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Explaining Conveyancing Fees

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Whether you are buying or selling, there are so many Conveyancers and Solicitors who provide Conveyancing services out there to help you with the Conveyancing part of the process. There are many different factors that can be taken into account when shopping around for the right Conveyancer or Solicitor. They include experience, location, reputation, and that feeling you will be well looked after. But one of the most common factors behind choosing a Conveyancer or Solicitor is price; the Conveyancing fee they will charge you.

Fees do matter when you look at a Conveyancing quote. However let me start off by saying the cheapest quote is not always going to ensure you that the Conveyancer or Solicitor will do enough to protect you as a buyer or seller. The last thing you want is to engage a cheap Conveyancer or Solicitor who is likely to compromise the level of service they should provide you. There are a few things to look out for when comparing Conveyancing fees, such as:

1. Scope of Conveyancing Works

This is a biggie. You want to look at a quote and know that you’re getting bang for your buck! You want to know that the Conveyancer is doing enough to protect you as the person representing you in your purchase or sale. This assessment can become difficult if you are not entirely sure what a Conveyancer should be doing for you, especially if you are buying or selling your first home, for example. That is completely understandable. So let me give you the following break-down of what a Conveyancer should be doing for you within their Conveyancing fee:

Buyers

  • Review your contract and Vendor’s statement: Provided you engage a solicitor or Conveyancer with an in-house Solicitor before you sign, they should review the contract and Vendor’s Statement for you, so that you know what the acceptable and unacceptable risk associated with your purchaser are. Solicitors have a trained eye for spotting usual terms that may present a risk to you. The Conveyancers here at ThinkConveyancing.com.au  are solicitors and have tones of experience in contract reviews, and we include this service in our professional fixed fee.
  • Searches on the property: Searches on things like the title, rates and land tax, for example, is an important step in the Conveyancing process, as it gives your Conveyancer or solicitor the information necessary to divide rates the seller as the current owner and you as the future owner. scope of conveyancing worksThere is a rule in property law that debt runs with the land. So if the rates are not divided before settlement, you will be left with the seller’s debt. And we can’t let that happen. Also a title search is important so that we can see whether there is a third party who has registered their name on the title that may be blocking you from become the new owner. This is called a ‘Caveat’ which needs to removed prior or at settlement. At ThinkConveyancing.com.au, we include searches on the property in our ‘Disbursement costs’, which are costs we incur through third parties on your behalf. We order searches through an external company, who charges us a fee for the search. And we only order what is necessary to protect you, so that you don’t pay more than you should. Better yet, we make no money from our searches, so that you are only charged the cost price in our Conveyancing fee.
  • Keeping in contact with your bank (if financing): If you are taking out a loan to buy the property, it is important that you secure your loan approval as soon as possible to avoid any unnecessary settlement delays. Not only must the legal documentation we prepare on your behalf be ready for settlement, but you must ensure your lender is also ready to settle on the Settlement Date, if you want to them provide you loan money for the purchase! Your Conveyancer or Solicitor should be in contact with your lender to ensure your bank is ready to settle in time and has the loan money available by the Settlement Date. At ThinkConveyancing.com.au we do this for our clients, and it is included in our professional fixed Conveyancing fee.
  • Tell you the amount of stamp duty payable: If a Conveyancer or Solicitor takes the time to contact your lender before settlement, they will be able to advise you of the stamp duty payable by you on your purchase. If you are not borrowing money for the purchase, we can contact the Office of State Revenue for you and find out. Simple!
  • Prepare all necessary Transfer documentation: The bare minimum is not enough, which unfortunately many Conveyancers will do, especially the cheaper. Your Conveyancer or Solicitor should be preparing every bit of settlement documentation necessary to protect you within their Conveyancing fee. For example, if you have nominated an additional purchaser in the contract, your Conveyancer should prepare the relevant Nomination Forms. Here at ThinkConveyancing.com.au we do our best to ensure no settlement documentation slips through the cracks. We prepare the exact documentation required to be provided at settlement.
  • Lodge a Caveat: Technically you become the legal owner once settlement takes place. Between the time you sign the contract and the Settlement Date, you’re not the owner yet. So a Caveat, being the document that registers your name on the title to secure your interest over the property before become the legal owner, is so important. That way, you’re telling the world that they cannot own the property that is rightfully yours after settlement. So you see now what a caveat is always necessary. We at ThinkConveyancing.com.au register a caveat for all our clients buying an established property and include this service in our Conveyancing fee. We simply will not allow our clients to take the risk of not having one.
  • Stamp and lodge all transfer documentation: A very important step after settlement if you chose not to buy using a lender. This is just another example of how we go over and beyond for our clients. To become the legal owner after settlement, we will stamp and lodge the transfer documentation so that your stamp duty gets paid in time and you become the new owner. This is a service we provide and is added to our Conveyancing fee should if it is necessary.
  • Explain what took place at settlement: When settlement takes place, isn’t it nice to be kept in the loop about what happened at settlement? A Conveyancer or Solicitor should give you the chance to know. And it should be included in their Conveyancing fee, which is exactly what we do!

