Should I use a Conveyancer or a Solicitor when Buying Off the Plan?

Should I use a Conveyancer or a Solicitor when Buying Off the Plan?

It’s common to ask when making the decision to purchase an off-the-plan property, “should I engage a solicitor or conveyancer”? There are a few things to consider when deciding who to go with. Both are fully capable of handling the transaction, but it is important to weigh up your needs and expectations before engaging one or the other. As mentioned, both conveyancers and solicitors are qualified professionals capable of navigating the intricacies of property law, but the choice between the two largely depends on your specific needs and preferences. Below we'll explore the positives of using conveyancers and solicitors and highlight the differences between the two in the context of off-the-plan property purchases.


Benefits of using a Conveyancer

  1. Specialisation: Conveyancers are specialists in property transactions, including off-the-plan purchases. They possess an in-depth understanding of property law and the nuances of conveyancing processes, making them exceptionally well-equipped to handle property-related matters.

  2. Cost-effectiveness: One notable advantage of choosing a conveyancer is cost savings. Conveyancers typically charge lower fees for property-related services compared to solicitors. Given that off-the-plan contracts often entail additional due diligence, opting for a conveyancer can be a financially prudent choice.

  3. Efficiency: Conveyancers are known for their efficiency in handling property transactions. They can streamline the process, ensuring that all necessary documents and steps are completed promptly. This efficiency can prove especially beneficial in the context of off-the-plan purchases.

  4. Focus on Property: While solicitors have expertise in various legal areas, conveyancers specialise in property-related transactions, it’s all they do. This focused knowledge can be a significant advantage when dealing with the complexities of property contracts, particularly those associated with off-the-plan properties.

  5. Up-to-Date Knowledge: Conveyancers keep themselves updated with the ever-evolving property laws and regulations and solely focus on property law. This ensures that they are well-prepared to handle any changes that may impact your off-the-plan purchase, preventing potential legal issues or delays.

  6. Experience with Developers: Conveyancers often have extensive experience working with property developers. They understand the intricacies of dealing with off-the-plan projects and can effectively navigate negotiations and contractual terms on your behalf.

  7. Faster Turnaround: Leveraging their specialised knowledge and experience, conveyancers may provide a quicker turnaround time for off-the-plan contracts, expediting the process and getting you closer to owning your new property.

  8. Cost Predictability: Conveyancers often offer fixed-fee services. This can provide you with cost predictability, helping you budget more effectively for the transaction without unexpected legal expenses.


Benefits of using a Solicitor

It's important to emphasise solicitors are also qualified to handle off-the-plan contracts and all property transactions and may be preferred by some individuals for various reasons as affairs can be complicated in certain situations. Solicitors do not only conveyancing,  but also practice in other areas such as:

  1. In banking and finance law, a conveyancer may facilitate property-related financial transactions and mortgages.

  2. In civil litigation, they may provide support in property-related disputes.

  3. In consumer law, they can advise on property purchase rights and responsibilities.

  4. In commercial law, conveyancers may aid in commercial property transactions.

  5. In criminal law, they might assist with property-related offenses.

  6. In employment law, they may advise on property-related workplace matters.

  7. In environmental and planning law, they can help navigate property development regulations.

  8. In family law, they may assist in property division during divorce proceedings, and more.

This broad practice assists with more complex legal issues associated with the purchase and can be beneficial if you have an existing relationship with a solicitor.


Overall, the choice between a conveyancer and a solicitor for your off-the-plan property contract should be based on your specific needs, preferences, and the complexity of the transaction. It's advisable to consult with both conveyancers and solicitors, obtain quotes, and compare their services before deciding. This way, you can make an informed choice that aligns with your unique requirements while ensuring a smooth and legally sound off-the-plan property purchase experience.

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