Conveyancing Part Two ~ "Choosing the Wrong Conveyancer"

Garth Brown, B. Bus, Fellow of AICNSW, JP

Choosing the Wrong Conveyancer ~ Is this Possible?

Yes it is! Not all Conveyancers provide a professional service and dot the i’s and cross the t’s to ensure a smooth and efficient settlement process thus avoiding pre and post-settlement problems. Many Conveyancers cut corners, fail to give the right advice, miss doing important searches, are late transferring funds and even make mistakes with the Title – hard to believe but true!

Here are some problems that can arise pre and post settlement:

1. Not being able to get in touch with your Conveyancer to discuss progress and other matters as they arise and/or not being kept up to date with what’s happening, this lack of communication can be the precursor for mistakes.
2. Professional and up to date legal information not provided.
3. Cooling off period missed.
4. Searches not done.
5. Payments not made on time.
6. All Contractual terms not covered.
7. No Indemnity Insurance held for your protection.
8. Post settlement nightmares:
    • Finding out that an extension was in breach of a land obligation and/or not approved by Council.
    • Easement issues.
    • DA’s in progress that may block out views or restrict your lifestyle.
    • Driveway access denied because of legal issues crossing your neighbor’s land without prior written consent in the contract. (* see video below)
    • Problems with Strata Schemes and Levies.
    • Problems with the Title.
    • Land Tax & Water Rates outstanding.
9. When the Conveyancer’s invoice arrives being charged for extras you were not told about. Before engaging a Conveyancer always ask what services are included in the fees and charges and any Government fees or outgoings that may be payable.


There is nothing legally wrong using the same Conveyancer, however, it is interesting to note that the AIC (Australian Institute of Conveyancing) does not recommend this practice.

Remember, your Conveyancer must be working in your best interests at all times and not compromising with someone else's interests at the same time, a conflict of interest can occur if your Conveyancer is advising both the buyer and the seller of the same property.


1. ON PRICE ALONE: many buyers and sellers make the mistake of choosing a Conveyancer based on the lowest price without doing their due diligence and scrutinizing the Conveyancer’s record - it is important to apply the maxim ‘Caveat Emptor’ when making your decision. As mentioned in our February 2015 eNews P1 claims for conveyancing are increasing all the time and from reports this is usually occurring in the low cheaper end of the conveyancing market – a conveyancing mistake can end up very, very expensive and if you base choosing a Conveyancer on the lowest price you may end up paying for it in the long run!
2. NOT AN AIC MEMBER: Double check the Conveyancer you select is a current member of the AIC (Australian Institute of Conveyancers). According to the AIC they receive very, very few complaints against AIC Members this is because an AIC qualified Conveyancer has invested their time and money into taking their profession seriously, ensuring they have a high level of competency by undertaking ongoing education and personal development through the AIC Certified Practising Conveyancers (CPC) programme.

Brown and Brown Comments

After many years working as a Certified Practicing Conveyancer I still shake my head when I hear ‘horror conveyancing stories’! Given all the publicity and all the warnings about ‘conveyancing mistakes’ many people still seem to put their head in the sand when it comes to conveyancing and not make a careful decision as to who they will employ to look after the settlement of what possibly is the largest investment they will make in a lifetime – their real estate.

Conveyancing is more than attending to stamp duty and completing forms, it is a legal process and must be handled in a very professional manner by an expert to avoid both pre and post settlement problems.


In Our next eNEWS April 2015 we will consider CONVEYANCING - PART 3 “Choosing the RIGHT Conveyancer”

Garth Brown, B. Bus, Fellow of AICNSW, JP

Brown and Brown Conveyancing
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