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What is Conveyancing?

Conveyancing is the legal process of changing the property ownership (title details) from one person or entity to another. This happens in a property sale, transfer and family law property settlements. There are transactional and legal aspects to conveyancing. The legal aspects are very technical and require careful legal advice. The transactional steps are what a lawyer or conveyancer will carry out on behalf of a client to give effect to the transaction.

What does a conveyancer do?

A conveyancer acts for their client to arrange, manage and advise their clients through the process of conveyancing (buying or selling a house). They manage the transactional aspects and ensure that all parties are communicated with. A conveyancer will also ensure that their client is complying with the Contract of Sale and make sure their rights under the contract are protected.

How much is conveyancing?

Conveyancing costs can range from $799 plus disbursements to higher depending on the requirements of the client and quality and expertise of the conveyancer. You will usually pay a flat fee for coneyancer’s work and then additional costs for certificates and work that is required outside the normal conveyancing process. Some higher skilled conveyancing lawyers will charge more for their service as they offer different services than just a licensed conveyancer.

Do I need a conveyancer before making an offer?

If you are considering making an offer you should have the Contract reviewed before you sign it. The old saying “buyer beware” applies here! The Contract of Sale and Section 32 can contain vital information that impacts the value of the property.

Do I need a conveyancer for a remortgage?

Mostly banks will handle the remortgage process. However, some people may need a conveyancer to assist with a remortgage or refinance. If there is a private lender or other considerations we can assist.

Why do I need a conveyancer?

Conveyancers act for you as the client and ensure you are protected and understand your obligations under the Contract. Most people don’t know what a conveyancer does and what the steps are for conveyancing. There are some transactional elements, but also legal aspects as you have entered into a Contract. If you don’t comply with all the contractual obligations you can lose out financially. With electronic conveyancing you are required to be registered with the various platforms. Access to these platforms is not available to the general public.

Do I need a conveyancer to sell a house?

You will need a conveyancer to help you sell your house. A conveyancer will prepare a contract of sale (and section 32). They will communicate with the other side and your bank and make settlement arrangements and check the settlement figures. Settlement is typically online and your conveyancer will make sure that the appropriate documents are lodged and the transfer of ownership to the buyer is registered and the right funds are paid to you and the rating authorities (council & water rates, land tax etc).

How much does conveyancing cost in Victoria?

The cost of Conveyancing in Victoria can range from $795 plus disbursements to thousands of dollars depending on the property and what is required. If there is an issue or changes you will be charged more. These can be items such as finance extension requests, settlement date changes, nomination of other parties and licence agreements. Most of these are not typical, however they do come up. It is also important to allow for stamp duty and registration fees. These fees will differ from state to state and, sometimes, depending upon the time of property you are purchasing and what particular property you are purchasing.

How to choose a good conveyancing solicitor?

Choosing a good conveyancing solicitor can be difficult when using an online source. How long have they been around or what is their experience? They need to be able to negotiate on your behalf and be well organised. It is important to check that they have a good team that they are a part of so that there is support for you if they are not available. Check their reviews and talk to them – do you like them? Are they helpful?

Is a solicitor and conveyancer the same thing?

A solicitor and conveyancer are NOT the same thing. A solicitor can do conveyancing and a conveyancer is restricted to ONLY doing conveyancing. They cannot provide you additional legal advice or assistance. If a problem comes up, you will need to get advice from a solicitor. So, for many people getting a solicitor that does conveyancing is the best approach. They are often similar in pricing and can quickly advise you if something comes up.

Are conveyancers lawyers?

No, conveyancers can only do conveyancing. They do not have the skills or university training or experience in other property law etc. Their insurance will not cover any advice they give you beyond what they are covered for so be careful to get an opinion from a property lawyer and not a conveyancer. They are also not allowed to produce legal documents outside their scope.

How to find a good conveyancer?

If you are looking to find a good conveyancer you should be speaking to them and asking them about their firm’s experience. After talking to someone you will generally have a better idea about their skills set and whether you will like dealing with them and whether they seem knowledgeable. You should also check the firm and team and who supports that person. This is important if they are not available or you may end up dealing with someone else and you want to know your file is in experienced hands.

What conveyancing solicitors do?

Conveyancing solicitors help you through buying and selling. They act according to the Contract of Sale and ensure that you are protected and understand your rights and obligations under the contract. The contract states settlement dates and times and a whole host of other general and often special conditions. They make all the arrangements so that the buyer can take possession of the property and be registered as the new owner on title. This sounds simple but there are many steps in the process an much wrangling and negotiation goes on. A good conveyancer will also ensure that you understand the process and what is happening along the way on your matter. They will give you helpful options and explain the risks etc.

When to engage a conveyancer?

It is best to talk to a conveyancer asap. Once you have decided on who you are using a conveyancer can be helpful to ask questions throughout the offer and sale process prior to signing a contract. It is important to get advice on the Contract of Sale and understand any should be done before signing a contract.

Does my conveyancer need to be local?

Your conveyancer does not need to be local. Many conveyancing clients are interstate and even overseas so most people nowadays never meet their conveyancer in person. It is more important to get a reputable and experienced conveyancer than a local conveyancer.

Can I change my conveyancer?

Yes, you can change your conveyancer. You will have to pay for their services and disbursements that you owe them and you can request that your file be handed over to another conveyancer or lawyer. This can be done if your conveyancer is not servicing you, if you are concerned about the advice, or if a conflict of interest arises or you require further legal advice beyond the capability of your conveyancer.

How fast can conveyancing be done?

Conveyancing can be done relatively quickly and the most usual reason that delays the process of conveyancing is finance. If both parties are paying cash and don’t need a lender then it can be done in a very short time frame. The fastest settlements are typically 30 days, however we would NOT recommend this if you are getting a mortgage. Banks typically require more time not less. 30 days generally leaves no room for error or unexpected delays. If you have a broker or a banker speak to them about how fast the bank can do something. They will know if the mortgage department is busy or it is a quieter time. Christmas, Easter and public holidays are very busy times to settle – so make sure you allow for additional time if you are buying or selling around these times of the year.

Can a buyer and seller use the same conveyancer?

Yes, they can for many transactions. Additional forms must be done so both parties are aware and consent to the conveyancer acting for both parties. The risk generally to the buyer or seller is if a dispute arises the conveyancer must cease to act for both parties. This means – both the buyer and seller must get a new conveyancer and this could cause delays and other issues.