Getting quotes for your conveyancing? These are the big questions you need to be asking…

Given conveyancing is now a common area of practice for most legal practices, buyers and sellers are shopping around to compare prices for conveyancing more than ever before. However, one big mistake that we see buyers and sellers make is automatically opting for the cheapest price. Unfortunately, the cheapest option is not always the best option. We look at the main questions that you should be asking when you are getting quotes to avoid the extra fees creeping up on you and to ensure that your interests are being adequately protected.

  1. What are your professional fees?

 Professional fees are the fees that are charged by the legal practice for the conveyancing service that they are providing you. When enquiring about the professional fees, it is also important to ask whether the amount quoted is GST inclusive or exclusive, as some firms will quote a fixed fee and then add GST onto that later, when you may have been of the understanding that the fee was actually GST inclusive. Most clients have a tendency to go with the firm that has the lowest professional fee, however as we will outline below, these firm’s do not always end up the cheapest when it comes time to pay their invoice at settlement. 

  1. What outlays are you going to be charged?

Outlays, or disbursements, are costs that are incurred as part of the conveyancing process that are not part of the professional fee for the services provided. They can include photocopying, postage and petties, phone calls, bank cheque fees, agent’s fees and the like. Some firms will even include the cost of searches as their outlays – we will look at this further below.

As it is not economical for all law firms to send their clerks to attend settlement, most firms will engage a settlement agent to attend settlement on their behalf – this may also be added on to your conveyancing fees and can range from $30.00 – $80.00 depending on the amount of work required of the agent.

Some firms will include most or all of the outlays above in their fee, whilst others will add it on top of their fee by giving you a quote of “$X plus GST and outlays”. In these situations, the outlays can add up but the actual price to expect is not fully disclosed under the guise of the use of the word “outlays”. These outlays can add up to a few hundred dollars depending on what firms do or don’t include under their definition of “outlays”.

  1. What searches will you do?

When acting for a seller, the searches that a conveyance or solicitor are required to do are minimal. Generally only a title search will be done and perhaps a search of the registered plan and contaminated land register. If you are selling and have received a quote, you should query whether or not the cost of the title search has been included in the quote.

When acting for a buyer, your conveyancer or solicitor will undertake more extensive searches for you in order to ensure that your rights are adequately protected and that there are no outstanding issues with the property. Again, many “cut price” firms will undertake the most basic searches – title search, registered plan and rates. Others may go a step further and search the Contaminated Land Register, check for council approvals and notices, land tax, Transport and Main Roads searches etc. Others may be completely through and undertake almost every search available.

The cost of searches will vary depending on which ones you are wanting and what you are seeking to find out about the property or the seller. The most basic searches may only incur say $100.00 where undertaking more extensive searches can cost up to $1,000.00. It is not necessary to do every single search (unless your budget allows), but doing only the bare basic searches can also be dangerous. It is therefore important to discuss aspects of your property with your conveyancer so that the most appropriate searches can be obtained. For example, has the property been renovated, where is it located, is it in a flood zone etc.

  1. Do you charge for pre-contract advice or Special Conditions?

Most conveyancers will look over your Contract before you sign to ensure that your rights are protected and that any Special Conditions are drafted correctly. However, other firms may charge you to do this or to draft conditions for you. Obviously, if your conveyancer is going to charge you for this, you will need to enquire as to whether this fee is in addition to their professional fee, or whether it has been factored into the quote you have been given.

  1. Do you charge for extensions on conditions?

As we have outlined above, going for the firm with the lowest professional fee is not always going to be the cheapest. These firms often recover their costs by charging their clients for each extension. This means that every time the client, or the other party in the transaction, requests an extension to a Finance, Building and Pest, Due Diligence condition etc, an additional fee (usually an extra $50 plus GST) will be incurred by the client. This can really add up, without any fault by you, if the other party to your transaction is disorganised or is struggling to fulfil the conditions in the Contract on time.

Whilst incurring charges will be less of a concern where you have signed an unconditional Contract, the extent of your expense will mostly be unknown at the time of signing the Contract – your conveyance could go through smoothly with every condition being met on time, or you or the other party could require multiple extensions, thereby adding a few extra hundred dollars onto your costs. If you are looking at a firm with the lowest professional fee, it is imperative that you confirm any charges for extensions and approach the firms that charge for extensions with caution.

