If you have never bought or sold property, you could be forgiven for assuming that legally transferring the ownership of a property from a seller to a buyer would be straightforward. And it is true that simple residential property transactions are unlikely to involve legal or financial complications.
The majority of transactions, however, require the completion of complex documentation for the legal conveyance of the property concerned. The expertise of a qualified and experienced professional—a conveyancer—is necessary to correctly prepare that documentation.
Beyond residential property transactions, the services of a conveyancer are essential for those who:
- buy or sell residential or commercial property
- enter into commercial or retail leases
- sign contracts for the sale or purchase of businesses
- need to create titles for subdivisions or other properties.
Why can’t I do it myself and save some money?
If you have bought and sold a number of properties, if you research things meticulously, if you are comfortable dealing with legislative requirements and regulatory bodies, if you have well-developed people skills and you have time to spare, then yes, it is possible to do your own conveyancing for straightforward residential transactions.
And yes, you could save yourself a conveyancer’s fees—but at what cost? As an inexperienced and untrained DIY conveyancer, it will take you many more hours to complete the tasks involved than it would take a professional. That’s time you could have spent working in a paid job or doing other things you enjoy. Unlike you, a professional conveyancer will fully understand all the financial and regulatory documentation required to ensure that your property transfer is completed legally and without complications. How much time would you be prepared to invest in familiarising yourself with and keeping up to date with the legal requirements of property transfers?
Even more significant than the opportunity cost of your time is the risk that you could overlook potential problems or make mistakes that could be expensive to rectify. A professional conveyancer’s training and experience enables them to spot serious issues with a property early enough in the transfer process to enable you to withdraw from a contract if you choose to. If you decide to do your own conveyancing, you may miss such issues and end up owning a property that costs you far more in the long term than you had bargained for.
The stress of DIY conveyancing vs. the confidence of having a professional conveyancer do it all for you
Would you expect someone without your training and/or qualifications to step into your job and do it well? No? Then why would you think you could do your own conveyancing and achieve results to the same high standard as a qualified, experienced and licensed professional with a financial and administrative team behind them?
All day, every working day, conveyancers ensure the smooth and legal transfer of all types of properties from sellers to buyers. On behalf of their clients they undertake the following tasks:
- investigate and ensure the property’s compliance with regulatory requirements
- prepare and securely lodge the necessary legal documents electronically
- calculate the adjustments to be made at settlement
- facilitate the secure electronic payment of the balance owing, and
- throughout the whole process, liaise with real estate agents, vendors, building inspectors, banks and other mortgage issuers, and the representatives of government agencies.
That’s a lot of balls to keep in the air if you’re a beginner juggler!
By now you may be thinking that a relatively small investment in a professional conveyancer’s fees seems like much better value for money that you had first imagined.
Talk to our experts at Conveyancing Matters about making your property transfer happen efficiently, promptly, and without the fuss and stress that doing it yourself could well involve.