Bulletin – Saving money by self acting?

Do you save money by self acting?

If you are not a builder or electrician, would you do your own renovations? Possibly not.

A good Conveyancer will make the work look easy and some clients think they overpaid for a seamlessly effortless job.  What most clients don’t see or understand is the knowledge, Practice Management Systems and constant development each law firm does behind the scenes to ensure an effortless process.  There are a number of people who are prepared to do their own conveyancing and there is no law to say they can’t.  What would happen if, a person doing their own conveyancing, misunderstands a document, a clause in the contract or a search result, this misunderstanding could end in expensive and unnecessary litigation and loss. The only person accountable for this misunderstanding would be you.

Another issue to consider is, if a person decides to do their own conveyancing, a dispute occurs (whether it be over contract terms, conditions or references to the Property Law Act) and this person is out of their depth, this person would need to then seek immediate assistance from a Solicitor which will incur additional costs.  All Contracts in Queensland contain important contractual and statutory time limits and if these time limits are not adhered to, the person’s rights may be lost if not exercised within the Contract time limits.

Conveyancing is a process of transferring land from one person/s to another.  In most cases, the parties involved are a Real Estate Agent, the Seller, the Buyer and relevant Solicitors/Conveyancers for Seller/Buyer.  If the buyer is needing finance from a bank to complete the contract or the Seller has an existing mortgage that needs to be paid out at settlement, lenders for both parties may also be involved.

Below is a snapshot of what is involved in the Conveyancing process:

Steps in Conveyancing

1. Preliminaries (usually no solicitor involved at this stage)

  • inspect property
  • negotiate (real estate agent usually acts as an intermediary)
  • make sure defects in the title are disclosed by the seller

2. Formation of contract

  • real estate agent usually draws up the contract

 

* At this time you should engage a Conveyancer/Solicitor to REVIEW the Contract prior to you signing – this ensures you fully understand all terms and conditions contained therein *

  • buyer signs contract, pays deposit and then delivers contract to seller
  • seller signs, and a copy of the contract is provided to the buyer Solicitor (if appointed) and Seller’s Solicitor (if appointed) to commence work
  • buyer usually has a five-business-day cooling-off period (if residential property & not purchased at Auction) which is calculated from the day in which the buyer (and/or their Solicitor) receives a fully signed copy of the Contract
3. Between contract and completion
  • Both Seller and Buyer goes to a solicitor (if a solicitor is being used)
  • buyer or their solicitor investigates the title of the property, undertakes searches with various departments and offer advice regarding the results received to the buyer.
  • Buyer prepares the transfer document for signing by the Seller
  • buyer or their solicitor attends to stamping contract
  • adjustment of outgoings are calculated (Rates, Water, Land Tax, Body Corporate Levies (if a Unit)

4. Completion (or Settlement)

  • the buyer pays balance of purchase moneys and the seller hands over duplicate certificate of title (if there is one), all documents necessary for registration and the keys for the property

5. After Settlement

  • buyer (or their lender if finance is required) attends to registration of transfer, with the buyer becoming the legal owner upon registration
  • notification of the change of ownership is given to the relevant government departments.

Specific issues and considerations arise at each stage of a conveyance. 

 

This bulletin offers general information only and should not be relied upon as legal advice.

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