Can I Do My Own Conveyancing?

Conveyancing is the legal process of transferring property from a previous owner to the new one. Conveyancers are typically involved with both the buying and selling of property. Professional conveyancers oversee the documentation process and ensure that their clients meet all legal requirements throughout the transactions. States and territories generally have their own conveyancing processes and requirements, so hiring a solicitor may be in your best interest. Legal fees can vary significantly, but conveyancing costs in Brisbane, for example, often range from $500-$1,300.

For those interested in handling conveyancing themselves, it is possible, but it’s often only recommended for the simplest of transactions, such as a straight-forward cash purchase of a property. If a mortgage is in the mix, then it’s likely the bank will insist on enlisting a professional conveyancer to protect their interests, and trying to take on a non-standard purchase will also make things more complicated. You also need to bear in mind that you’ll be personally responsible for any mistakes made during your own conveyancing. If you are still comfortable with the idea, you’ll need to understand a conveyancer’s role and what you’ll be undertaking.

Research

Your initial steps will mostly involve research and document review. The seller will almost certainly have a professional conveyancer on their side, so you’ll need to get their contact information and start going over the draft contract they’ll send you. You can’t expect the seller’s conveyancer to help you, so you’ll need to be familiar with the legal jargon yourself or consult legal texts. The seller’s conveyancer will also likely send the seller’s title for the property as well as a property information form.

It’s important that you thoroughly check the seller’s land title, as these can sometimes get complex. This will ensure that the property on offer is the same you intended to purchase, and title documentation should also include a detailed plan of the property. If the title lists proprietors other than the seller, you’ll need to look into why that is.

While you’re getting the initial documentation in order, it may also be worthwhile to perform a property search. This can help you find information that may not have been included in the documentation, which can be useful for determining the reason behind the sell. It may also help you negotiate a better price.

Contract exchange

Once you believe the title and all other documents are in order and you’re satisfied with your knowledge of the property, you can arrange a completion date. This is when the property will be handed over to you. You and the seller will each sign a copy of the contract, and you’ll likely be required to pay a deposit on the property to be held until the exchange is complete. You’ll most likely need to do this in a meeting with the seller’s conveyancer since, generally speaking, only legal professionals are allowed to make exchanges over the phone.

Before the sale is finalized, you’ll need to make sure the contract provided to you by the seller is the same as the one you signed. You may also need to draft a land registry transfer document if the seller’s conveyancer hasn’t done so. You may choose to complete the final purchase in person, although it can often be done through the mail.

Is it worth it?

While doing your own conveyancing is certainly possible, the hours and research involved may not make it worthwhile for many. Even for those low on additional funds, taking out a payday loan online could save a great deal of hassle. It’s also important to note that you’ll only save the fee of initially hiring a conveyancer. You’ll still be responsible for search fees or any other costs that arise during the conveyancing process.

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