by Neil King

31 January 2023 / 5 min read

How much does conveyancing cost?

Managing the legal requirements of selling a property can be complicated without professional assistance. Hiring a conveyancer or solicitor, while optional in some states, can simplify the process. Conveyancer fees can vary, with simple property sales costing around $450 to $1000 and more complex or larger sales potentially reaching $2,200. Like real estate commission fees, it's essential to negotiate the conveyancer's fee at the beginning of the process. Understanding the role and responsibilities of a conveyancer can give homeowners a better understanding of the cost involved.

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What is conveyancing?

Conveyancing is the legal process of transferring property ownership from one person to another. This involves preparing, executing, and submitting the necessary legal documents to make the sale official and valid. It's common for both the buyer and seller to have their own conveyancer to handle their side of the legal paperwork.

If you’re a homeowner looking to sell, a conveyancer can assist with the following:

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    Preparation of legal documents and ensuring any requested conditions are included.

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    Title and planning searches to go into your final statement, ensuring compliance with local laws and regulations regarding disclosure.

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    Managing the settlement process to confirm the sale is legally valid.

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    Arranging a land survey to verify the property’s boundary lines are correct.

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    Checking with the local council to ensure the property complies with building regulations.

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    Representing the vendor in negotiations with the buyer and acting as a liaison between you and the buyer’s solicitor.

The process typically includes three phases: preparation of the sale contract, exchange of contracts, and completion.

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The process typically includes three phases: preparation of the sale contract, exchange of contracts, and completion.

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Preparation of Sale Contract:

A conveyancer begins by drafting and finalising the sale contract, which outlines the terms and conditions of the sale, including the purchase price, any contingencies, and the closing date. The conveyancer will also conduct a title search and prepare a certificate of title, which verifies the property’s legal ownership. Other tasks that may be performed during this phase include ordering a land survey or a pest inspection.

Exchange of Contracts:

This phase involves signing the sale contract by both the buyer and the seller. Once the contracts are signed, the sale becomes legally binding, and both parties are committed to the transaction. The buyer is usually required to pay a deposit at this stage, typically held in a trust account until settlement.

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Signing a contract
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This is the final transfer of the property from the seller to the buyer. The conveyancer will handle the transfer of the title, arrange for the payment of any outstanding bills and taxes, and ensure that any necessary documents are filed with the appropriate authorities. On the completion day, the remaining balance of the purchase price is paid, and the keys are handed over to the new owner.

Do you need to hire a conveyancer?

Whether hiring a conveyancer is mandatory to sell your home depends on the different conveyancing laws and regulations in each state and territory. For the most part, conveyancing of your property can be done yourself, using DIY kits like in NSW, QLD and VIC or through government-provided websites. Only in WA and TAS is it a legal obligation for a professional to look over the conveyancing of your property. And while a person can handle their documentation in the NT, they will be responsible for all expenses and ineligible for insurance. How you approach the sale of your property is up to you as long as it follows the state’s law. Still, a professional has more experience and a deeper understanding of the legal documents and legislation necessary to sell your home. Most importantly, ensure you conduct research when deciding whether to hire a professional for your conveyancing.

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