Everything you need to know to get the best conveyancing deal

Conveyancing.com on 21 March 2018

Whether you are buying or selling a property, it can be hard to wrap your head around conveyancing costs. Conveyancing is the process of transferring legal title of property from one person to another. It involves a broad range of steps, and it's worth thinking carefully about so you know you're getting the best bang for your buck. 

Conveyancing can be done through a licensed conveyancer or a conveyancing lawyer. Alternatively, it can be done through a DIY kit, although these provide only guidance material and aren't recommended unless you're conversant with property law.

If you choose to use a licensed conveyancer or a conveyancing lawyer, you will quickly learn that there are no set fees for conveyancing. This is because not all property transactions are the same. It is therefore vital to have a list of questions in mind to identify if a conveyancing specialist is suitable for you.

Did you know online conveyancing offers a faster turnaround time than conventional conveyancing? Contact Conveyancing.com today to receive an instant quote.

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Conveyancing costs

The main thing to keep in mind when comparing conveyancing costs is what scope of work your conveyancer is providing to you. When it comes to exchanging ownership in property, the lowest price doesn't always reflect the best service. If you engage a cheap conveyancer, you may find that they 're less likely to do enough to protect you as a buyer or seller, and less equipped to handle contract negotiations.

Cheaper conveyancing costs generally convey greater risks involved, so focus on achieving value for money instead of a bargain rate. Conveyancers must hold an appropriate license to do your conveyancing work, and they should also have a trained eye for spotting unusual terms that pose a risk to you.

Costs can vary considerably between licensed conveyancers and conveyancing lawyers. When you request a quote from either, keep in mind that in addition to the service fee, you'll also need to pay 'disbursements', which indicate costs incurred through third parties. Generally, both services will provide a ‘cost range‘ for disbursements in their quotes.

It's a wise idea to ask for a breakdown of all likely costs before you choose any conveyancer to work for you. Getting a detailed breakdown of costs can make it easier to compare conveyancing costs from different services as well as help you determine which one provides the best value overall.

Licensed conveyancers vs. conveyancing lawyers

Conveyancing involves a range of legal procedures including contract exchanges, property inspections and title searches. It can be hard when you are selling or buying your first home to decide whether to go with a licensed conveyancer or a conveyancing lawyer. There are many different factors to take into account in addition to their conveyancing costs, including:

  • Experience: It is vital that your conveyancer can deliver the right advice for a diverse range of circumstances.

  • Protection: Always check what protection a conveyancer has to offer you in case something goes wrong.

The table below may give you a better idea of what a licensed conveyancer can offer you versus a conveyancing lawyer.

 

LICENSED CONVEYANCER

CONVEYANCING LAWYER

COST

Set rate - scope of work varies. Generally doesn't cover any additional legal fees that may arise if the property transaction becomes litigious and a lawyer is called in for assistance. Licensed conveyancers also can't give legal advice outside their scope of conveyancing.

Fixed fee or hourly rate - costs can vary depending on your case and whether or not any legal issues or actions arise from your property transaction. Conveyancing lawyers have no limit on what legal advice they can offer you relating to conveyancing. They can also represent you in court if something goes wrong during the settlement process.

EXPERIENCE

Requires a diploma and licence. A diploma in conveyancing usually involves one year of study before a full year of supervised training is completed. It is recommended you ask to see their licence for proof of their credentials.

Requires, at the very least, a bachelor degree in law. This degree generally takes at least four years to complete. Upon completion of this degree, students will have spent a portion of their time studying property law. They are therefore more able to advise you on any potential issues that can arise during the conveyancing process.

PROTECTION

Licensed conveyancers must maintain a minimum of $2 million professional indemnity insurance at all times; however, if a conveyancer offers you conveyancing advice that sits outside their limited legal scope, their insurance is deemed void.

All of a conveyancing lawyer's work is covered by professional indemnity insurance. You will be fully protected even if you fall victim to common property purchase pitfalls such as a lack of funds, the valuation conducted by the bank not meeting the contract price, or adverse conditions and terms in the contract that cannot be negotiated.

As you can see, conveyancing lawyers are usually regarded as the safer option because they have no limits on the legal advice they can provide you and their indemnity insurance fully covers you. They will generally have a more comprehensive and nuanced understanding of property laws, which is a clear advantage if the sale goes wrong.

Two other key factors to consider when comparing conveying costs are:

  • Reputation: Take the time to see what other people are saying about your potential conveyancer. Do they attract a particular type of customer?

  • Turnaround time: We're all time-strapped in today's world, and finding a conveyancer who can get the job done fast will save you a lot of stress and heartache.

Why choose Conveyancing.com?

compare conveyancing costs support image5There is a lot to think about when buying and selling property, and while the costs you incur are a big consideration, there are some risks that aren't worth taking. Research a conveyancer before signing anything, ensure their costs include all contingencies and fees/charges and choose one who you feel confident can steer you around any legal pitfalls you may encounter. Value for money should be your primary concern, rather than cheapness of service.

At Conveyancing.com, we have a team of 12 dedicated conveyancing lawyers with extensive experience in property law and online conveyancing. We can ensure that documents for your Section 52 are prepared accurately within a small timeframe and guarantee real-time tracking of the status of document reviews. We are happy to provide detailed breakdowns of all conveyancing costs and talk you through the various factors that can influence the conditions of a settlement.

Buying or selling a property is one of the most significant life decisions you can make, so shop around, compare costs and see which type of conveyancer is the best fit for you. A careless choice can lead to surprises on settlement, so choose wisely.

Contact us at Conveyancing.com today to chat with one of our in-house conveyancing lawyers.