Conveyancing: An Introduction to the Steps and Costs Involved

Choosing to buy or sell a property is a big decision, and you’ll need to take certain steps in order to succeed in this endeavour. It will be a busy several weeks (or months, in many instances) filled with paperwork and legal jargon.

If you’re new to buying or selling a property, read on for an overview of the conveyancing process in Victoria.

What is conveyancing?

Conveyancing is the process of transferring the title or ownership of real property. When we say real property, we are talking about interests in land and fixtures or structures on the land.

What are the common steps in conveyancing?

Generally, the process of conveyancing begins when you engage a conveyancer or legal practitioner to prepare or review all the documentation needed for a property sale. It needs to be compliant and it needs to protect your interest. The process ends once the ownership of the property is transferred to the buyer and the transfer is registered at Land Use Victoria.

Below is a breakdown of the steps involved in conveyancing (selling and buying):

  • building and pest inspections
  • property searches e.g. title search, easements and encumbrances, land tax, etc.
  • drafting, reviewing, and negotiating the contract of sale
  • preparation of a vendor’s statement or Section 32 statement (if you’re selling)
  • exchange of contracts
  • payment of deposit
  • completion of duties online forms
  • application for foreign capital gains certificate and GST withholding notification
  • facilitation and correspondence with the lender
  • preparation and review of statement of adjustments based on the searches
  • transfer of title through PEXA (online system to transfer property)
  • payment of remaining balance and settlement
  • payment of stamp duty
  • first home buyer duty concession and exemption
  • First Home Owner Grant application

What are the typical costs of conveyancing?

Conveyancing fees are more than just the purchase price of the property. If you’re hiring a professional to do the conveyance for you, then you have to take their service fees into account. On top of that, you might also need to pay for disbursements and other fees such as:

  • property searches e.g. title search, copy of plan, land tax, building regulations, owners corporation, etc.
  • ASIC search fee (if a corporation is a party to the conveyance)
  • preparation and lodgment of caveat
  • mortgage registration
  • property valuation fees
  • stamp duty
  • house insurance
  • building and pest inspections
  • nomination of additional or substitute buyers
  • lodgment of paper documents at Land Use Victoria
  • preparation of a First Home Owner Grant application
  • preparation and lodgment of an application for a new certificate of title in place of one lost or destroyed

Should you DIY or get a professional conveyancer?

It’s best to engage a professional conveyancer to assist you instead of fumbling and second-guessing your way through the complicated process. With all the time, money, and effort involved in buying or selling a property, wouldn’t you want to make sure you get it right the first time?

Contrary to popular belief, DIY conveyancing or going for the cheapest option in town is not guaranteed to save you money in the long run. There’s more room for things to go wrong given the varied steps in the conveyancing process. There’s a tendency for cutting corners and attempting a streamlined approach to things that cannot be. And even the smallest mistakes can have huge consequences not just on your finances but on the overall success of your conveyancing transaction.

Need further information about the conveyancing process in Victoria?

Buying or selling a property isn’t always easy, especially in a market that’s ever-changing. Our team of conveyancers are on standby to answer your questions about the conveyancing process in Victoria. We are here to help! Get in touch with us by calling 03 9959 9850 or filling in our contact form.

Disclaimer: This article is intended to provide general information in summary form on conveyancing matters, current at the time of first publication. It does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. Formal legal and conveyancing advice based on your specific circumstances should be sought before taking any action.