Conveyancing is the legal transfer of a property’s title from the seller to the buyer. It is important that buyers research who they wish to use for conveyancing when they have a Contract of Sale on a property.
The REIQ recommends the use of a qualified solicitor to undertake the conveyancing process.
Using a solicitor is important as they understand the laws and procedures involved with facilitating a property transfer including, payment of stamp duty, conducting searches and attending to mortgage related matters. Using a solicitor who understands the process provides peace of mind when making what may be the largest single financial transaction of your life.
Costs associated with conveyancing include title searches, transfer duty, registration fees and solicitor’s professional fees.
Searches undertaken as part of the conveyancing process will usually include zoning, rates and outgoings and body corporates record searches where the property is a unit.
Local government searches have become important in the conveyancing process to determine how an area will develop in the years to come. They ensure major changes like new freeways and major road upgrades are not planned for the backyard of the property you are purchasing.
Searches for zoning and titles can also determine whether the property has any restrictions such as adverse planning, demolition orders, outstanding taxes or encumbrances on the title (for example, easements or caveats).
Most of these searches are standard in the conveyancing process but are often overlooked when buyers elect to do the conveyancing themselves.
It is important to understand the different roles that real estate agents and solicitors play in a residential real estate transaction.
A real estate agent, as the agent of the seller not the buyer, is responsible for obtaining the best possible price and contractual terms for the seller. The agent will receive a commission from the seller when the property is sold.
A solicitor will advise on the fairness of the proposed contract and whether or not to sign the contract as it stands. A solicitor may also suggest the inclusion of special conditions in the contract.
The REIQ always recommends that buyers contact the Queensland Law Society for details of qualified solicitors to conduct the conveyancing for their property purchase.
By REIQ chairman Pamela Bennett