their services online. E-conveyancing or electronic conveyancing allows you and the conveyancer both to track transactions and share documents online. It is faster and more efficient. This is particularly useful in cases where face-to-face transactions may be restricted.

It is crucial that you choose the right professionals to represent you best interests in every property transaction. The success of the sale or purchase of your home is dependent on the selection of a conveyancer. Due diligence should be done before making a decision. You should look at multiple potential candidates before making a final decision. These questions can help you narrow down your options and hopefully point you in the right direction.