Ask to Unmask! 3 Critical Conveyancing Questions Property Buyers Should Ask

If you don't go through conveyancing when buying a home, land, building or any other property, you could be risking your money. Conveyancing is the legal process involved when transferring the title or property ownership from the seller to the buyer. However, the process can't start before the offer on the property has been accepted, and it can't end before all the contracts have been signed and money transferred to the seller's account. Here are questions to guide you through the conveyancing process.

Who Is Authorised to Do Conveyancing?

Since conveyancing is a legal process, give it a professional approach and involve the right individuals. If you can't find a property lawyer to help you, you can work with a licensed conveyancer or certified solicitor. Although most solicitors are legally allowed to conduct or oversee the process, some of them may not be experienced in it.

If you choose to work with a lawyer, choose a solicitor with adequate experience in residential property transactions or a conveyancer who is dedicated to property ownership transfers. If you don't want to work with the conveyancer the mortgage lender has proposed, get a private one.

What 'Property Searches' Are Involved?

Being the new property owner goes beyond viewing the property, engaging real estate agents and getting a survey. The ownership transfer process can't be complete without doing some legal searches. The mortgage lender and solicitor recommend searches to avoid any unforeseen property liability. For instance, local authority searches are done to establish if radioactive gas, motorway plans or other future plans would affect the property.

Legal documents such as the 'Title plan' and 'Title register' are checked to verify the seller's ownership. If you are buying the property in an area prone to floods or other environmental hazards, environmental searches are done to outline ground stability issues, radon gas hazards, flooding predictions, current industry details, landfills and the general land contamination. Water authority searches help establish your water source and if the property's public drains would affect building works or extensions.

What Conveyancing Fees Should One Expect?

Different aspects determine the fees involved when transferring property ownership. For instance, if you are buying a building or property near a coal mine or river, the fees may increase because of additional searches. Plus, you have some legal fees and disbursement costs to meet. If you are a foreign national or living abroad, you may have to pay extra fees to an online company for legal checks.

If you are dealing with leasehold property, the title deed fees could be higher than that of a freehold property. The local authority would also charge some money for the searches. Other conveyancing fees include those for valuation, the mortgage duty, the stamp duty, photocopying, water and council rates, home building insurance and survey reports. A building, home or property in a community scheme or strata may cost you some extra levies.

To learn more, contact a conveyancing lawyer.