What is Conveyancing?

What is conveyancing?
Updated: July 7, 2023
First Published: June 2, 2022

Are you just starting out on your property journey? Or perhaps it’s been so long since you bought or sold, you can’t remember all the ins-and-outs of conveyancing?

Let us give you the basics so you start off on the right foot.


What is Conveyancing?

Conveyancing is the process of transferring ownership of a legal title of land to the new owner. The legal work involved in conveyancing includes preparing the contract and other related documents so that the transfer can take place.

The most common type of conveyancing transaction is when parties are buying or selling property. Typically, people hire a conveyancer or a solicitor to assist with their purchase or sale.

Who can do conveyancing work?

In New South Wales, solicitors and licensed conveyancers are qualified to do conveyancing. There are some differences between solicitors and licensed conveyancers.

Solicitors are qualified legal practitioners (lawyers). They provide legal advice on any aspect of law, including property matters.

Licensed conveyancers are not lawyers, but are trained to undertake conveyancing work.

Should I engage a solicitor or a conveyancer?

Is it better to hire a solicitor or a conveyancer? There is no right or wrong answer. Solicitors and conveyancers are both qualified to do the job.

However, solicitors have a broader and more extensive knowledge of the law. They are best placed to assist with high risk or complex transactions. Solicitors can give you legal advice should things not go according to plan.

Does a solicitor cost more than a conveyancer?

People often assume a solicitor will charge more than a conveyancer. That’s not always the case.

We are qualified solicitors and Open House Conveyancing is a law firm – but our prices are better than most conveyancers!

Why? Because it is our mission to provide a premium conveyancing service at the lowest possible price. Ask us for a quote and see for yourself!

People hire a lawyer to do their conveyancing
Image: Typically, people hire a solicitor to assist when they are buying or selling property.

Can I just do my own conveyancing?

Saving a thousand bucks might sound like a good idea when you are buying or selling property. That’s why people sometimes try and do the job themselves.

However doing your own conveyancing can actually cost more in the long run.

Here are some things to consider:

Skills and knowledge

A certain level of skill and experience is usually required to successfully manage a conveyance. The process can be confusing and complicated for people who are inexperienced.

The contract requires buyers and sellers to do certain things within a set timeframe. It is easy for people to overlook their obligations. Especially if they don’t have a professional guiding them.

If you are the seller, missing a key deadline could cost you the sale. For a buyer, missing a crucial date could mean you lose your deposit and the chance to purchase the property.

A solicitor has the expertise and experience to progress your matter quickly and efficiently. They can also advise you on the best way to handle any issues that arise.

Professional indemnity insurance

Most conveyancing matters run smoothly, but issues can arise. Sometimes people make mistakes or things just don’t go to plan. If you personally handle the conveyance, you will be responsible if something goes wrong.

On the other hand, solicitors and conveyancers must have professional indemnity insurance. This means you are covered if there’s a problem or someone makes a mistake.


Conveyancing is time consuming. Reviewing legislation, ordering searches, reading contracts, and making sure documents are filled out correctly can eat up huge portion of your time.

Many people start their own conveyancing but decide to hire a professional to finish the job. They might feel overwhelmed with the task or prefer to spend their time with family or pursuing other goals.

I’m buying a property. What will my solicitor do for me?

A conveyancer or solicitor usually starts with reviewing the contract of sale.

They will

  • explain the terms of the contract and discuss any ‘red flags’ with you;
  • reach out to the vendor’s solicitor to negotiate changes to the contract;
  • check if there are outstanding rates or levies payable on the property;
  • prepare the legal documents;
  • calculate settlement figures; and
  • when everything is in order, finalise settlement.

When settlement is complete, you can collect the keys to your new home.

I’m selling a property. What will my solicitor do for me?

The first step in the process is to prepare the contract. Your solicitor will make sure the contract contains the necessary clauses to protect your legal interests.

After the contract has been prepared, the agent can advertise the property for sale and schedule open house inspections.

When a buyer is found, your solicitor will:

  • arrange for you to sign the contract;
  • send the contract to the buyer’s solicitor;
  • formally exchange the contract when everyone has signed;
  • talk to your lender about discharging the mortgage;
  • check the settlement figures prepared by the buyer’s solicitor; and
  • when everything is in order, finalise settlement.

On settlement day, the buyer pays the money for the purchase and the keys to the property are handed over to them. Your conveyancer will ensure the funds are deposited into your chosen bank account.

I’m Ready To Get Started – Can You Help?

We can assist with any property conveyancing in NSW, ACT, QLD or VIC. We offer a free 15 minute consultation and a free conveyancing quote for all new matters.

For more information on conveyancing, mortgages and loans, see our article ‘Conveyancing Questions: The A To Z of Conveyancing’.

Updated: 7 July 2023

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This article is intended to be general information only and is not legal advice. You should obtain specialist advice based on your specific circumstances before taking any action concerning the matters discussed in this article. The content is current at the date of publication.
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