  1. Do you charge if the Contract falls over?

Some firms may charge you for their work done on your Contract to date if the Contract is terminated for some reason. Whilst this is a completely justifiable charge, given a lot of time and effort can go into trying to keep a Contract on foot, it is an important consideration when getting quotes. A firm that charges a higher fee but does not charge for work done on a terminated Contract is likely to work out cheaper than a firm that charges a lower professional fee but then charges a few hundred dollars for the work done on a terminated Contract.

If a firm does charge for the Contract falling over, it will also be difficult to determine how much this will be when you first sign a Contract. For example, the price you might pay if the Contract falls over on its first due condition will be less than taking a Contract nearly to Settlement and then having it fall over.

  1. How many files does the conveyancer deal with at one time?

This question may be viewed two ways:

  1. If the conveyancer handles a large number of files at once, it indicates capability and experience, however;
  2. If the conveyancer handles a large number of files it can also serve as a red flag that you may not receive great service because the conveyancer simply can not dedicate as much time to your particular file as you would like because they are juggling so many others at once. This can be important when satisfying conditions; for example, a conveyancer with minimal files will be better equipped to peruse lengthy building and pest reports in detail and then engage in negotiations on this condition than a conveyancer who is handling a large number of files.

If obtaining the cheapest price is your priority, you are not concerned about the level of service you receive and are happy with a “sausage factory” approach to your conveyancing, then perhaps you can justify a cut-price firm. You just need to bear in mind that the reason why their prices are likely to be cheap is because they rely on a certain volume of files to come in to cover their expenses. This can mean that the conveyancers can be overloaded.

Conversely, if you are expecting good service, you are unlikely to receive it from a cheaper firm and perhaps it is worth spending a little extra to be adequately serviced.

***Disclaimer: our comments are not suggesting that firms offering cheaper conveyancing necessarily provide poor service, we are merely stating this as a consideration when deciding on a conveyancer.

  1. Is there a solicitor on hand to provide advice if things go pear-shaped and how much will that cost?

Every client hopes that they will proceed to settlement smoothly and without any issues. However, it is always comforting to know that in the event your conveyancing does hit a hurdle, that there will be a solicitor on hand to assist your conveyancer with your transaction.

Whilst conveyancers can have years of experience, they are not qualified to give legal advice and as such, having a solicitor present to immediately assist you and provide advice on your rights will be beneficial.

Assuming that the firm does offer a solicitor to provide advice to overcome any hurdles, it is also important that you enquire as to whether you will be charged for this qualified advice and if so, how much it will be.

  1. Are there any kickbacks going to third parties?

Have you been referred to a particular conveyancer by your real estate or mortgage broker etc? If so, it could be worthwhile you enquiring as to whether or not that third party seeks to gain anything from the transaction or receive a kickback of some description.

Real Estate Agents are required to disclose any kickback they are receiving from a third party (such as a solicitor) in their Property Occupations Act forms. However if you have been referred by another party then it might be worthwhile asking the question, as you could be paying a heightened price for your conveyancing because your conveyance has factored the kickback that a third party may be receiving from your conveyance into your price.

When selecting your conveyancer, you need to decide whether you are wanting good service or whether you are just happy to go with the cheapest option. If your just concerned with the cheapest option, then make sure it is actually the cheapest option after taking into consideration each of the factors we have outlined and not just go ahead with the firm with the lowest professional fee.

Another main consideration – do you really want to leave the sale or purchase of your biggest asset (a property) to a cut-price firm? Is cheap always the best? Given the amount of money at stake it is imperative that you ensure that your rights are adequately protected and that your conveyancer has the time, skill and resources to be able to address any issues and provide you with great service.

