THE GUIDE TO BUYING A HOME
Step 7 – Find a Conveyancer/Solicitor
Before you make an offer, it is a good idea to appoint a solicitor or conveyancer to help you with the conveyancing process. Conveyancing is the process where a property is transferred from one party to another and is generally done by a solicitor or conveyancer, although some people do it themselves (DIY).
Solicitors can provide you with a wide range of legal advice in addition to your conveyancing needs and are generally the most qualified people to give you advice. However they do tend to cost more and you can expect to pay anything from $400 to upwards of $1,500, depending on the circumstances of your particular property transaction.
Conveyancers are licensed to provide the same conveyancing services as solicitors, but can only give legal advice relating to property. They are usually cheaper than solicitors, with their charges ranging from $600 to $1,000 (although their costs will vary depending on the circumstances of your particular property transaction).
For those who like to be ‘hands on’ there are DIY conveyancing kits on the market that are suitable for both buying and selling a home, and for auction and private treaty sales. These kits provide a step-by-step guide to conveyancing, and some offer a telephone support service to assist you. You can save money by doing it this way, but if you need legal advice it won’t be available (unless you appoint a solicitor or conveyancer). DIY conveyancing kits range from about $90 to $150.
Check contract of sale
Once you have selected your conveyancer or solicitor, ask your real estate agent for a copy of the contract of sale and have them review the document.
A contract of sale is a legal contract that usually includes:
- Details of the property for sale and its inclusions
- A copy of the certificate of title to the property
- A zoning certificate from the local council
- A sewerage diagram
- Copies of documents relating to other registered interests over the property settlement details
The contract of sale involves the exchange of a property from the vendor to the purchaser for an agreed upon value in money.
Your solicitor/conveyancer will explain the contract to you and may recommend some changes that need to be made to the contract. They will also highlight the risks associated with signing the contract.