What’s the difference between a conveyancer and a solicitor?
A conveyancer is a professional who specialises in the transfer of property. Whilst many solicitors are able to undertake conveyancing work, they often do not specialise. Solicitors usually charge significantly more than conveyancers for providing what is essentially the same service. Some solicitors are lawyers who specialise in property law.
What are disbursements?
During the course of the conveyancing process, there are various out-of-pocket expenses incurred by your conveyancer. These expenses include things such as title searches and council and planning enquiries, and are known as disbursements. Disbursements are charged above and beyond the general conveyancing service fee charged by a lawyer or licensed conveyancer. There is no set fee for the carrying out of conveyancing work so this fee will vary greatly. It is important to remember that costs for various disbursements will vary and will also differ depending on whether you are the buyer or the seller. If you have any concerns about disbursements charged by your lawyer or licensed conveyancer contact a State legal services commissioner or fair trading department to determine whether the fees are fair.
What is Stamp Duty?
This is the tax you have to pay on property if the value is more than 125000 pounds. If you are not borrowing any money for your purchase, then your conveyancer will advise you of the amount of money that you need to make available for stamp duty, and will attend to the payment stamp duty, on your behalf, when required.
Do I have to use a conveyancer?
Buying or selling property is one of the biggest financial transactions of your life. Due to the financial and legal aspects of transferring property, the consequences of making a mistake can be both costly and devastating. A conveyancer is a professional who is trained to handle these financial transactions. They know how to handle tough situations and will help your sale be smooth and easy. It is advised that you use a conveyancer to get the best deal possible. However, if you decide to not hire a conveyancer, you can do your own conveyancing. This is risky and has several drawbacks, but is possible when done properly. There are several guidebooks and DIY conveyancing kits to help you along the way.
What happens during the settlement?
Settlement is the finalisation of the sale or purchase process. There are usually four parties involved – the buyer and seller’s conveyancers and the banks for the vendor and purchaser. During settlement, the purchaser’s bank will exchange cheques according to the instructions of the purchaser’s conveyancer and in return, receive the Certificate of Title and ‘discharge of mortgage’ from the seller’s bank. If the property in question has been damaged before the settlement takes place, there is a sufficient amount of time to take care of discrepancies prior to settlement. Once the settlement date arrives, the keys can be handed over to the purchaser and the deposit is released to the vendor. At this stage, the Purchaser’s bank registers the change of title and mortgage, and their conveyancer notifies authorities of the change.
How long will the transaction take?
The average time is six to eight weeks, but this can vary, depending on the length of the chain involved. The shortest time could be only a few days, if a buyer was purchasing an empty property and had the purchase monies available without needing a mortgage. However, it could take longer than average if there is a long chain and the person at the end is waiting for a buyer to be able to proceed. Your solicitor will keep you fully informed of progress developments. Simple, straightforward cases will take upto 8 weeks, but complex cases can take even longer. The entire process is connected in a chain and it all depends on the time it takes for the weakest link.