When should I talk to a conveyancer?

The earlier the better! You don’t need to wait until you are ready to sign a contract – it makes sense to select your conveyancer as soon as you decide to buy or sell. And never sign anything before you’ve asked for your conveyancer’s advice – it is always better to be safe than sorry!

What should I ask my conveyancer?

It is important that you understand what your conveyancer can, and can’t do for you. It is also important that you explain very clearly your position and your requirements. AIC members are encouraged to always use plain English, not complicated legal terms, so you understand exactly what is happening. You also need to tell your conveyancer of anything that may impact on the transaction. If you have severe financial restrictions, tight time limits, or any other specific concerns or special requirements, be sure you explain this at the very beginning. Nobody wants surprises or misunderstandings to ruin your transaction.

Here are a few questions you may like to ask a conveyancer:

  • Are you legally qualified? What are your qualifications?
  • What’s the maximum I can expect to pay in fees and charges?
  • What are your fees and what services are included in those fees?
  • What will any additional services cost?.
  • What government fees and charges will I need to pay?
  • How long will settlement take? and
  • How will you keep me up to date with what’s happening?

 So what do conveyancers charge?

Any real estate transaction is a complicated process with many costs involved. One of these will be the fees paid to your conveyancer.

You should talk to your conveyancer about all the costs in your transaction including the conveyancing fees – none of us like surprises!

As a professional body, the AIC does not set or regulate the fees charged by our members. Conveyancers have expert skills to complete your transaction effectively and efficiently; their fees reflect their professionalism and the complexity of your transaction. Whatever the fee, remember you are buying peace of mind.

Remember, your conveyancer is working for you and is as important to your financial future as your bank manager or your accountant.

Your conveyancer will:

  • Protect your interests;
  • Be your advocate;
  • Keep you informed at every step; and
  • Ensure you can exercise your rights and meet your responsibilities.

All transactions are not the same. Sometimes a transaction requires additional work that was not foreseeable at the outset. A conveyancer is entitled to charge additional fees for additional work. If seeking a quote for fees, you should always ask ‘What is included in this fee?’ and ‘What services will attract an extra fee and how will that fee be calculated?’. You should also ask your conveyancer to notify you if it becomes clear additional work is required.

Should the buyer and seller use the same conveyancer?

It is quite legal to use the same conveyancer and can often appear convenient to do so. However, this can create a conflict of interest in some cases. Remember that your conveyancer is there to work for you and be your advocate, not just stamp some forms and fill in the blanks. A conveyancer acting for both buyer and seller must cease to act if a conflict of interest arises. It is generally impossible to predict when this may happen. 


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