How to Pick Your Legal Advisor
All Queensland and Australian Capital Territory conveyancing companies are law firms and must comply with the minimum Professional Standards of their State and Territory Law Society but every company has its own standards.
In all other States, solicitors have to comply with the standards of their Law Society and Conveyancers must comply with their rules and recommendations. The ethical standards of Law Firms are higher than those of conveyancers, and the penalties for non-compliance are greater.
Business people don’t give away anything that is valuable, especially their time. Be wary of anyone who works for nothing. Would you work for nothing? The best conveyancing companies charge reasonable prices because they know how valuable their time and experience is. Experience is earned the hard way and valued. Generally the inexperienced need to provide an inducement to attract business.
Be careful of giveaways that are being used to lure you in, especially if the company is the cheapest to start with or promise to undercut the rest. Quality will always beat quantity.
Beware of businesses that offer a low cost first and foremost. These tend to have a high turnover of clients to compensate for their low fees and that means you won’t get as much service as a company that isn’t doing a high turnover and promotes service over cost. Look for service at a reasonable cost. Reasonable means in relation to the experience being offered.
Conveyancing is a SERVICE industry and this is what you are paying for. There will be times in the conveyancing process where you will want immediate service and that’s a guarantee, but can you be sure you will get it when you want it on your terms, given the Conveyancer may be snowed under with a high turnover of files?
If you’re paying a low fee don’t expect as much personalized service. Often you get the bare necessities. More often than not you won’t get answers to questions or explanations and they will probably not want to meet with you as this will take up too much of their time. Essentially, they will try to spend the least amount of time on your conveyancing transaction as possible because time is money.
Don’t be taken in by ads for conveyancing companies when they:
- Say they are your saviour from chaos.
- Try and convince you that conveyancing is complicated, confusing, intricate, involved and carrying huge financial and time risks if the slightest thing goes wrong, when in fact what they are doing is just an administrative exercise.
- Claim to be good guys.
- Are giving away something not usually given away and then try and make it sound like those who don’t follow their lead are the bad guys.
- Put down their competition by calling them dishonest, or accuse them of cutting corners and accumulating extra charges while saying they are the honest ones. Self-praise is no recommendation. Truthful advertising talks about positives in self, not negatives in others.
- Use exaggerating phrases like:
- “Huge number of critical deadlines” when in fact there’s only a very small number.
- “Entire process can be set back considerably.”
- “Any money that may have been saved will quickly be lost in exponential amounts if deadlines are missed.”
- “Even a small mistake can spell disaster.”
- “A mistake … could … have serious and detrimental financial consequences” and could be a “blunder”.
It’s all a bit dramatic and frightening and intended to scare you into using them – these tactics are aimed at first home buyers especially.
Leave you feeling afraid or intimidated by the unknown because you don’t know anything, or very little, about conveyancing.