13 Mar 2018

What’s the Difference Between a Conveyancer and a Property Lawyer?

If you’re buying or selling a property in Perth, you’ll need someone to assist with the property settlement. You’ll have two type of professionals to choose between – a property lawyer/solicitor and a licensed conveyancer/settlement agent. But, which do you choose?


Once upon a time, only real estate agents, banks and law firms could undertake work relating to property settlements. However, in the late 1960’s, the first settlement agency started. The legislation was introduced into Parliament in 1981, and the Bill was proclaimed on the 1st November 1982. Because of this, conveyancing work is now more accessible and affordable to the wider West Australian population.


Both licensed conveyancers and property lawyers are required to hold professional indemnity insurance, and will abide by a professional code of conduct, however, there are a few distinct differences between the two.


Licensed Conveyancers


Licensed conveyancers can only work within the ‘real property’ sector, which is more commonly known as conveyancing. In order to do this, they must have passed examinations which are provided by a public training provider or registered training provider in order to complete a Diploma of Conveyancing,

And have two years of supervised experience in conveyancing. Once they have met these requirements they can apply for their conveyancing license.


In matters related to conveyancing, a conveyancer is just as qualified as a property lawyer. However, they often have more experience in the field, as lawyers offering their services as a property lawyer, can work in more than one area of the legal field.


As a general rule, conveyancers are more flexible with appointments, more hands-on with their clients, and more affordable than other legal professionals when it comes to matters to do with conveyancing.


The only instance where a licensed conveyancer needs to seek assistance in a property settlement case is if the transaction becomes litigious or moves beyond the realm of property settlement.


Property Lawyers


Depending on their specialities and background, property lawyers can work in more than one area of law, including conveyancing and can also assist with any transactions that require attendance at court.


Once they complete their studies and are licensed to practice law in Australia, they can work as a conveyancer without any practical experience.


Another major difference is that conveyancers generally charge a set fee for a property settlement project, whereas property lawyers often charge an hourly rate. This can end up costing more over the course of the settlement process, depending on how high or low their fees are.


As you can see, there are a few differences between property lawyers and conveyancers. Here at Vicki Philipoff, we have the highest number of fully licensed conveyancers and have experience working in the property settlement field in Perth and throughout Western Australia.


We also have *Philipoff Legal (our associated Law Firm) to assist you with a 20-minute free phone consultation, with one of our experienced Lawyers. *Legal Practitioner Director: Jolene Ashworth Non-Legal Practitioner Director: Vicki Philipoff


To find out how our team of Perth settlement agents can assist you with your buying or selling process, contact us today!

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