Bonding with conveyancers

Working with a trusted conveyancer, writes Penny Erskine of Conveyancing Matters, can ensure a smooth settlement

EXPERIENCED, ENGAGED and proactive conveyancers can be an important part of an agent’s and their client’s advisory team and can add so much value.

As with all relationships in life, the working relationship between a real estate agent and conveyancer works best when there is regular and open communication, an understanding of each person’s role and expectations, and a desire to achieve positive outcomes for everyone involved.

THE EARLIER THE BETTER
Conveyancers can add the most value by being involved in the sale process as early as possible – ideally before the property is taken to market. In some states the conveyancer can conduct initial searches, advise the agent of any potential issues and ensure the client’s interests are protected.

As soon as the sales agreement or contract is signed, you should ensure all documentation is sent to the conveyancer as a priority. Once sent, it’s worth following up with them to ensure everything has been received and all is in order.

When providing the documentation, there’s merit in alerting the conveyancer to any unusual or notable aspects of the transaction that could impact on settlement or timings in any way. That might be something to do with the property itself (perhaps an encumbrance or an easement), challenges with the vendor or buyer’s situation, or any financial considerations.

Most conveyancers are more than happy to provide advice to real estate agents if asked, and many of our clients’ agents regularly call for advice.

In those states where the agents are involved with the preparation of contracts and disclosure documentation, as well as the usual sales agreements, it’s even more important the agent has someone to call on for guidance.

RESPECT THE ROLE
Those agents who understand the role of a good conveyancer have an easier time of things and can gain the maximum value from the relationship.

While there obviously is some level of knowledge, both agents and conveyancers can benefit from developing a deeper understanding of each party’s role.

For agents, this might mean inviting a conveyancer to a sales meeting so they can provide a detailed outline of their role and how they can further assist, or add greater value to, the agents and their clients. But it certainly works both ways – there’s no doubt conveyancers could benefit from more first-hand knowledge of the issues agents have to deal with.

Also, you should consider asking if your conveyancer is prepared to conduct training for your team – perhaps every six months or so, on topics such as recent legislative changes or e-conveyancing.

Most conveyancers live and breathe property and understand the many issues and complexities associated with property transactions, which means they have a high level of knowledge and expertise that can make them an important ally for a real estate agent.

REFERRAL OPPORTUNITIES
While agents are very often asked by the vendor or buyer to recommend a conveyancer, there is still scope for conveyancers to refer to agents.

It’s worth considering if there are opportunities for you and your preferred conveyancer to cross-refer clients, as well as directly refer. Look at your client lists and determine whether there may be scope to provide value-added services.

A solid, consultative working relationship between a real estate agent and conveyancer has very real benefits for everyone involved.

If you’re working regularly with a conveyancer, you’re more likely to view them in that ‘trusted adviser’ role than simply going from one sale to the next.

It also allows each party to get to know the idiosyncrasies of the other, and how they like to work and manage the sale process.

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