If you’re about to sell your property, or considering selling, there’s no doubt you will have heard these terms floating around – conveyancing and settlement. However, what they actually mean isn’t always easy to understand.

In this article, we’re going to take a look at these two common real estate terms and give you a clear definition, so you can move into your sale with confidence. Read on to find out more.

What is Conveyancing?

Conveyancing is where ownership of a property is transferred from one party or entity to another.

You’re able to act on your own during the process of buying a property, but the documentation and settlement of the sale can be difficult. Many buyers are put-off handling this themselves and opt to seek support from an industry expert, such as a lawyer or conveyancer, who has a firm grasp of the required documents and processes. This will likely make the process much easier and relieve a great deal of stress.

What is a Conveyancer?

A conveyancer is a professional who’s licensed to cover conveyancing work on a property, give legal advice about the transfer of a property’s title and conduct legal work surrounding a property.

These professionals can be hired by a seller to prepare legal documentation surrounding the sale of a property, such as a vendor’s statement.

What are the Key Roles a Conveyancer Performs?

  • Calculating taxes and rates
  • Settling the property – acting on your behalf, speaking with your loan provider once the final payment has been completed
  • Representing your best interests with the vendor or agent
  • Moving the deposit money into a trust account
  • The lodgement of the contract of sale, vendor agreement and other legal documents
  • Checking for type of title, easements and other research relating to the property’s certificate of title

Questions to Ask Your Prospective Conveyancer

  • Are you an Australian Institute of Conveyancers member?
  • What are your charges and fees?
  • How often can I expect to hear from you and how?
  • What will the time frame be on settlement day?

Understanding Legal Practitioners

Legal practitioners are required to hold a valid practising certificate and need to carry professional indemnity insurance. These professionals are able to conduct general legal work and offer you legal advice on your property purchase.

If you’re selling your home, you can engage the services of a practitioner to help with the preparation of required documentation, the contract of sale and the vendor’s statement.

What is Settlement?

This is the process of transferring the ownership of a property from one party to another. Once this is done, the property will legally belong to the buyer. The settlement date is usually laid out in the contract of sale, commonly taking place between 30-90 days after contracts have been exchanged.

You aren’t actually required to be present for the exchange of contracts, as your solicitors can handle this on your behalf. On settlement day, the buyer’s lender will authorise the payment for the total agreed value of the property. Payments due for solicitor’s bills and outstanding ground rent may also be presented by the solicitor.


The information and links provided on this website are for general information only and should not be taken as constituting professional advice. This information does not take into account the financial situation or particular needs of individual readers. Before making any decisions about matters discussed on this website, you should consider whether it is suitable for you in light of your own circumstances, and seek appropriate advice.