Property Conveyancer – What you need to know

No matter how you plan to sell your house, whether you will be using an agent or saving the commissions by doing it yourself through a company like buyMyplace, all vendors and buyers should engage a lawyer or property conveyancer, to manage all the legal work, con-tract of sale, and ensure all the title deeds and other government certification is in order.

You don’t legally have to engage a property conveyancer, but understanding the specifics of property law can be tricky for the average person, and unless you are lawyer, it’s not a job for the faint hearted.

In most states, except Victoria, if you are selling a property, you must have your contract of sale in order before you even list it for sale, which means a property conveyancer or solicitor should be selected before you contemplate placing your for sale ads online! In Victoria, you can list your property before you engage a property conveyancer, but it’s sensible to be ready beforehand so as not to delay the property sale/transaction if you get buyer interest early after listing.

If you are the vendor, your property conveyancer ensures all the legal documents are complete and correct and they will act as your representative for requests from the buyer to change any contract terms, extend or reduce deadlines and have the answers to questions about title (They need to have all the documents to confirm it is your property you are selling).

They also manage the trust funds where the deposit money is held between exchange of contract and settlement in any house sale.

Whether you are a vendor or a buyer, there’s a role for conveyancing.

A buyer’s conveyancer is also busy and prepares, checks and lodges legal documents such as the contract of sale and memorandum of transfer, researches certificates of title and easements or other information that may need clarification. They also deposit the money in the trust account, calculates outstanding rates and taxes and settle the property with the vendor’s conveyancer/solicitor.

Choosing the right person for the job can be the challenge and the best way to find a property conveyancer is word of mouth, so ask your friends and family if they recommend any they really like (or even any they thought were not so good, so you can avoid them).

You also need to decide if you need a property conveyancer or a solicitor – Conveyancers are great for straightforward sales, but solicitors can be useful where there may be some complexity with the sale, such as being part of a divorce settlement.

On the flip-side, property conveyancers can be more cost effective than solicitors.

If you choose to sell through buyMyplace, we can also help you find a property conveyancer through our partner My Place Conveyancing.

Before you appoint a property conveyancer, there’s a few questions you can ask them to make sure they are professional and suit your home sale and budget.

  • Make sure they are a member of the Australian Institute of Conveyancers.
  • Check they have experience in the type of property you are trying to sell.
  • Understand the costs and payment structure.
  • Be very clear you know how much will you need to pay them at settlement.
  • What time frames do they work to on settlement day? Bear in mind this day can be hectic as you try to move out and a new owner moves in. Mid-morning to early after-noon generally works for all parties.
  • Find out if they will keep you abreast of progress every step of the way through tele-phone and email, or if they will only contact you if there’s a problem (different people prefer different styles of communication)

Above all as your property conveyancer is acting on your behalf, it is vital you trust them and have a good line of communication, so don’t just choose the cheapest. Choose the best one for your needs.

Paul Heath

Paul Heath

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