Sellers

  • Preparation of the Contract of Sale and Vendor’s Statement:* Only Solicitors can do this, not Conveyancers. The good news is that the Conveyancers at ThinkCovneyancing.com.au are Solicitors. We include this service in our Conveyancing fee, so that you don’t pay extra. A Conveyancer who is not a qualified Solicitor will usually have to outsource a Solicitor to prepare the Contract and Vendor’s Statement, which can leave you with a greater out-of-pocket expense.
  • Prepare all necessary Transfer documentation: The bare minimum is not enough, which unfortunately many Conveyancers will do, especially the cheaper. Your Conveyancer or Solicitor should be preparing every bit of settlement documentation necessary to protect you within their Conveyancing fee. Here at ThinkConveyancing.com.au we do our best to ensure no settlement documentation slips through the cracks. We prepare the exact documentation required to be provided at settlement because we understand how important your sale is.
  • Keeping in contact with your lender (if there a mortgage): If you have a mortgage over the property your selling, it is required to me discharged at settlement.great value It is important that the lender receives the appropriate discharge documentation as soon as possible to avoid any unnecessary settlement delays. Not only must the legal documentation we prepare on your behalf be ready for settlement, but you must ensure your lender is also ready to settle on the Settlement Date, if you want to meet your contractual obligation to settle on time. Many Conveyancers unfortunately don’t arrange the discharge with your lender on their client’s behalf. But we do, because we understand that selling a property can be stressful and we want to minimize your stress and inconvenience.Better yet, it is included in our professional fixed Conveyancing fee.
  • Perform up-to-date title search: A title search is important to ensure there are no caveats or other adverse instruments recorded on the title, which should be included in every Conveyancing fee. Every Conveyancer and Solicitor should do this in preparation of the Vendor’s Statement and also just before settlement, to ensure they are protecting your interest as the seller.
  • Explain what took place at settlement: When settlement takes place, isn’t it nice to be kept in the loop about what happened at settlement? A Conveyancer or Solicitor should give you the chance to know. And it should be included in their Conveyancing fee, which is exactly what we do!

2. Clear Fee Structure

When you look at a quote, you want to see exactly how much it will cost you engage the Conveyancer or Solicitor’s services. The fee should give you a breakdown of the services they provide and the quote should make clear what the ‘disbursements’ cost range will be.

explaining conveyancing feesDisbursements are costs that are incurred through third parties on your behalf. For example, aside for the small things like mailing and photocopying, the other most common disbursement cost is performing searches on the property. For buyers, we may need to order a search on water rates, council rates, land tax and title, for instance, to be able to divide the rates between the seller as current owner and you as future owner at settlement. For sellers, if we need to prepare your Vendor’s Statement we have to do the same searches and more to ensure your disclosure requirements about the property are met.

Many Conveyancers and Solicitors provide an exact figure in their quote of how much disbursements will cost. However, it is really difficult to know how much a search will cost before it is ordered. Every Authority, like water and council, charge different amounts for searches, so a Conveyancer or Solicitor cannot be too certain how much it will cost to order a search before it is actually ordered. That is why at ThinkConveyancing.com.au we provide a ‘cost range‘ for disbursements in our quote, and we only charge the cost price for the searches. That means we don’t make any money from them, and only order the what is necessary to protect you.

Note:- For properties in Victoria, NSW and ACT only

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