The simple guide to conveyancing

Information verified correct on April 29th, 2017

Sell house conveyancerHow to choose the best conveyancer for your property transaction.

Whether you're buying or selling a property, a good conveyancer can ensure the process is smooth and stress-free. Conveyancers are either solicitors or companies accredited by the government to supervise the transfer of a property between a seller and a buyer. Not all conveyancers are created equal, though, and it can be difficult to separate the good from the bad.

What is a conveyancing lawyer?

A conveyancing lawyer advises and acts on your behalf in matters of property law. The costs vary, depending on the amount of time spent on each brief but you can reasonably expect to pay somewhere between $700 and $2,500 for such a service.

A conveyancer has a number of tasks to complete during the home buying or selling process. At a glance, a conveyancers responsibilities include:

  • Organising everything you need during settlement to ensure the sale is legitimate.
  • Checking and organising mortgage documents and the contract of sale. A conveyancer will check for clauses within the contract that may not be in the best interest of their client.
  • Carry out a title search on your behalf to make sure there are no encumbrances or other mortgages on the property.
  • Organising a land survey for to ensure the boundaries of the property are accurately represented.
  • Check with your local council to make sure the structure complies with council building regulations.
  • Liaise between you and the lender's solicitor.
  • Making sure the process is transparent. A conveyancer will explain every step in the home buying or selling process and outline what your and their responsibilities are during this process.

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Learning more about conveyancing with Geri Forsaith from Sydney Property Conveyancing

Geri Forsaith from Sydney Property Conveyancing explains what a conveyancer is, what a home purchaser should look for in a conveyancer and how much it should cost to engage their services.

What will it cost me?

Different conveyancing firms will charge different fees, but you can expect to pay somewhere between $700 and $2,500. Most conveyancers will charge a flat fee. To ensure you're getting value for money, make sure the conveyancer you choose offers a clear breakdown of their fee structure. The overall cost of conveyancing includes fees for both the conveyancer's expert help, and costs the conveyancer incurs for title searches, rates certificates, land tax certificates and expenses such as postage and stationery. These costs are called disbursements. A conveyancer's bill will include both their fee and disbursements. You can expect to pay somewhere around the following, though costs may vary depending upon your local council and the conveyancer you choose:

  • Conveyancer's fixed fee: $500 - $1,200
  • Council certificates (building, rates): $50 - $400
  • Title search: $10 - $100
  • Drainage diagram (if selling a property): $25
  • Stamping and settlement agent's fee: $75 - $100
  • Registration fee (if buying a property): $50 - $100

Spotting a good conveyancer

A good conveyancer will:

  1. Perform meticulous research on titles and records. If you are the buyer, this is extremely important. A good conveyancer will see to it that all areas are covered by looking out for dubious contracts or title deeds. As a seller, your conveyancer should be able to advise you if there are any government prohibitions, limitations or taxes concerning your property. A good conveyancer should be able to identify these things. Moreover, he should be able to clearly define the rights and obligations of both parties.
  2. Do the job in a timely and efficient manner. Property sales are often time sensitive, so a good conveyancer should finish the transaction efficiently and in a short period of time.
  3. Lessen the stress by giving expert advice. A good conveyancer is someone who is proactive, giving you expert and practical advice on what to do in every step of the process.
  4. Be technologically equipped to keep up with the challenges. Conveyancing involves tracking down the progress of the transaction. A reputable conveyance firm should be equipped with systems to allow their clients to easily monitor and follow up the progress of the buy or sell transaction.
  5. Charge a fixed rate. When a conveyancer gives you an hourly charge for their services, be very careful, because you might be paying more than necessary. A trustworthy conveyancer will charge you a fixed rate, which should include basic and disbursement fees. Agreeing on a fixed rate will prevent any additional charges that could blow out your budget.

What about DIY conveyancing?

The conveyancing process will be much smoother if handled by a person who has legal know-how. There are, however, DIY conveyancing kits available online. Deciding to handle conveyancing yourself can potentially save you money and time. It can also give you a sense of control, as you'll have firsthand knowledge of the progress of your transaction. The downside of handling conveyancing yourself, though, is that the process can be overwhelming and complicated, resulting in mistakes that could cost you more time and money than DIY conveyancing will save you.

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2 Responses to The simple guide to conveyancing

  1. Default Gravatar
    Craig | March 30, 2017

    Thinking of approaching owners of a long vacant 1 acre property with dwelling in SA. In middle of nowhere and local farmers say worth about $5000-$7000. Looked up owners in WA but haven’t approached yet. Any idea of conveyance fee and can I pay for them as well to make easy sale for them.

    • Staff
      May | March 31, 2017

      Hi Craig,

      Thank you for your inquiry and for contacting finder.com.au – we are a financial comparison website and general information service designed to help consumers make better decisions. Please note that we are not affiliated with any company we feature on our site and so we can only offer a general advice.

      The bill will generally comprise of the conveyancer’s fee and disbursements, as to how much, that will vary depending on your local council and the conveyancer you go with. The estimates of the cost could be around the amounts listed above. So if you want to get the exact fees, please contact your conveyancer.

      Cheers,
      May

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