Conveyancing is the legal process of transferring property from one owner to another – and can be a very stressful time for both the seller and the purchaser of the property. To avoid any legal ramifications, it is wise to secure the services of either a licensed conveyancer or a solicitor. However, some individuals chose to conduct the transfer of property themselves, and therefore becoming liable for a large amount of risk..

What is the difference between a conveyancer and a solicitor?

A licensed conveyancer is experienced in all of the legal issues that arise during the transfer of property. As such, a conveyancer’s job is to make sure that the transaction moves smoothly from inception to completion. Likewise, a solicitor can also be used for the purposes of assisting in the successful sale and transfer of property. The advantage of using a solicitor over a conveyancer is that a solicitor is also able to give sound legal advice during the process.

What are the risks involved with DIY conveyancing?

Some individuals wish to not engage the services of a conveyancer or a solicitor and decide to proceed with property negotiations themselves. To do so requires each party to do a significant amount of research to assure that they are well informed as to the process and the legal requirements of the transaction. In addition, when conveying property without the assistance of a conveyancer or a solicitor, the seller or the buyer becomes personally liable for any aspect of the transaction that does not comply with all of rules, regulations, standards and laws of conveying. The risk can be quite significant if the buyer or the seller is not well educated in the process.

There are several issues that must be addressed when property is conveyed without the assistance of a conveyancer/solicitor including, but not limited to;

    • assuring the contracts are properly written and executed in accordance with the law
    • all inspections are done in a timely manner providing accurate information to all involved
    • financial issues including deposits, securing mortgage financing, stamp duties, property and other associated taxes
    • disclosures regarding the physical state of the property being sold
    • debts associated with the property, including possible tax
    • proper change of title

In addition, it is important to be sure that the property is conveyed in accordance with the current laws. Property law no longer recommends that the 2005 version of the Contract for the Sale of Land be used. While the 2014 edition can be used for properties conveyed after July 1, 2016 if the sale price is under 2 million dollars, it is recommended that the new 2018 edition of the contract for the sale of land be used, due to the risks involved with previous editions.

When using a conveyancer or a solicitor, these questions of law will be readily and correctly reviewed and the proper procedures followed.

Finally, it is important to have an accurate understanding of all of the costs involved in DIY conveyancing, including:

  • Title search
  • Mortgage application fees
  • Inspection fees
  • Insurances
  • Taxes
  • Valuation fees
  • Utility fees
  • Inspection fees

What should I do?

When working with a professional conveyancer or a solicitor the process will be carefully reviewed and completed in a timely manner. As such, the likelihood of a transaction being delayed due to unexpected complications is significantly limited. Instead, it is highly likely that the purchase or sale of your property will be completed in a legally sound and time efficient manner. Therefore, it is strongly recommended that you protect yourself, your transaction, and the success of your sale, by securing the assistance of a professional conveyancer or solicitor.


For further information or inquiries, please contact the offices of Owen Hodge Lawyers. At Owen Hodge, we have a number of experienced conveyancers and solicitors, who are always happy to assist clients in understanding the full ramifications of all of their legal needs. Please feel free to call us at your earliest convenience to schedule a consultation at 1800 770 780.