Compare conveyancing services in your area
A local conveyancer handles the legal side of your property transaction. Here's how to find a legal expert for your real estate purchase or sale.
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Until you buy or sell a property, you probably have no idea what a conveyancer is. They handle the legal side of your property transaction and can help make the process smooth and stress-free, while giving you advice and protecting your legal risks. When you compare conveyancing firms in your area, these are the things to look for.
Conveyancers are either solicitors or companies accredited by the government to supervise the transfer of a property between a seller and a buyer. 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 when you buy or sell a property.
A conveyancer completes a number of tasks during the home buying or home selling process. At a glance, a conveyancer's responsibilities include:
- Organising everything you need during settlement to ensure the sale is legitimate.
- Checking and organising mortgage documents and the contract of sale.
- Carrying 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.
- Checking with your local council to make sure the structure complies with council building regulations.
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What will it cost me?
Different conveyancing firms charge different fees, but you can expect to pay somewhere between $700 and $2,500. Most conveyancers charge a flat fee and it generally costs more to buy a property than it does to sell, as there are a number of searches your conveyancer does on your behalf when you buy to check for risks, such as unregistered renovations. To ensure you're getting value for money and to keep the costs of buying a property down, 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. These costs are called disbursements. A conveyancer's bill will include both their fee and disbursements.
Here's an example cost breakdown:
- 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
How to find a good conveyancer
A good conveyancer will:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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. The downside of handling conveyancing yourself is that the process can be overwhelming and complicated, resulting in mistakes that could cost you more time and money than the DIY conveyancing will save you.
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