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2.50%
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Do I Need a Conveyancer or Solicitor to Buy and Sell Property?

Man considers conveyancer or solicitor in selling property

Choosing to buy or sell property is a major decision. Once you have decided to move forward with a real estate transaction, you will become involved with the process of conveyancing. You then have a choice to make: either conduct the conveyancing by yourself, or get the assistance of an experienced conveyancer or solicitor. Before making this decision, it's a good idea to look carefully at the factors involved.

Both buyers and sellers will also need to decide whether to use a conveyancer, a solicitor, or whether to take care of conveyancing on their own. The following factors should be weighed as you make this decision:

The Cost of D-I-Y Conveyancing vs Using a Professional

It’s possible to take on the conveyancing process with the use of a D-I-Y Conveyancing Kit. These kits detail all of the steps that you must undertake in order to complete the real estate transaction. They also include most of the documents you need to fill out and submit. A D-I-Y kit generally costs somewhere between $80 and $150 while using a conveyancer or solicitor will cost more (anywhere from $500-$1500).

The Time You'll Spend Conveyancing

Although doing the conveyancing on your own will certainly save you a few hundred dollars, on the other hand it will take up a great deal of your time. It will take you far longer than it would an experienced conveyancer or solicitor, because all of the terminology and procedures will be new to you. Furthermore, if any problems come up you will need to be able to attend to them in an accurate and speedy manner.

Given that buying and selling a property is a major transaction; if you’re talking about an asset that costs six figures, you’ll want to think carefully about whether it’s worth taking the risk of doing conveyancing yourself simply to save a few hundred dollars. This is the same logic that informs most sellers’ choice to work with a real estate agent rather than selling on their own. Although they may save on commission fees, using an experienced real estate agent can increase the chances of a high return on investment.

The Transaction’s Complexity

Another factor to consider is whether or not you expect your sale or purchase to be complicated. If there are special conditions included, or the case is bound to be less than straightforward, it makes sense to hire a conveyancer or solicitor. Complications arise for a number of different unforseen reasons, but could be due to things like working with banks, or restrictions on the property, or complications with the council, for example.

Access to Information

Part of the conveyancing process involves property or title searches. Professional conveyancers or solicitors tend to subscribe to the type of property information services that allow them to perform these searches more effectively. It’s important to have access to information pertaining to the property, including road access, planning restrictions, zoning regulations and council rates or notices. If you don’t have access to these information services, you will need to physically contact each individual regulator to access the information you need. This costs money and requires more of your time. A conveyancer or solicitor can streamline the search using their professional access and can receive the information, in most cases, within five business days.

Professional Experience and Know-how

Ultimately, you will be paying the solicitor or conveyancer for their professional experience. They will have already gone through hundreds or even thousands of conveyancing transactions and will know exactly what needs to be taken care of in your case.. Without experience reading and preparing contracts or performing the relevant searches, it can be quite difficult to interpret results. Perhaps, most importantly, you won’t know what the common risks of conveyancing are or how to prevent them from hindering your transaction.

By taking the time to weigh the factors listed above, you can make your decision. The choice of whether to do the conveyancing yourself or hire a professional will depend on your budget, experience, motivation and the time you have on your hands. Conveyancing is similar to any other service, such as painting, D-I-Y or fixing a car. Although you can do it yourself, the quality of work and time are important factors to consider.
2.50%
is the average sales commission charged by real estate agents in Australia. In your area, it's...
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