Conveyancing is an area that many people have been through, but one which many people really don’t truly understand the complexities of. At first glance it seems that all that happens is that you pay a lawyer a fee to deliver your offer to the seller, and then checks here and there to make sure the property is above board, before telling you it is ready to be settled, leaving many wondering why something so simple took so long, and cost so much. The truth of the matter is that conveyancing isn’t a simple process at all. If it were many people would opt to do it themselves, and mortgage companies would not insist it be done professionally, before they agree to lend you the money.
What Exactly is Conveyancing
Conveyancing in a nutshell, is the process involved in transferring legal ownership of a title of land or property, from one individual, or company to another. It is made of three separate stages, being pre-contract, when the offer goes in, pre-completion, where due process ensures that everything is completely legitimate, and post-completion, often referred to as the final settlement. The initial stage requires a number of forms to be filled out, which might be tempting to deal with yourself, to try to save a few hundred dollars. A single mistake however, could prove horribly expensive and even trying is inadvisable. When done by a professional, if they get something wrong, their professional indemnity insurance will at least ensure you are not going to lose any money.
The Conveyancer for the Buyer
Often a lawyer, though sometimes a specialist company, like Jim’s conveyancing services, for the buyer, they will prepare the contract, research the property and its title, to search for any potential problems, identifying any restrictions on the property, or loans that may be held against it. They will lodge the deposit in a trust account, calculate taxes and duties, represent your interests with the vendor or his agent and once all is complete, assist with the final transactions. This might sound fairly straightforward, but involves meticulous and precise methodology, without the option for a single error.
For the Vendor
The work involved for the seller is a far simpler process, having simply to deal with the agent of the buyer, to represent his interests, and to provide any details or information requested. They also are responsible for completing their own set of documents relating to the sale, which again are a potential minefield and of necessity must be entirely error free.
Finding a Good Conveyancer
As with any industry there are good firms, mediocre ones and those to be avoided, so don’t automatically use the first one you hear of. Check with family, friends and work associates to find a potential shortlist. A few useful questions to ask are firstly if they are a member of the Australian Institute of conveyancers, if they specialise in particular properties, like residential or commercial, and to identify exactly what their fees are going to be.
Ask how long they think it will take and how often they are likely to be in communication with you, as it is better to be harassed to get things done swiftly, rather than have to be proactive in identifying when you need to take action.