Conveyancing real estate refers to the process of transferring real estate from one owner to another; this can be a commercial property or it can refer to when you buy or sell a home. To help you through this process, you can hire a conveyancer and he or she can help oversee the entire exchange of the purchase price, titles and deeds, and the like; conveyancers can work for either buyers or sellers during this process. Before you do that, note a few common misconceptions about conveyancing so you know what to expect and can discuss these with a conveyancer you might hire.
1. A conveyancer is not an attorney
Because conveyancing is a legal process where a title or deed is transferred from one owner to another, it's easy to think that a conveyancer is a lawyer or can give you legal advice about the process. This is a common misconception; some conveyancers may also have legal degrees, but this is not required to be a conveyancer. A person who works as a conveyancer handles many of the steps involved with buying or selling property, but they are not qualified to give you legal advice, sign legal papers for you, and the like. Be sure you understand this difference if you have legal questions about the property you're looking to buy or sell.
2. A sale has not taken place until a contract has been signed
One misconception that many people have about conveyancing is that they are guaranteed the purchase of a property if the seller has told them that they are going to accept their offer. However, a sale has not taken place and the seller is not obligated to turn over the property to a buyer until a contract has been signed. It's not unheard of for a seller to hold off on signing a contract in order to continue to shop around for higher bids and offers, and then to rescind on their verbal agreement to sell to another particular buyer.
Note that the seller is not obligated for costs the potential buyer may have incurred before a contract was signed, such as fees for legal advice. However, if there was a deposit put down on the building or what is often called an "expression of interest" payment, this must be reimbursed in full. A conveyancer can give you more information about how the transaction of conveyancing works from start to finish so you don't assume you own a property before you do, or feel locked into an offer you no longer want to accept.
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