Buying and selling a property is a stressful time for anyone and ensuring you hire the right conveyancer is important. These should be the experienced and licensed practitioners who will advise you on real estate legislation and support you by preparing the relevant documentation needed to complete a successful transaction. If this is the first time you have needed to hire a conveyancer, then make sure you carry out the following five checks to ensure you pick the right person for your conveyancing work.
1. When do you need to hire a conveyancer?
This very much depends on the real estate legislation in your state or territory. For example, in Victoria, you have to hire a conveyancer before you are able to put the property on the market. With a wide range of conveyancers in Melbourne and the surrounding cities in Victoria, it is strongly recommended that you do your research before selecting.
The same applies if living in New South Wales but for Queenslanders and those wishing to sell in Western Australia, a conveyancer is not required until you have accepted an offer on the property. Getting the timeline correct is going to be important, otherwise it could hold up the transaction process.
2. Are they licensed?
For anyone who practises as a conveyancer in Victoria, they have to be registered with the state appointed organisation which is Consumer Affairs Victoria. Conveyancing legislation is a complex process and qualified professionals who are registered to practice in your state will be happy to provide evidence of their credentials. They also understand the importance of communication with their clients through what can be a confusing system and will be prepared to guide you every step of the way.
3. Are they insured and do they provide a breakdown of their fees?
As with any professional sector, conveyancers should hold professional indemnity insurance. In fact, in order to be registered or licensed to practice, they should provide evidence of insurance. They should also transparent and be able to provide you with a full breakdown of costs. You should check if they charge a percentage of the value of the property or if they charge fixed fees as you will need to factor this into your budget.
4. Can they provide references?
Checking out independent references is very important. You can ask to be referred to other clients or ask around family and friends who have recently gone through a similar process. If close friends of family members have had a positive experience with a conveyancer, this will give you a better idea of the service and support you can expect to receive as well. Conveyancers local to the area are also going to have local knowledge and these links and expertise will give them an advantage over the “out of town” corporations and may well speed up the transaction process.
5. Have you got written quotes?
Professional conveyancing firms will be more than happy to provide you with written quotes, and this is one of the areas of advice that Consumer Affairs Victoria recommend before settling on your choice of conveyancer. Budgets are going to be tight when juggling selling and buying property and you need to review all the costs to ensure you get best value. This is not to say that cheapest is best, in fact you should beware of a price that is significantly lower than the others you have received and make sure all the other assessments you have made, check out.
Choosing the right conveyancer is going to be one of the most important steps you take when you first venture out on the property buying journey. Get it right and they can take on the additional stress, allowing you to focus on the more important task of moving into to your new home or business venture.