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DIY conveyancing – is it the right option for you?

Thinking about saving money with DIY conveyancing? 6 things you might want to consider before leaping in.

Conveyancing is the legal transfer of a title deed from the property seller to the buyer. You can employ a professional conveyancer or attempt to save money and do it yourself by downloading a DIY conveyancing kit. When making this choice, there are a few things you should consider.

1. Do you have the time for DIY conveyancing?

The conveyancing process is a little more complicated and time consuming than just filing paperwork. Some of the typical tasks include:

  • Preparing the contract of sale
  • Applying for certificates
  • Title search and certificates check
  • Drawing up the Transfer of Land
  • Supplying copies of signed documents to your lender
  • Preparing a statement of adjustment of rates and taxes
  • Arranging settlement

If you’re keen on DIY conveyancing but tight for time, you could lighten the workload by offloading a few tasks to a ‘title searcher’. Title searchers aren’t lawyers, but they understand the conveyancing process and carry out tasks such as title searches, in some cases even settlement arrangements.

2. Are you comfortable navigating legal documents and terminology?

Conveyancing is a legal process. If handling legal documents or trying to translate complicated legal jargon makes you jittery, DIY conveyancing might not be the option for you.

Having said that, many DIY conveyancing businesses offer step-by-step guidelines to simplify and walk you through the process.

3. How much will you really save?

A professional conveyancer will cost you anywhere between $500 and $1500. A DIY conveyancing kit will only cost up to $100. For both options, there are out of pocket expenses on top of this, which vary depending on the nature of your contract. Keep in mind that if you DIY your conveyancing, you will also need to arrange a trust account (at additional cost) for the buyer to place their deposit.

When comparing costs, factor in the amount of hours you’ll lose to DIY conveyancing and whether it will impact your own work and earnings – especially if you work for yourself.

4. How ‘standard’ is your contract of sale?

Some property sales require special conditions or unusual circumstances. If this is the case, you want to make sure these conditions are represented correctly from a legal point of view in your contract of sale. A professional conveyancer understands the process, terminology and requirements involved, which will minimise legal risks if complications arise.

5. How confident are you with this type of work?

Some people have a good understanding of the sales process and the administration involved. But if you’re inexperienced in this area, the process of selling your home can be stressful enough. A professional conveyancer will deal with any complications that arise and ensure your documentation is legally sound. They also carry professional indemnity insurance in the unlikely event something goes wrong.

6. Have you considered how buyers will react? 

If you’re going to sell your property privately, buyers may be uneasy if you’re also going DIY on your conveyancing. If a buyer knows that all the paperwork is being handled by a licensed solicitor, conveyancer, or settlement agent, this can make them more comfortable to proceed. 

Made a decision yet?

Whether you choose to use professional conveyancing services or DIY conveyancing is a personal choice relevant to your financial situation, attitude and general work experience.

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