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When Do I Need a Conveyancer?

If you're on the look-out for a new home, wanting to sell your place, or re-mortgage your current property, you may have been encouraged to enlist the help of a conveyancer. However, you might find yourself asking what it is that a conveyancer does and why you need their help.

Whether you’re considering selling, buying or re-mortgaging a property, it’s likely that somewhere down the track you’ll be advised to look into hiring a conveyancer. 

While you aren’t legally required to use the services of a conveyancer, many Australians choose to engage a conveyancer when buying, selling or re-mortgaging a property because they are licensed professionals who know all the ins-and-outs of real estate law, and will pick up things that the average house hunter might miss. Most importantly, a conveyancer will protect the rights of their client, while ensuring that they meet any of their legal obligations throughout the property transaction. 

So, when should you consider a conveyancer, and why? 

Do I Need a Conveyancer to Sell a House? 

When selling a house, we recommend employing the help of a conveyancer or solicitor. They can assist in the preparation of the Contract of Sale for the property you’re selling and can also help negotiate the terms and conditions of the sale with the purchaser. 

Do I Need a Conveyancer to Purchase a Property? 

When you make the decision to buy a property, any debt or negative interest on the property will be transferred into your name upon settlement. 

When purchasing a property, a conveyancer’s job is to protect your rights by making relevant enquiries and adjustments upon settlement. In an event where there is debt on the property, your conveyancer will prepare the statement of adjustment to ensure that you aren’t left to inherit any debts as the buyer. 

A conveyancer can also assist with: 

Structural Integrity

Ensuring that your new home is safe and structurally sound. 

Investigating Risks 

Evaluating if the property and land is at risk of bushfires, flooding and other natural disasters. 

Pre-Existing Pest Problems

Determining if there are any existing problems with insects and termites before you make your offer on the property.

Title Searches 

Confirming whether there are any existing liabilities or debts on the property, and ensuring that the property belongs to the seller. 

Clarifying Future Development 

Checking with the local authorities to see whether or not there are future plans to develop the area (such as building an apartment block, constructing a freeway etc.,). 

When purchasing a property without a conveyancer, you run the risk of overlooking the finer details and could be hit by surprise costs down the track!                                                                                                                                     

Confirming the Areas Your Conveyancer Operates In

Some conveyancers may only have the right to work on property purchases within certain states. Regardless of what state you are buying your property within, we recommend ensuring that your conveyancer is able to work within the state of your property purchase to ensure they are familiar with the state’s stamp duty, procedures and laws. If not, they may be unable to legally assist you. 

Do I Need a Conveyancer for a Re-mortgage? 

Generally, a refinance or restructure of any existing debt will not require the services of a conveyancer, but many homeowners look to conveyancers for additional support. In a re-mortgaging situation, a conveyancer may be able to assist with small things, such as completing a Title Search on the property in order to confirm the exact ownership details. 

Organising Your Property Advice Team 

Before entering a property transaction, we recommend that you have an established Property Advice Team. This team can consist of: 

Your Accountant

Your accountant will help to ensure you have your financials ready and in the best state to support your finance goals. Along with your accountant, you may also choose to consult your financial planner or wealth advisor to confirm that the structure of the proposed purchase aligns with your future goals and personal financial situation. 

Your Finance Broker 

Your finance broker can help to secure any additional funds you need in order to complete the purchase (in addition to your deposit). 

Your Insurance Advisor 

Your insurance advisor will take your unique situation into account in order to recommend the best possible insurance for your house and its contents. You may also wish to assess your income protection and life insurance cover at this time, given that you are likely taking on a large financial debt that could be greatly impacted by the inability to receive an income.

Your Conveyancer 

Your conveyancer will assist in ensuring that the contract of sale is safe. They will also help to ensure that your property is transferred into the appropriate legal name, both legally and seamlessly. Nowadays, this process is done online via the PEXA system, which is only accessible by a conveyancer or solicitor.

It’s important to remember that while you have no legal obligation to use a conveyancer, they will ensure you adhere to property ownership and real estate laws. Failing to adhere to those laws could lead to a loss of your home and deposit. 

Please note that the information we have provided above is general in nature and should not be taken as advice. To obtain advice, or to kickstart your property journey, we recommend getting in touch with our Melbourne-based Finance Team. Our expert property team can help put you on the right track with a free, no-obligation consultation. 

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