When navigating the complex world of property transactions in South Australia, one of the most critical aspects to understand is the need for a conveyancer. Conveyancing is the legal process of transferring property from one owner to another. It’s a vital step in ensuring that your property purchase or sale goes smoothly and legally. However, a key component of this process that often prompts questions is conveyancing fees. Who pays them? And is there any way to avoid engaging a conveyancer? Let’s dive into these questions and explore the importance of conveyancing, its costs, and whether your conveyancer needs to be local. Call Eckermanns on 8366 7900 if you have any questions. We’ve been doing conveyancing for more than 45 years so there won’t be any questions we can’t answer!

Why do you need conveyancing?

A good conveyancer is the backbone for a legal and hassle-free transfer of property ownership. It involves a myriad of tasks including, but not limited to, preparing and lodging legal documents, conducting searches, verifying identity, verifying the right of the seller to deal with the property, liaising with financial institutions, ensuring the property is free from encumbrances or restrictions, and verifying the buyer’s and seller’s compliance with the terms and conditions of the sale. Without a conveyancer to navigate these complex procedures, buyers and sellers could face significant legal and financial risks. A conveyancer who is familiar and experienced in the conveyancing process is essential for a smooth property transaction.

What are conveyancing fees for?

There are four key cost categories in conveyancing.

  1. Conveyancer’s Professional Fee: This fee is charged by your conveyancer for the time and expertise they invest in managing your matter and completing the settlement of your purchase or sale. It encompasses consultations, calls, emails, preparing, reviewing and submitting documents and lodgements, liaising with the various state and local government authorities necessary to complete settlement and communicating with all parties involved. This includes liaising with banks and financial institutions, the conveyancer on the “other side” and of course, with you, the client.
  2. Search Fees: Your conveyancer will conduct various searches to ensure there are no legal issues with the property. These can include title searches, local council searches, and water and zoning searches, among others. Fees for searches are charged by local and statement government entities and are usually passed on at cost.
  3. Stamp Duty and Lodgement Fees: Although these are not fees paid to the conveyancer, they assist in calculating and facilitating the payment of stamp duty and any other lodgement fees required by law to finalise the transaction.
  4. Miscellaneous Fees: This can include costs for bank cheques, document storage or other out-of-pocket expenses incurred during the process. At Eckermann Conveyancers, our Professional fee is all inclusive so other than that fee and third party charges which are passed on at cost, you will not pay anything additional.

Does my conveyancer need to be local?

A local conveyancer is likely to have a better understanding of South Australian property laws and local council regulations. Every Australian state and territory has different property laws, conveyancing processes and contract terms. We would always advise the use of an SA based conveyancer. Being in the same city makes it easier to meet face-to-face and deal with any urgent matters quickly as they arise. It’s also easier for you to do your due diligence and to seek recommendations from family and friends based on their experiences. Generally speaking, a conveyancer in one state of Australia will not be able to deal with transactions in another state without engaging assistance from a lawyer or conveyancer who is permitted to undertake settlements and transact in that state, adding cost to your transaction.

However, as long as your conveyancer is authorised to complete settlements in South Australia and they hold the appropriate qualifications, it is not necessary that they are located in close proximity to you or the property you are buying or selling. These days with the available technology, documents can be viewed and signed online and verifications of identity can also be undertaken online.

Understanding conveyancing fees and choosing the right conveyancer in Adelaide is paramount for a successful property transaction. While costs can vary, being informed upfront will help you budget effectively. Moreover, the decision between a local and a non-local conveyancer should be based on your specific needs and your comfort with dealing with them online. Regardless of your choice, the key is to engage a conveyancer who is transparent, experienced, and dedicated to facilitating a smooth transaction. Remember, the right conveyancer is not just a service provider but a crucial partner in one of life’s most significant transactions.