Buying a first or new home is one of life’s greatest joys – it’s also a big step and probably the most significant financial transaction most people will ever make. So, it’s not something to be dealt with lightly. However, before you can take possession of your new property and move in, you have to ensure that the process of transferring legal ownership of the property to you is completed properly. This legal process of transferring ownership of land or property from one person or entity to another is known as ‘conveyancing’ – and you need the help of a qualified conveyancing practitioner to facilitate the process for you.
At the high level, we can summarise conveyancing as changing the ownership on a property’s Certificate of Title, registering a mortgage (for buyers) or discharging a mortgage (for sellers), and transferring cleared funds from the buyer to the seller. While that might sound straightforward enough, there’s actually a whole heap of legal processes and paperwork that needs to happen behind the scenes before everything is done and dusted. And it needs to happen correctly otherwise it could even cause the whole deal to fall through.
What is a conveyancing practitioner?
Your conveyancing practitioner can be either:
- A conveyancing solicitor or conveyancing lawyer – in other words, a fully qualified legal professional with extensive training in many aspects of the law who is able to offer the full range of legal services, in addition to conveyancing; or
- A licenced conveyancer – in other words, someone who specialises in the transfer of property ownership. While a licenced conveyancer is specialised in property, they can’t deal with any other complex legal issues.
Irrespective of whether your conveyancing practitioner is a licenced conveyancer or a conveyancing solicitor or lawyer, they will handle all the legal aspects of your property purchase or sale for you.
However, a property deal is often quite a complex process, and there can be all manner of surprises and complications lurking in the process. For example, if there is a dispute over a property boundary, if the transaction involves a tricky lease arrangement, or perhaps the sellers are in the process of a relationship break-up.
In such cases it’s advisable to use a fully qualified solicitor or lawyer as your conveyancing practitioner. After all, if you’re using a licenced conveyancer as your conveyancing practitioner and another legal issue pops up during your property transaction, they would have to refer you to a solicitor or lawyer to deal with the matter.
Your Auckland conveyancing practitioners at Remuera law firm Quay Law are also fully qualified conveyancing lawyers with extensive training in many aspects of the law, not just property law, which can be very handy if any other legal issues should pop up during the conveyancing process.