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Copyright 2007

Conveyancing made simple

Once you are considering buying or selling property, you will need to understand about conveyancing.

In simple terms, conveyancing is collecting various documents to show the property is acceptable for the purpose and ensuring that settlement occurs as it should.

Is it necessary?

Conveyancing is essential. You can't legally transfer a property without getting the conveyancing done.

It involves government bodies such as the road authority (to make sure no roads are planned across the property), water authority (to determine easements and flood risks) and the Lands department to ensure the land is free to be sold.

Conveyancing also involves getting final accounts for council rates and utilities on the property and allowing for these charges in the final settlement amount. That is, if the property is sold half way through the rates period, the buyer will need to be reimburse the seller for half of the rates.

Who does conveyancing?

There is no legal reason you can't do your own conveyancing; it will certainly save you money to do it yourself.

Collecting all the necessary documents takes time as you need to ring or visit a number of government offices to request them. The waiting time in each office can also add up to be inconvenient.

You need to ensure all the required documents are collected, and you may need multiple copies of the site plan and title.

Calculating the final settlement payment is fiddly, but can be done with care; there are some helpful forms available to aid this process.

However, if there are any problems, you may find yourself out of your depth. Using a professional conveyancer or legal firm means that experienced people will collect the documents and know what to do with any problems in the documents.

The settlement adjustments are often dealt with better by a conveyancer as they are less emotionally involved in the sale.

What does it cost?

For each of the documents you need to collect, there will be a charge. These charges vary between states and departments, but you can expect to pay from $6 to $20 per document.

Using a conveyancer, you will still pay these charges as well as paying for their professional service.

Some conveyancers charge a set fee for all the conveyancing required, whilst others may charge you by the task or the hour. Ask what they are including in their set price - it may look cheap but if it doesn't include document fees and attending settlement, it may end up being more expensive.

Unless you have a recommendation, a set price for all of the conveyancing is probably the safer option to go with.

Although it is an expensive time when you buy or sell property, the cost of a conveyancer is small compared to many of your other expenses. Compared to the time and stress involved in doing your own conveyancing, though, the cost is often a worthwhile investment.

Tash Hughes is a Mum of two in Melbourne. She is also a writer and owner of Word Constructions. Tash is available to write articles and profiles for any business, as well as doing other business documentation projects. You can see her site and services at www.wordconstructions.com




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