Can I Settle the House Myself?

18th Aug, 2021 | Customer eNews

In this article:
When you're buying or selling a home, how can you make sure that property ownership is transferred correctly?

It’s easy to get excited about future possibilities when buying or selling a home, but there’s a bit of legal wrangling to do to make sure settlement runs smoothly. 

What is conveyancing?

Conveyancing is the process of transferring property ownership when you buy or sell a house. In some states, this needs to be overseen by a registered solicitor, and in other states, it can be completed by a licensed conveyancer. A conveyancer is required to act in your best interest during the buying and selling process.

In the past, conveyancing was just one of many legal services offered by law firms. Now there are alternatives for buyers and sellers. You generally have three options when it comes to conveyancing on your property sale or purchase: engaging a solicitor from a law firm, choosing a licensed conveyancer or doing it yourself (DIY).

Find the right loan features for your needs.

What services does a conveyancer provide?

Your conveyancer will usually review contracts, conduct searches to ensure the property is saleable and guide you through government and legal requirements.

They will

  • review the contract of sale
  • advise you of key dates
  • provide notifications to the vendor’s solicitor or conveyancer
  • prepare legal documents
  • check council records for the status of rate payments
  • check for any land taxes owing on the property.

Your conveyancer will advise you of the searches required and whether they are an additional cost.

What are my conveyancing options?

Consider the complexity of your transaction to ensure you receive appropriate assistance for your situation.

Solicitor

A solicitor is often part of a firm that offers a range of services. They can provide advice about various matters, including property ownership types and associated tax implications for your purchase. Solicitors are usually equipped to deal with more complex transactions and unforeseen issues that may arise.  Many solicitors now also practice solely as conveyancers.

Licensed conveyancer

A person who is not a solicitor can attain a specific qualification to become a licensed conveyancer in some states. This qualification allows them to do legal work and provide advice relating solely to the property title transfer. For simple property transactions, this may be a suitable option.

Do-it-yourself (DIY)

You can purchase a DIY kit that steps you through the conveyancing process. These kits can also include contracts if needed. Be aware that property mistakes can be costly – you may miss out on a concession or incur a penalty if your paperwork is incorrect.

What does it cost?

Here are some ballpark costs for individuals entering into a simple property transaction. Additional fees may be charged for searches or enquiries your solicitor or conveyancer need to make on your behalf.

DIY kits that include contract templates can be found online for between $120 – $180.

Conveyancing companies and licensed conveyancers will generally offer a fixed price for their service ranging from $500 – $1500.

A solicitor may charge a premium because of their experience and ability to manage complex transactions. Whether a tailored quote upfront or an hourly fee, you can expect to pay between $1000 – $2500.

Finding the right service for you

At first glance, property transactions may seem simple. Depending on your circumstances, you may need a little or a lot of support. But the right conveyancing service will ensure the decisions you make now won’t have costly ramifications down the track.

Get in touch with your local Yellow Brick Road Mortgage Broker for more information on conveyancing and what you might need to consider before making your decision.

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