If you have any questions in relation to the breakdown of conveyancing fees or would like a quote for your conveyancing, please contact our experienced conveyancers today – (07) 3870 8244 (Toowong) or (07) 3264 7692 (Albany Creek).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bowen Hills Conveyancing – Brisbane Conveyancing – East Brisbane Conveyancing – Fortitude Valley Conveyancing – Herston Conveyancing – Highgate Hill Conveyancing – Kangaroo Point Conveyancing – Kelvin Grove Conveyancing – New Farm Conveyancing – Newstead Conveyancing – Paddington Conveyancing – Petrie Terrace Conveyancing  – Red Hill Conveyancing – South Brisbane Conveyancing – Spring Hill Conveyancing – Teneriffe Conveyancing – West End Conveyancing – Woolloongabba Conveyancing
Albion Conveyancing – Alderley Conveyancing – Ascot Conveyancing – Aspley Conveyancing – Bald Hills Conveyancing – Banyo Conveyancing – Boondall Conveyancing – Bracken Ridge Conveyancing – Bridgeman Downs Conveyancing – Conveyancing –  Brighton Conveyancing – Brisbane Airport Conveyancing – Carseldine Conveyancing – Chermside Conveyancing – Chermside West Conveyancing – Clayfield Conveyancing – Deagon Conveyancing – Eagle Farm Conveyancing  – Everton Park Conveyancing – Ferny Grove Conveyancing – Fitzgibbon Conveyancing – Gaythorne Conveyancing – Geebung Conveyancing – Gordon Park Conveyancing – Grange Conveyancing – Hamilton Conveyancing – Hendra Conveyancing – Kalinga Conveyancing – Kedron Conveyancing – Keperra Conveyancing – Lutwyche Conveyancing – McDowall Conveyancing – Mitchelton Conveyancing – Myrtletown Conveyancing – Newmarket Conveyancing – Northgate Conveyancing – Nudgee Conveyancing – Nudgee Beach Conveyancing – Nundah Conveyancing – Pinkenba Conveyancing – Sandgate Conveyancing – Shorncliffe Conveyancing – Stafford Conveyancing – Stafford Heights Conveyancing – Taigum Conveyancing – Virginia Conveyancing – Wavell Heights Conveyancing – Wilston Conveyancing – Windsor Conveyancing – Wooloowin Conveyancing – Zillmere Conveyancing
Acacia Ridge Conveyancing – Algester Conveyancing – Annerley Conveyancing – Archerfield Conveyancing – Burbank Conveyancing – Calamvale Conveyancing – Coopers Plains Conveyancing– Darra Conveyancing – Doolandella Conveyancing – Drewvale Conveyancing– Durack Conveyancing – Dutton Park Conveyancing – Eight Mile Plains Conveyancing – Ellen Grove Conveyancing – Fairfield Conveyancing – Forest Lake Conveyancing – Greenslopes Conveyancing – Heathwood Conveyancing – Holland Park Conveyancing – Holland Park West Conveyancing – Inala Conveyancing – Karawatha Conveyancing – Kuraby Conveyancing – Larapinta Conveyancing – MacGregor Conveyancing – Mackenzie Conveyancing – Mansfield Conveyancing – Moorooka Conveyancing – Mount Gravatt Conveyancing – Mount Gravatt East Conveyancing – Nathan Conveyancing – Pallara Conveyancing – Parkinson Conveyancing – Richlands Conveyancing – Robertson Conveyancing – Rochedale Conveyancing – Rocklea Conveyancing – Runcorn Conveyancing – Salisbury Conveyancing – Seventeen Mile Rocks Conveyancing – Sinnamon Park Conveyancing – Stones Corner Conveyancing – Stretton Conveyancing – Sumner Conveyancing – Sunnybank Conveyancing – Sunnybank Hills Conveyancing – Tarragindi Conveyancing – Tennyson Conveyancing – Upper Mount Gravatt Conveyancing – Wacol Conveyancing – Willawong Conveyancing – Wishart Conveyancing – Yeerongpilly Conveyancing – Yeronga Conveyancing
Balmoral Conveyancing – Belmont Conveyancing – Bulimba Conveyancing – Camp Hill Conveyancing – Cannon Hill Conveyancing – Carina Conveyancing – Carina Heights Conveyancing – Carindale Conveyancing – Chandler Conveyancing – Coorparoo Conveyancing – Gumdale Conveyancing – Hawthorne Conveyancing – Hemmant Conveyancing – Lota Conveyancing– Lytton Conveyancing – Manly Conveyancing – Manly West Conveyancing – Moreton Island Conveyancing – Morningside Conveyancing – Murarrie Conveyancing – Norman Park Conveyancing – Port of Brisbane Conveyancing – Ransome Conveyancing – Seven Hills Conveyancing – Tingalpa Conveyancing – Wakerley Conveyancing – Wynnum Conveyancing – Wynnum West Conveyancing
