Beginner’s Guide to Conveyancing

Conveyancing is a legal service that supports the transfer of properties. A conveyancer assists with this process, primarily through composing or reviewing documents such as Contract for the Sale and purchase of land.

During a typical scenario, both a seller and a buyer engage a conveyancer to act on their behalf, to ensure the property transaction is performed fluently and so their clients fully understand the agreement.

 

The conveyancing process

A conveyancer is able to assist in the following steps;

  • Creating or reviewing a contract of sale
  • Arranging pest and building inspections
  • Obtaining a strata report
  • Finalising finance (i.e. mortgage)
  • Exchanging contracts
  • Coordinate paying the deposit and outstanding balance
  • Liaising between parties and relevant stakeholders
  • Organising payment of stamp duty
  • Performing various checks on a property (ie land tax, swimming pool compliance, easements, restrictions)
  • Compiling all relevant documentation
  • Supervising the change of title
  • Attending settlement

The diagram below would represent the typical course of a property transaction.

 

Pricing

The price will vary from each conveyancer. Many firms, like ours, offer flat fee conveyancing and will be able to provide you a quote over the phone so you’re aware of the costs.

Typically the cost of conveyancing does not scale with the purchase price of a property.

Conveyancers organise several items on behalf of their client (ie conducting title searches, obtaining certifications and registering the transfer of the property). These processes have fees attached to them, and are listed as disbursement costs. Commonly, a conveyancer or solicitor will invoice for both the legal fees and the disbursement costs.

 

Do all flat fee conveyancers cost the same?

No. Flat fee conveyancing is simply a business model to provide people with a clear cost. There are no entities controlling the prices that conveyancers can offer.

 

Is it worth “shopping around” for a conveyancer?

Yes. As we all know, purchasing a property is likely to be the most significant purchase in your life. With this in mind, it’s important to be aware of the quality of service and attention to detail you’re receiving for your money.

 

Do I need to legally use a conveyancer?

No. However Conveyancers help their client fully comprehend the agreement and can mitigate potential risks towards their assets.

 

The contract of sale

A focal point of property transactions is the contract of sale. This contract is an agreement between between the buying and selling parties which outlines the details of the proposed agreement. The contract may include the following information;

  • Purchase price, deposit amount and balance
  • Inclusions and exclusions (i.e. blinds and wardrobes)
  • Length of settlement period
  • Additional clauses (ie financial penalties if the buyer cannot complete in the agreed settlement period)
  • Existing tenancy agreements
  • Drainage diagrams
  • Zoning certificates (issued by the local council)
  • A buyer’s cooling off rights

A conveyancer will compile this documentation, review it and explain anything of significance to their client.

 

I’m planning on attending an auction, what can I do to prepare my conveyancer for this?

Prior to attending an auction, we recommend that people liaise with the sales agent and arrange for a contract to be sent to their conveyancer to review. Our firm offers contract reviews free of charge. The conveyancer will overview the contract and explain everything to you clearly, so you’re fully aware of the agreement before attending the auction.

Contacting a conveyancer prior to an auction prepares you and your conveyancer for the prospective transaction, including significant dates, special conditions, organising pest and building inspections and generally helping the process run fluently.

 

Pest and building inspections

During a property transaction, the buying party undertakes pest and building inspections. A buyer may select their own pest and building company to use, or they may request the conveyancer to organise this on their behalf. The inspections are carried out and the documents are provided to direct to the buyers, at this point the buyers may wish to discuss the result of the reports direct with the Inspector. It is in the buyer’s interest to become familiar with these documents, as they can play a role in negotiations, as well as their knowledge of the property.

 

Do I need to physically visit the conveyancer’s office?

No. Some Conveyancers can provide you the option to sign everything digitally.  Hunter Legal & Conveyancing are able to offer a completely digital transaction and are up-to-date with all digital changes.

For a more personalised experience you can attend their office to go over the contract and other information in detail.

 

Does a conveyancer usually visit the property?

No. The process can be performed from their office. With this in mind, Hunter Legal & Conveyancing can assist anyone in NSW with their conveyancing if you need a hand.

 

How long does conveyancing take?

Generally, conveyancing services are completed in 4-6 weeks, although this can vary.

 

What should I do with my documents once the process is completed?

While a conveyancer or solicitor will keep a copy of the documents for record, we recommend you also keep a copy in a safe location.

It can be helpful to easily refer to pest and building inspections, or drainage diagrams when organising upgrades, renovations or maintenance to a property.

 

In summary

  • Conveyancing is the legal process of transferring a property from one party to another
  • You can be more organised if you hire a conveyancer or solicitor as early as possible
  • Many firms offer flat fee conveyancing, so you are made aware of the cost
  • A conveyancer will help you understand the contract of sale and the implications involved
  • The relevant documentation has a high level of detail and it is important to familiarise yourself with these

Simply put, a conveyancer will help your property transaction run fluently and mitigate potential risks.

 

Ready to work with Hunter Legal & Conveyancing?

With thousands of customers in the Newcastle, Maitland and Hunter region, Hunter Legal & Conveyancing are a leading conveyancing firm that you can work with to ensure your upcoming property transaction is handled to a professional standard. We are able to help anyone within NSW with their conveyancing needs, so even if you’re outside the Hunter region you can still contact us.

Our staff are well versed in conveyancing and possess over 40 years combined experience in the industry. We provide with clear pricing, reliable communication and honest service. If you need conveyancing with a high attention to detail, contact Hunter Legal & Conveyancing today.