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The Perils of Cheap Conveyancing

Buying or selling a property is both an important and exciting milestone in anyone’s life. It is also perhaps one of the biggest financial decisions that a person may have to make during the course of their life. So why do people skimp on the necessary legal advice for conveyancing matters? Is it that they underrate the importance of obtaining proper legal advice and the potential problems which can arise from any conveyancing transaction?

What is conveyancing?

Simply put, conveyancing is the process of transferring ownership of a property from one person to another, under the terms of a legally binding contract for the sale of the property. You can complete the conveyancing process yourself (the Queensland Government strongly advises against this) or you can engage the services of a conveyancer or a solicitor. Conveyancer’s and solicitors have the right insurance to protect you if they do something wrong – if you do it yourself you don’t have the same protections.

What is the advantage of having a conveyancer on your side? 

Strictly speaking you don’t need to have a conveyancer to complete the sale or purchase of a property, but it does pay to be correctly informed before you go ahead alone. Shine Lawyers expert conveyancers in Queensland can do a number of things for you. We can:

  • Review and draft contracts
  • Prepare documentation and/or clarify documentation
  • Research the property and conduct searches to ascertain any issues with the property
  • Check for easements and other information you need
  • Put your deposit into a trust account
  • Calculate rates and taxes
  • Liaise with your financier in relation to the provision of funds or the releasing of mortgagees  
  • Conduct the settlement
  • Represent your interests with a real estate agent or vendor

What laws surround property purchases and sales in Queensland? 

Conveyancing laws can be complicated and if you do decide to settle your property purchase or sale without consulting a professional then you will be held legally responsible if anything goes wrong.  

Steps in conveyancing when buying a property

  1. Seeking out a property: Inspect the property and if you want to proceed to the purchase you will need to make an offer on the property and negotiate as needed. (No legal action is needed in the first step)
  2. Contract is drawn up: Usually a real estate agent draws up a contract, the buyer carefully considers the contract and signs it and then the seller also signs the contract. A buyer usually has a five-business-day cooling-off period from signing the contract, but must pay a termination penalty if wanting to terminate in this period. In these circumstances we strongly recommend to all clients that they seek advice on the contract before it is signed.
  3. Between contract and completion: Searches with various departments are conducted, finance arrangements are made with your bank, all necessary transfer documents are prepared and delivered to seller pending the completion of the matter, finally the buyer or their solicitor stamps the contract.
  4. Completion: If search results are satisfactory, the buyer pays the balance of the purchase money to the seller and the seller hands over the transfer documents, any other documents necessary for registration and the keys for the property.
  5. After completion: The buyer (or their lender if finance is required) attends to registration of transfer, with the buyer becoming the legal owner on the title. After this step, notification of the change of ownership is given to the relevant government departments. 

You pay for what you get

Cheap conveyancing firms reduce their fees by skipping important searches, having their clients complete steps of the conveyancing process themselves, omit certain steps all together and use inexperienced or under qualified staff to look after the matter. This may not pose an issue until an error exposes the client to the possibility of a Contract being terminated, being in breach of the Contract and sued for costs and damages or even costly litigation if it becomes necessary to resolve a dispute.

No two conveyancing transactions are the same and an array of legal issues can arise in the course of a transaction. People should look beyond the quotes and consider how important the transaction is before deciding which conveyancer should be handling what is likely to be one of the most important transactions in someone’s life. 

Contact Shine Lawyers

Shine Lawyers conveyancors and solicitors are experts during Queensland property settlement cases and are able to deal with any complex legal problems that can arise during your conveyance. We are able to provide you with peace of mind that your property transfer will be handled with care and in the best interests of your legal rights, under all relevant Queensland laws. Get in touch today to book an appointment.

Written by Shine Lawyers. Last modified: November 14, 2019.

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