Anstead Conveyancing – Ashgrove Conveyancing – Auchenflower Conveyancing – Bardon Conveyancing – Bellbowrie Conveyancing – Brookfield Conveyancing – Chapel Hill Conveyancing – Chelmer Conveyancing – Chuwar Conveyancing – Corinda Conveyancing – Enoggera Conveyancing – Enoggera Reservoir Conveyancing – Fig Tree Pocket Conveyancing – Graceville Conveyancing – Indooroopilly Conveyancing – Jamboree Heights Conveyancing – Jindalee Conveyancing – Karana Downs Conveyancing – Kenmore Conveyancing – Kenmore Hills Conveyancing – Kholo Conveyancing – Lake Manchester Conveyancing – Middle Park Conveyancing – Milton Conveyancing – Moggill Conveyancing – Mount Coot-tha Conveyancing – Mount Crosby Conveyancing – Mount Ommaney Conveyancing – Oxley Conveyancing – Pinjarra Hills Conveyancing – Pullenvale Conveyancing – Riverhills Conveyancing – Seventeen Mile Rocks Conveyancing – Sherwood Conveyancing – Sinnamon Park Conveyancing – St Lucia Conveyancing – Taringa Conveyancing – The Gap Conveyancing – Toowong Conveyancing – Upper Brookfield Conveyancing – Upper Kedron Conveyancing – Westlake Conveyancing
Augustine Heights Conveyancing – Barellan Point Conveyancing – Basin Pocket Conveyancing – Bellbird Park Conveyancing – Blacksoil Conveyancing – Blackstone Conveyancing – Booval Conveyancing – Brassall Conveyancing – Brookwater Conveyancing – Bundamba Conveyancing – Camira Conveyancing – Carole Park Conveyancing – Churchill Conveyancing – Chuwar Conveyancing – Coalfalls Conveyancing – Collingwood Park Conveyancing– Dinmore Conveyancing – East Ipswich Conveyancing – Eastern Heights Conveyancing – Ebbw Vale Conveyancing – Flinders View Conveyancing – Gailes Conveyancing – Goodna Conveyancing – Ipswich Conveyancing – Karalee Conveyancing – Karrabin Conveyancing – Leichhardt Conveyancing – Moores Pocket Conveyancing – Muirlea Conveyancing – New Chum Conveyancing – Newtown Conveyancing – North Booval Conveyancing– North Ipswich Conveyancing – North Tivoli Conveyancing – One Mile Conveyancing – Raceview Conveyancing – Redbank Conveyancing – Redbank Plains Conveyancing – Riverview Conveyancing – Sadliers Crossing Conveyancing – Silkstone Conveyancing – Springfield Conveyancing – Springfield Central Conveyancing – Springfield Lakes Conveyancing – Tivoli Conveyancing – West Ipswich Conveyancing – Woodend Conveyancing – Wulkuraka Conveyancing – Yamanto Conveyancing
Amberley Conveyancing – Ashwell Conveyancing – Calvert Conveyancing – Deebing Heights Conveyancing – Ebenezer Conveyancing – Goolman Conveyancing – Grandchester Conveyancing – Haigslea Conveyancing – Ironbark Conveyancing – Jeebropilly Conveyancing – Lanefield Conveyancing – Marburg Conveyancing – Mount Forbes Conveyancing – Mount MarrowConveyancing – Mutdapilly Conveyancing – Pine Mountain Conveyancing – Purga Conveyancing – Ripley Conveyancing – Rosewood Conveyancing – South Ripley Conveyancing – Spring Mountain Conveyancing – Swanbank Conveyancing – Tallegalla Conveyancing – Thagoona – The Bluff Conveyancing – Walloon Conveyancing – White Rock Conveyancing – Willowbank Conveyancing – Woolshed Conveyancing
Bahrs Scrub Conveyancing – Bannockburn Conveyancing – Beenleigh Conveyancing – Belivah Conveyancing – Berrinba Conveyancing – Bethania Conveyancing – Boronia Heights Conveyancing – Browns Plains Conveyancing – Buccan Conveyancing – Carbrook Conveyancing – Cedar Creek Conveyancing – Cedar Grove Conveyancing – Cedar Vale Conveyancing – Chambers Flat Conveyancing – Cornubia Conveyancing – Crestmead Conveyancing – Daisy Hill Conveyancing – Eagleby Conveyancing – Edens Landing Conveyancing – Forestdale Conveyancing – Greenbank Conveyancing – Heritage Park Conveyancing – Hillcrest Conveyancing – Holmview Conveyancing – Jimboomba Conveyancing – Kagaru Conveyancing – Kingston Conveyancing – Logan Central Conveyancing – Logan Reserve Conveyancing – Logan Village