One of the most common questions we get when clients are purchasing a property is when to engage a conveyancer or solicitor.

We think that it is good practice to choose your conveyancer before you sign any purchase contract – that way they can review your contract before you sign or enter any cooling off period.  It also means, where time is of the essence, they have the maximum time available to act for you.

Choosing a conveyancer if you don’t have one already can be a little daunting.  Check with friends and family who have bought or sold properties for their recommendations, or ask your real estate agent or mortgage planner who will likely have suggestions for you.

Our recommendation would be to ensure that you can actually speak to the person who will manage your file, so they can understand what your transaction is about.

We would encourage you to be very clear with your conveyancer about the details of your purchase, and ensure they know who is looking after your finance – that way if there are any questions or issues, they can speak directly with us (your mortgage planner) and vice versa.

Your conveyancer should provide you with a clear cost for their service and a list of searches that can be completed on the property.  What searches are appropriate will depend on the type of property you are buying, the location and what you plan to you the property for.  Common searches completed for residential properties cover things such as potential heritage issues, proposed government plans like road or rail corridors, mortgages or caveats on the title and easements.  If you are unsure what is appropriate, always ask.

There are various costs involved in a purchase: stamp duties, titles office fees and registration fees that differ from state to state, and on what basis you are buying (to occupy or invest).  Your conveyancer will quote these to you early on, so you can ensure with your broker that you will have sufficient funds on settlement day to complete the purchase.

The conveyancer will draw up transfer documents for you to sign – this allows for the property ownership to be transferred to your name.  They will also arrange appropriate state revenue documents for your signature.

The conveyancer will also monitor and action key dates in the contract – the cooling off period, pest and building inspections, exchanges, finance approvals and of course the settlement itself.  They are also the point of contact if for some reason an extension is required – they speak to the seller’s conveyancer on your behalf to request any changes.

Just prior to settlement day, your conveyancer will obtain from the bank the money available at settlement, and advise you of any remaining funds required by you.  These funds will need to be transferred to the conveyancers trust account, we recommend you do this at least three business days prior to settlement where possible.

On settlement day, they arrange the handover of transfer documents, mortgages and funds.  They then confirm completion, and you can pick up your keys!