All you need to know about conveyancing and fees when buying or selling a property in Melbourne
Buying or selling a home is an important and often life changing event. You may be saying goodbye to a residence that has been in your family for decades or buying a home to start a new chapter in your life.
Whichever side of the property transaction you are, you will need a Conveyancer to assist you through all the legal processes. You may wonder where they fit into picture and the costs involved for their services, or even if you are able to take on the conveyancing of the property yourself. But, first consider all the facts before you decide.
Our legal team compiled this comprehensive guide to equip you with all you need to know about the role and cost of a Conveyancer in Melbourne when buying or selling one of the biggest assets in your life. So, let’s get started!
What is a Conveyancer?
All Conveyancers are not necessarily lawyers. Some only have the qualification and licence to practice conveyancing, which means you get a limited conveyancing service. This article explains the difference between a lawyer and Conveyancer and demonstrates a lawyer’s expertise at handling important tasks, such as signing a Power of Attorney or guiding you in solving any complex matters related to your property transfer.
Here at Rose we are all lawyers with expert legal knowledge of any property transactions. This means you are in the hands of professionals who are qualified to handle all legalities regarding the sale or purchase of your property, from beginning to end.
What does a Conveyancer do?
A Conveyancer provides a wide range of services. Their main task is to look after the legal side of your property’s transaction to ensure a successful transfer of ownership. Other services include research, preparing legal documents and fact-checking both the seller and buyer’s paperwork. They are also responsible for relevant government documentation such as stamp duties and transfer title ownerships.
Here is a list of the duties they can perform for you:
If you are selling your property, a Conveyancer can:
- Prepare and check the sale contract and Section 32
- Conduct relevant legal searches including land titles and property certificates
- Liaise with the agent and the buyer
- Communicate with your bank
- Organise the release of the deposit
- Prepare government documents
If you are buying a property, a Conveyancer can:
- Check the contract and Section 32
- Conduct relevant legal searches including land titles and property certificates
- Advise you on the release of the deposit
- Communicate with your bank and the seller
- Prepare the Transfer of Land
- Organise the settlement and ensure the correct documents are handed over
- Prepare the statement of adjustments
- Notify the council and relevant authorities that you have bought a new property
Fast fact – what is a statement of adjustments?
A statement of adjustments is any rates, taxes or lease agreements that has to be adjusted to ensure that you only pay the part of the costs from the date of the settlement and that the seller pays their portion up to that date.
How much does a Conveyancer cost?
There are no fixed costs for the services of a Conveyancer. Their fees depend on the complexity of the property transfer and the Conveyancer may charge a flat fee or an hourly rate. A flat fee is not recommended as there could many unforeseen costs depending on your property.
As Consumer Affairs Victoria stipulates, Conveyancers have to inform you in writing before or at the time of their service period of the costs involved. You also have the right to negotiate the fees and the Conveyancer has to inform you when and how they will invoice you.
Apart from the conveyancing costs, you will also have to pay for any disbursements the Conveyancer incurs on your behalf.
Fast fact – What are disbursement fees?
Disbursement fees are any other fees that must be paid for things like title searches, property certificates, and bank production fees.
Be prepared for extra costs
These can be anything from stamp duty to levies if the property you are buying or selling are part of a community scheme.
Some added costs include:
- Certificate fees for water, electricity, roads, schools, etc.
- Registering the mortgage and transfer
- Building and pest inspections
- Home building insurance
- Valuation fees
- Mortgage insurance
- Stamp and mortgage duty
- Levies, if the property is part of a community estate
- Council and water rates
Remember – if you are the seller, you also have to budget for the estate agent marketing costs and their commission on the sale of your property.
Who pays the Conveyancer?
The buyer and seller each usually appoints their own Conveyancer and they liaise with one another on behalf of their clients.
The seller pays their Conveyancer a small percentage of the total amount received through the sale of the property while the buyer pays a small percentage of the purchase price to their Conveyancer for the property’s transfer.
Doing your homework about the process and asking your conveyancer the right questions will give you insight into your property’s specific requirements and prepare you for costs.
Questions to ask your Conveyancer to help determine costs:
- Could you provide me with a list of your services and fees?
- How long will it take for the transfer to take place?
- Is there a penalty if I change my mind about buying or selling a property?
- Who pays for the pest and building inspection and any subsequent repairs?
- How do you calculate your charges?
- Are there any administrative costs?
- How much are the government fees?
- When do you invoice?
- What if the property is under dispute?
- What are the disbursement costs?
- When can I expect funds in my account?
Should I use a conveyancing cost calculator?
At Rose Lawyers we don’t use a conveyancing cost calculator to determine set conveyancing fees. As discussed earlier, the conveyancing process differs from one property transaction to the next. However, we will always provide you with a cost estimate once we we have all the details of your property transaction.
Our advice is to use a lawyer. They are familiar with all aspects of the law pertaining to property and will protect you against making costly mistakes with possibly one of the most valuable assets in your life.
Why can’t I do the conveyancing myself?
Without a legal professional background and with experience in the property market, you can easily make a mistake if you try to do everything yourself.
The conveyancing process is highly technical and specialised and if you decide to take it on, it may take up a lot of your time and in the end cost you more than you anticipated. It could even delay proceedings as you may complete documentation incorrectly and forget to specify special conditions in the contract.
There are many financial aspects you have to keep in mind and juggle timeously. If you don’t, you could lose your deposit, or your plans to subdivide a property may not happen due to restrictions you didn’t pick up. Also, if you are unfamiliar with terms contracts, you may run into difficulty should you want to pay for the property with multiple payments. Terms contracts are risky undertakings already, and best left to the experts, should you consider that route.
Why choose an experienced conveyancing lawyer?
Conveyancing lawyers are professionals with experience of the property industry. They know the legal intricacies involved and follow the most effective course of action within the settlement period to make any kind of transaction happen successfully – without trial and error.
They know how to fix mistakes should they occur, and will explain and correct them for you without you having to do the hard work.
They will also sort out any special requirements, conditions, permits or titles much quicker than you can.
You won’t be taken advantage of. Your lawyer will look after your interests and wishes, and advise you of the best course of action.
Here at Rose, we are experts in all areas of property law. We have more than three decades of experience in transferring property titles and know the Melbourne real estate market like the back or our hand.
Our Conveyancers will guide you through every step of the process and make sure nothing is missed or overlooked. We are upfront about all our conveyancing costs – you will know what to expect.
So, let us do the legal legwork for you while you pack up to start a new chapter in your life.
Call us now on 03 9878 5222 for a FREE 15-minute phone consultation.
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