Conveyancing – Loganholme Conveyancing – Loganlea Conveyancing – Lyons Conveyancing – Marsden Conveyancing – Meadowbrook Conveyancing – Mount Warren Park Conveyancing – Mundoolun Conveyancing – Munruben Conveyancing – New Beith Conveyancing – North Maclean Conveyancing – Park Ridge South Conveyancing – Park Ridge Conveyancing – Priestdale Conveyancing – Regents Park Conveyancing – Rochedale South Conveyancing – Shailer Park Conveyancing – Slacks Creek Conveyancing – South Maclean Conveyancing – Springwood Conveyancing – Stockleigh Conveyancing – Tamborine Conveyancing – Tanah Merah Conveyancing – Underwood Conveyancing – Undullah Conveyancing – Veresdale Scrub Conveyancing – Veresdale Conveyancing – Waterford West Conveyancing – Waterford Conveyancing – Windaroo Conveyancing – Wolffdene Conveyancing – Woodhill Conveyancing – Woodridge Conveyancing – Yarrabilba Conveyancing
Alexandra Hills Conveyancing – Amity Point Conveyancing – Birkdale Conveyancing – Capalaba Conveyancing – Cleveland Conveyancing – Coochiemudlo Island Conveyancing – Dunwich Conveyancing – Karragarra Island Conveyancing – Lamb Island Conveyancing – Macleay Island Conveyancing – Mount Cotton Conveyancing – North Stradbroke Island Conveyancing – Ormiston Conveyancing – Point Lookout Conveyancing – Redland Bay Conveyancing – Russell Island Conveyancing – Sheldon Conveyancing – Thorneside Conveyancing – Thornlands Conveyancing – Victoria Point Conveyancing – Wellington Point Conveyancing
Albany Creek Conveyancing – Arana Hills Conveyancing – Banksia Beach Conveyancing – Beachmere Conveyancing – Bellara Conveyancing – Bongaree Conveyancing – Bray Park Conveyancing – Brendale Conveyancing – Bunya Conveyancing – Burpengary Conveyancing – Caboolture Conveyancing – Caboolture South Conveyancing – Cashmere Conveyancing – Clontarf Conveyancing – Dakabin Conveyancing – Deception Bay Conveyancing – Eatons Hill Conveyancing – Elimbah Conveyancing – Everton Hills Conveyancing  – Ferny Hills Conveyancing – Godwin Beach Conveyancing – Griffin Conveyancing – Joyner Conveyancing – Kallangur Conveyancing – Kippa-Ring Conveyancing – Kurwongbah Conveyancing – Lawnton Conveyancing – Mango Hill Conveyancing – Margate Conveyancing – Moodlu Conveyancing – Morayfield Conveyancing – Murrumba Downs Conveyancing – Narangba Conveyancing – Newport Conveyancing – Ningi Conveyancing – North Lakes Conveyancing – Petrie Conveyancing – Redcliffe Conveyancing – Rothwell Conveyancing – Sandstone Point Conveyancing – Scarborough Conveyancing – Strathpine Conveyancing – Upper Caboolture Conveyancing – Warner Conveyancing – Whiteside Conveyancing – Woody Point Conveyancing – Woorim Conveyancing
Armstrong Creek Conveyancing – Bellmere Conveyancing – Bellthorpe Conveyancing – Booroobin Conveyancing – Bracalba Conveyancing – Camp Mountain Conveyancing – Campbells Pocket Conveyancing – Cedar Creek Conveyancing – Cedarton Conveyancing – Clear Mountain Conveyancing – Closeburn Conveyancing – Commissioners Flat Conveyancing – D’Aguilar Conveyancing – Dayboro Conveyancing – Delaneys Creek Conveyancing – Donnybrook Conveyancing – Draper Conveyancing – Highvale Conveyancing – Jollys Lookout Conveyancing – King Scrub Conveyancing – Kobble Creek Conveyancing – Laceys Creek Conveyancing – Meldale Conveyancing – Moorina Conveyancing – Mount Delaney Conveyancing – Mount Glorious Conveyancing – Mount Mee  Conveyancing – Mount Nebo Conveyancing – Mount Pleasant Conveyancing – Mount Samson Conveyancing – Neurum Conveyancing – Ocean View Conveyancing – Rocksberg Conveyancing – Rush Creek Conveyancing – Samford Valley Conveyancing – Samford Village Conveyancing – Samsonvale Conveyancing – Stanmore Conveyancing – Stony Creek Conveyancing – Toorbul Conveyancing – Wamuran Basin Conveyancing – Wamuran Conveyancing – Welsby Conveyancing – White Patch Conveyancing – Wights Mountain Conveyancing – Woodford Conveyancing – Yugar Conveyancing

 

 

Written by

The author didnt add any Information to his profile yet