Buying and selling property is an expensive exercise, even without rising values to contend with. If you’re buying, the major additional cost to consider is stamp duty, if you’re selling it’s agent’s fees, and in both cases there is conveyancing costs to consider. So let’s look at ways to save money on your conveyancing.
What is conveyancing?
Essentially, property conveyancing is the transfer of the Certificate of Title from vendor to buyer and is usually undertaken by a solicitor or specialist conveyancer. The process is intended to ensure that all details of the transaction are correct for both vendor and buyer and any outstanding amounts for items such as council rates, taxes and levies will be paid on settlement. Charges for this service can range from $500 up to $2000 and beyond if there is a lot of correspondence involved between the solicitors or conveyancers on either side of the property transaction.
Shop around for the best set fee
One of the ways to save money on your conveyancing is to shop around. Many solicitors and conveyancers offer a set price deal on conveyancing, so you can compare set fees in your local area. By going with a set fee you also ensure that costs won’t blow out and you know exactly how much you will be up for.
DIY conveyancing – is it for you?
The other alternative way to save money on your conveyancing is to do it yourself. The process involves undertaking various legal searches which can be time-consuming so be sure you have the time required before you tackle DIY conveyancing. There will also be costs involved in the legal searches so expect to spend a couple of hundred dollars all up for these.
It’s also advisable to buy a DIY conveyancing kit (which can cost up to $100) from your local newsagent or online so you know exactly how to go about it, step by step. Be sure to purchase the right kit for the State you are buying or selling a property in.
The most important thing to remember when doing your own conveyancing is to keep records of everything. Ensure all correspondence is in writing (which includes fax and email), that you keep copies of all correspondence and that you record every action, including telephone calls, in a diary.
There are risks involved in doing your own conveyancing, and unlike a solicitor or conveyancer you will not be covered by professional indemnity insurance should things go pear-shaped. However, many people successfully tackle the process themselves.
If you have the time, are comfortable dealing with legal documents and terminology and feel confident dealing with local councils, government departments and banks then DIY conveyancing may well be right for you and the best way to save money on your conveyancing.