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.
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
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