Do I Need a Conveyancer to Buy a House?

You’ve spotted your dream home and can’t wait to get your name on that title deed. 

But did you know that owning a home could turn into your worst nightmare if you don’t have the right information and property ownership skills?

When buying a house or any real estate property in New South Wales, you must understand the property ownership laws and know how to invoke them in your contractual engagement. 

If you’re house buying, you need a conveyancer to help you understand the dynamics in the process and prepare the legal documents you need to own your dream house. 

Hiring a property conveyancer saves you the hassle of dealing with rogue property agents and brings you closer to owning a house.

So, in regard to the question “Do I need a conveyancer to buy a house?”, the answer is, “Yes!”.

Here’s why.

Why You Need a Conveyancer When Buying Property

Your real estate agent may have found the perfect house for you, but you need more than a friendly offer to make it yours. 

A conveyancer gives you legal advice and helps you understand property contracts, especially if this is the first time you’re buying a house

Here are some of the benefits of hiring a professional conveyancer. 

Get Help Writing the Legal Documents

Who knew owning a house could involve so much work and shuffling this many papers and legal documents? 

You could decide to handle the paperwork yourself if you have the legal background and time required.

Or you could hire a professional to do the work for you. 

A good conveyancer prepares all the legal documents and liaises with your real estate agent to give you rightful ownership of the house. 

They also check the legality of any documents you need to sign and save you the pain of going through a legal process for avoidable mistakes. 

The professional should look out for potential errors in the legal documents before you sign them.

A conveyancer is the third eye you need before signing any house ownership agreement. 

Have Your Searches Taken Care Of

Before signing those ownership documents, do your due diligence. 

Did you know that if the house you buy has any debts or liabilities, they get transferred to you once you sign the documents of legal ownership?

You also need to know if the land where your house sits is scheduled for development by the local authorities. 

A good conveyancer oversees all the legally allowed searches into a property before you can sign the ownership documents. 

Here are some of the searches you should cover.

Search Purpose 
Title Search
  • Ensure the seller is the legal owner of the house.
  • Check the financial situation of the house (any debts or liabilities).
Local Authority Search 
  • Are there any plans to develop the land in the future?
Disaster Risk Check
  • Is the house prone to natural disasters such as floods and bushfires?
Structure Check
  • Check if the structure is strong and how well it will serve your housing needs.
Pest Report
  • Is the area prone to pests and rodents, and if yes, how will you deal with them?
Strata (For apartments)
  • If you’re buying an apartment, check if the building is operating on a deficit or it can sustain its operation.

You can do some of these searches after signing the contract, but it’s better to do them before. 

Reviewing the Contract of Sale

Your conveyancer reviews the contract of sale to identify any unusual clauses, errors, and red flags where necessary. They also review all other relevant documents and keep you informed of any changes made. 

A licensed conveyancer can do all the legal work with the contract and help you decide if you want to make the purchase or not. 

They also assess potential risks associated with the property, such as any illegal connections, and save you from making costly mistakes. 

Arranging Settlements

Licensed conveyancers can handle the settlement process by booking dates and be there with you on the settlement day. 

They can also liaise with your financial institution to ensure you can pay for the house on the settlement day without delay. 

Assistance with Financial Technicalities

While your conveyancer won’t have access to your banking details, they can help make the financial transactions seamless. 

You can have them deliver any necessary documents to your financial institution to authorise your final payments. 

If you need to pay any fees, such as stamp duty or make adjustments on the payment, the conveyancer will calculate them and give you a working figure. They can also source further information on required fees and help you consolidate your payment. 

Help With Communication

Buying or selling a property can only be successful if there’s constant and accurate communication from one person to the other. 

Hiring a licensed professional to handle your conveyancing needs ensures a go-to person between you and the seller. 

The conveyancer communicates your objectives to the seller to ensure that the house you’re about to buy matches your needs. 

Keep Your Documents in Order

Keeping all your legal and financial documents in order can be a daunting task, especially if you’re a first-time buyer. 

A conveyancer understands property law and knows which documents should be attached where and how they should be arranged. 

Hiring a qualified professional keeps your house buying process cleaner and easier for you. 

The Conveyancing Process in New South Wales

The Australian Institute of Conveyancers website has detailed information about conveyancing. It also has a professional indemnity insurance policy for all licensed conveyancers to cover them when practising their profession. 

The process has three stages:

  • Negotiation
  • Contract signing
  • Settlement 

Agree on the conveyancing fees with your preferred conveyancer before they start working for you. The conveyancer fees might vary from one firm to the other, but the responsibilities are pretty much the same. 

Note: Conveyancing fees made when transferring ownership of a house in New South Wales are not deductible. 

The Queensland Law Society outlines the penalties for breaking a contractual agreement in a property sale. The clauses and penalties may vary depending on your state. 

In New South Wales, a good conveyancer will give you specialist knowledge on the following areas before you sign a contract:

  • You have a 5-day cooling-off period after signing the contract. The period starts once the new owner, the seller, and other parties involved have signed the agreement, and you deposit money for the purchase. 
  • You can waive off the cooling period by signing the 66W certificate. If you back out of the contract after signing this certificate, you lose all your deposit. 
  • You lose the right to a cooling-off period if you sign a contract at an auction. Get a copy of the agreement before the auction and review it beforehand. 
  • You can only lose 0.25% of your initial deposit if you back out from the contract while you’re covered by the cooling-off period.

Here’s an overview of what they help you with:

  • Examine debts and financial liabilities linked to the house
  • Go through the sale contract
  • Prepare the legally required documents
  • Inspecting the house
  • Transfer the house to the new owner 
  • Register a certificate of title with Land and Property Information NSW
  • Guide you in making the deposit and paying for stamp duties
  • Guide the settlement process
  • Offer legal support until the final step

Learn more about Burbank & Brown’s conveyancing service.

Let Burbank & Brown Get You That House

When buying your first home, you need the right people in your corner. There’s a lot to handle and various processes such as reading and understanding agreements, making the conveyancing transaction, and ensuring that you get the best deal for your money. 

Hiring a licensed conveyancer gives you the peace of mind you need and saves you time and money. Burbank & Brown will ensure that you get the best deal in the market and makes owning your first house as easy as ABC.