Conveyancing costs in Melbourne and the surrounding area can arrange from as low as $600 to over $2,000.  In addition to the professional fees you can expect to pay you may also be billed for disbursements.

There are a number of factors that can influence how much you may expect to pay, including:

  • Whether you engage a solicitor or a licensed conveyancer; 
  • The experience of the professional you are engaging; 
  • The value of the property;
  • The type of property being sold or purchased;
  • Whether you are selling or buying through the auction process; 
  • Whether or not disbursements are included in the fixed fee, and if so, what disbursements are included or excluded from the fixed fee;
  • If disbursements are not included in the fixed fee, the disbursements may be passed onto the client at cost or at a marked up rate.  Alternately the client may be required to undertake the property searches themselves and provide the property certificates and statements to the conveyancer or solicitor;
  • Whether or not the Contract of Sale remains unchanged prior to settlement; and
  • If it a standard transaction or a complex / unusual transaction.

Consumer Affairs Victoria outlines the conveyancer’s fee disclosure requirements, where:

 

  • Conveyancers must provide their fees upfront if known at the start of client representation, or as soon as possible afterwards.
  • If the conveyancer is unable to provide upfront costs (for example, the particular conveyancing case is unusual, or has particular requirements), they must detail how they will calculate their fees, including disclosure on how and when the client will be invoiced. 

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What are disbursements?

In researching the property you are selling or purchasing the conveyancer or solicitor will incur expenses (out-of-pocket costs) on your behalf to obtain property certificates and statements (i.e. property searches).  In Victoria, these disbursements are generally in the range of $250 to $400 (higher if there is an owners corporation), depending on the property type and the searches required to be undertaken.  These fees are then absorbed by the legal firm or conveyancing practice or passed to the client. 

In addition, there are a number of optional property searches and certificates that can be undertaken, again depending on the nature of the property and the client’s specific requirements.  These optional disbursements will increase the amount you can be expected to pay. 

Not all properties or clients will require the same property searches to be undertaken, by paying for disbursements in addition to the professional fees you can ensure that you are only paying for the searches required for your transaction.  Some conveyancers and / or solicitors will include an amount for disbursements in their fixed fee amount.  In order to make a profit, they will limit the number and type of searches that they conduct on your matter and instead rely on the certificates and statements contained in the Vendor’s section 32 Vendor Statement.  This is a risky approach to adopt and is not one that we would recommend (unless you enjoy living with risk and uncertainties).

 

Will there be any additional costs? 

Additional costs can include negotiating special conditions and requests for extensions on finance clauses or deposit due dates, nominations, and license agreements to name just a few.  Sometimes these additional costs are unavoidable, often though there are simple things you can do to save money on your conveyancing costs.

 

You can avoid incurring additional costs by:

  • Responding to requests for information promptly;
  • Attending to any tasks required of you by your conveyancer or solicitor promptly (such as signing of documents, completing loan documents etc);
  • Complete all contractual obligations in full and by the dates required;
  • Ensure that the Contract of Sale and loan documents have correct details – if you have your middle name on your loan documents, ensure that the Contract of Sale also has your middle name;
  • Follow up with your lender to ensure that they are on track to provide finance approval and / or to settle by the due date;
  • If purchasing, ensure that the Contract of Sale records the names of the people to be registered on the Certificate of Title, and if applicable, the share ownership of each party (if not an equal split) rather than nominating additional purchasers or changing the share holding of each party after signing the Contract of Sale.  This could also save you from paying additional stamp duty!  

If you would like to find out how much your proposed property sale or purchase will cost Contact us for an obligation free quote today!