Using a Conveyancer: Is it really worth it?

People often get so excited by the overall concept of buying and selling a property that they skim over crucial steps or settle with a service that is below par, especially when it comes to conveyancing.  Although it may seem the costs of buying or selling property are never ending, skimping on conveyancing fees may result in much greater expenses in the long run.

So what does a conveyancer actually do?

A conveyancer is in charge of ensuring all legal obligations of a property transaction are fulfilled while also protecting their client’s rights and interests. Although conveyancing firms may differ in their offerings, some of the services offered by the conveyancing team at Waters Lawyers include:

      • The preparation of legal documents and ensuring they comply with the regulations in your respective state or territory

      • Ensure everything is as good as it seems by checking you are not inheriting any debt or negative interest on the property (if you are the buyer)
            • Sometimes there can be debt on a property, so if a statement of adjustments is not prepared by a conveyancer, you may inherit these issues as the buyer. A conveyancer ensures this doesn’t happen by conducting detailed research into the title and future development plans for the local area (such as a freeway or high-rise building near the property in question) and examining the risk of natural disaster. If it’s an apartment, they also review the strata to ensure the complex is able to operate without deficit. 

        • Advise you on other reports that should be conducted, such as pest checks and boundary reports. These help to ensure you are receiving all of the physical land you are entitled to and not taking on pre-existing issues.

        • Prepare a contract of sale (if selling) or a contract of sale review (if buying)
              • A quality conveyancer will either prepare the final contract or review it (depending on which side of the sale you are on) to ensure there is a smooth settlement.

          • Handle queries from the other party’s conveyancer so you don’t need to worry

          • Ensure your bank has all the required details and documents for settlement, as well as make any adjustments and payments needed as part of the settlement. For example, if a settlement is delayed, council rates may have been already been paid from the original settlement date and it would be the role of your conveyancer to organise a refund for the excess.

          • Arrange, book and attend the settlement of the property (we love sharing the excitement on the day)!

        What’s the difference between using a regular conveyancer and one at a law firm?

        Although a trained and accredited conveyancer will be able to provide you with a high level of expertise, there are many benefits of engaging a conveyancer at a law firm. Firstly, they are well-versed on property law matters, so they can provide you with extra info that a regular conveyancer might not be able to. Also, if a legal issue is to arise during the settlement process, a conveyancer at a law firm will be strongly positioned to efficiently and effectively help as they’ll be backed by a team of lawyers who are already familiar with your matter.

        At which stage should I engage the services of a conveyancer?

        As soon as you find a house you want to buy or decide you want to sell! The benefit of engaging a conveyancer from the get-go means everything is created perfectly from the beginning and there’s no backtracking on certain elements. This makes the process both cheaper and quicker.

        Can’t I just do it myself?

        While there is no legal requirement in Australia that states individuals must engage the help of a trained conveyancer, you are required to hold accounts with PEXA and Duties Online which cannot be done without a conveyancer’s licence or practising certificate. Think of it this way: Would you build your own house if you weren’t a trained builder? Probably not. Completing the work of a conveyancer on your own leaves more room for error and a higher likelihood of unnecessary costs down the track.  

        How much does a conveyancer cost?

        At Waters Lawyers, we like to keep things as simple and stress-free as possible, so unlike many other conveyancers at law firms, we charge a flat fee of $1,200 (plus disbursements) for standard conveyancing. If there is a Trust or an owners corporation involved, the price may vary slightly. Feel free to contact our friendly team on (03) 5996 1600 to arrange a quick quote.

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