Ownit’s Guide to Conveyancing Fees
Buying a house is one of life’s most exciting milestones, but trying to navigate the settlement process can be a daunting experience.
Property purchases are a huge financial commitment with lots of complicated legal documents and administrative tasks to complete before you actually get to pick up the keys.
You may not have considered all the costs involved on top of the purchase price when looking for a place to call your own. These include stamp duty and other government fees, building and pest inspections, mortgage registration, as well as the expense of hiring a licensed conveyancer to manage the property settlement.
Conveyancing is a critical step when purchasing a property to ensure that the transaction is done correctly, but how much should you be paying for conveyancing services? Every transaction is different and the level of legal work required often depends on the property value, type, location, and ownership structure.
Ownit’s guide to conveyancing fees will help you understand exactly what the conveyancing process involves and how the average conveyancing costs vary so you can make an informed decision when buying or selling property.
What is conveyancing?
Conveyancing is the legal and statutory process of transferring ownership of any property from one person to another. On the surface this may appear simple, but most buyers and sellers do not realise the full amount of detail, documentation and work that goes into property transactions. Property law is complex and even a simple mistake when transferring property can have expensive consequences.
A conveyancer is a licensed professional who specialises in advising property owners and buyers throughout the settlement process. Whereas a real estate agent can help you find your dream home or get the best sale price, conveyancers are experts in the legal side of the property industry. Their main responsibilities are to prepare the necessary transfer documents and conduct vital searches on the property.
Many solicitors also practice as conveyancers and anyone acting in the role must hold a conveyancing licence. Your conveyancer will advise you of what is required by state and federal law and deal with any issues that may arise. Whether you are buying or selling property, conveyancers can manage the long and complicated process on your behalf while ensuring that your interests are fully protected.
How much does conveyancing cost?
There is no standard fee for conveyancing services. The cost can be anywhere from $400 to as much as $2500 depending on the complexity of the title transfer as well as the price, location, and type of property involved. Sydney has the highest average conveyancing fees in Australia at $700 to $1800 while you can expect to pay around $500 to $1600 for conveyancing in Brisbane and Melbourne.
Those estimates are for a professional conveyancer to review your contract, perform the necessary searches, and draft settlement documents. Sometimes a transaction requires additional work that was not foreseeable at the outset which means the conveyancer may charge more. The unique condition and circumstances of your property also directly affect how much you’ll have to pay your conveyancer.
Conveyancing is a complicated process and choosing the right provider will make all the difference to the overall expense. An experienced conveyancer will give you an accurate assessment about the costs involved for the particular property you want to buy or sell. At Ownit, we can provide a free, no obligation quote so you have a clear understanding of the conveyancing costs and the services we offer.
What services are included in the conveyancing fees?
Hefty work is often required towards completing property ownership transfers — all of which is covered by the conveyancing fee. Your conveyancer is responsible for the important legal tasks when you are buying or selling property, such as reviewing the contract of sale, preparing legal documents, and conducting the relevant searches.
What is fixed fee conveyancing?
Conveyancing prices are generally based on how much work is required for a secure property transfer. Some conveyancers charge an hourly rate while any additional services cost more which can make it tough to set a clear budget. Fixed price conveyancing is a pre-agreed cost for the work on a particular conveyancing case.
With a fixed fee quote, the conveyancer will provide upfront costs to conduct vital searches for your property and assist you with the relevant legal requirements. You won’t be hit with any hidden charges at settlement because you will already have a full breakdown of the search fees, disbursement costs, and professional expenses.
It will typically be more cost-effective for you to choose a flat fee quote instead of an hourly fee quote. The only additional costs with fixed price conveyancing will be specific extras that are requested or needed by the client. A fixed fee conveyancer has it in their best interests to handle any property dealings as expertly and efficiently as possible.
Flat fee conveyancing helps to make the process more transparent. Ownit offers our clients a fixed fee guarantee with no hidden extras from the start to the completion of your property transaction. Once we tell you the cost, that’s the price you’ll pay for our professional services with any disbursements included alongside the fixed fee.
Ownit does not charge extra conveyancing fees for:
- Conducting council and property searches
- photocopying, phone calls, faxes, postage or sundries
- advising on any mortgage you may enter into
- arranging the release of any mortgage you may have over your property
- arranging any extension or variation of the final settlement date
- any unusual complexities which may arise
Who pays the conveyancing fee?
Both the buyer and seller have to pay their own fees for a professional conveyancer to represent them during a property transfer. The conveyancers will deal directly with each other to protect the interests of their respective clients, however each side of the transaction will incur different expenses as the conveyancing work is different.
For example, a buyer in Brisbane could expect to pay around $1,000 to $1,500 in conveyancing charges whereas the seller for the same property may only pay $450 to $600. Conveyance fees for buying a house are usually much higher because there are more tasks which require their expertise before settlement can proceed.
Can I save on fees by doing my own conveyancing?
You have the choice of hiring a professional conveyancer or managing the process yourself when buying or selling property. DIY conveyancing kits cost around $50 to $200 which makes them the cheapest option. The kit will include all the relevant forms and instructions to complete the legal side of your property transaction.
Conveyancing kits might make the process sound easy, but successfully managing all the necessary steps and documents still requires an understanding of property law. If your particular property transfer is complicated or you find the legal terms confusing then using a DIY kit could be a waste of time and money.
By doing your own conveyancing, you also take on the responsibility for any mistakes, such as missing a contract deadline or failing to make appropriate adjustments at settlement. You may end up needing professional legal advice that includes fees much higher than the conveyancing fees you sought to avoid.
Using a licensed conveyancer is the best way to ensure there are no expensive complications. Conveyancers are experienced in all the legal processes which means they are more likely to spot any irregularities that need attention. You’ll also be covered by their professional indemnity insurance should they make a mistake.
Where can I find low cost conveyancing services?
The professionals at Ownit have been offering the best value property conveyancing services in Queensland and Victoria for more than 40 years with our low, fixed rate guarantee. We have an experienced legal team to guide you through every step of your property purchase, ensuring seamless and stress free conveyancing.
We take pride in our exceptional customer service with low cost conveyancing solutions in Gold Coast, Brisbane, Logan, Ipswich, Springfield and surrounding areas in Queensland, as well as Melbourne, Geelong and all areas in Victoria.
Many things can go wrong with property transactions. If it does, you need to know that you are in the care of a quality law firm with affordable conveyancing services. No matter your circumstances, our team is equipped with the right knowledge and expertise to provide professional support. Contact us today for a FREE quote!