There are 4 main steps in the conveyancing process when buying a property:

Step 1

Pre-exchange

We carry out a pre-purchase review of the contract (see CONTRACT REVIEW) and seek any amendments requested by you. You may obtain reports on the property, including a building/pest, strata and/or survey report. You may also have to obtain loan approval from your mortgagee. 

Step 2

Exchange

If you decide to proceed with the purchase of the property and a sale is agreed, contracts are exchanged and you pay a deposit (up to 10%). If it is a private residential property purchase, you may agree to waive your cooling off period (there is no cooling off period if you purchase at auction). You are now in a legally binding contract. 

Step 3

Post-exchange

We carry out standard property searches and enquiries with the relevant public authorities and raise requisitions with the vendor's representative on your behalf. If all is in order, we arrange a settlement date and time with the vendor's representative and your mortgagee (if applicable). We agree a final settlement statement with the vendor's representative (incorporating any adjustments for council/water rates, strata levies, etc) and advise you if any additional money is required to complete settlement.

Step 4

Settlement

This is the final step. Normally, you carry out a final inspection and we carry out a final title search before settlement and, if all is in order, settlement goes ahead. At settlement, we provide the balance of the purchase price to the vendor's representative (as per the agreed settlement statement) in exchange for the transfer and the keys. The deposit will also be released to the vendor.

Legal costs 

Standard residential property purchases

We charge a fixed professional fee for standard residential property purchases (including off the plan residential property purchases). 

Our fixed professional fee generally includes:

  • assessing the legal issues on the proposed purchase; 

  • reviewing the contract;

  • advising you on the terms of the contract and how best to protect your interests;

  • advising regarding any transfer duty payable and/or eligibility for any concessions/exemptions;

  • negotiating any amendments to the contract requested by you;

  • attending to exchange and providing a s66W certificate (if instructed);

  • carrying out property searches and enquiries with the relevant public authorities;

  • raising and checking the replies to any requisitions on title ;

  • lodging a priority notice/caveat at NSW Land Registry Services (if instructed);

  • liaising and arranging settlement with the vendor and your mortgagee (if applicable);

  • arranging for the transfer (and any other documents) to be signed;

  • attending to the payment of any transfer duty with Revenue NSW; 

  • preparing and agreeing with the vendor the final settlement statement (incorporating any adjustments for council and water rates, strata levies, etc);

  • ensuring that there are sufficient funds available for settlement; and

  • attending to settlement with all relevant parties and authorising the deposit to be released.

 

Our fixed professional fee for an off the plan residential property purchase is higher because of the more complex nature of the contract.

 

If additional work is required (beyond the standard conveyancing work noted above), we may have to charge an additional professional fee for this additional work. If we anticipate having to charge you an additional professional fee during the course of a transaction, we will let you know as soon as possible.

Our legal costs - property purchases (general)
 

1. Professional fee

Our professional fees are competitive and affordable. They vary according to:

 

  • the nature of the property;

  • the transaction type;

  • the complexity of the legal issues; and

  • your requirements and expectations. 

 

At the beginning of a transaction, we provide you with an estimate of our professional fee. If circumstances change during the course of a transaction requiring us to revise our estimate, we provide you with a revised estimate as soon as possible. 

 

2. Property searches and registration fees

 

In addition to our professional fee, you also have to pay for certain searches and enquiries ("property searches") with various public authorities to confirm that they do not have any current or proposed interest in the property (e.g. Council (rates), Revenue NSW (land tax), RMS, State Rail, etc). We obtain these property searches from external information providers and incur the cost on your behalf. The cost of property searches varies, depending on the nature of the property and the transaction. A registration fee is also payable to NSW LRS to register your transfer (and mortgage, if applicable). We provide you with an estimate of these costs at the beginning of a transaction. 
 

3. Remote VOI / electronic exchange and settlement

To safe time and to improve efficiency, we use (on your behalf):

 

  • external service providers to verify your identity remotely and to exchange contracts electronically (if possible); and 

  • an electronic lodgment network operator (ELNO) to complete settlement electronically.


At the beginning of a transaction, we provide you with an estimated cost for these services.

 

4. Additional documents and registration costs (optional)

There may also be other documents that you may wish to obtain before proceeding with or completing the purchase of a property (for which we can provide estimated costs at the beginning of a transaction):

 

  • Building and pest inspection report 

  • Strata inspection report 

  • Survey report 

  • Building certificate 

  • Swimming pool compliance certificate 

If you instruct us to lodge a priority notice or a caveat at NSW LRS between exchange and settlement, the relevant registration costs will also be payable to NSW LRS. 

Exclusions

If we act for you on the purchase of a property, we do not:

  • negotiate or advise on commercial terms;

  • advise on development consents or development potential;

  • review or advise on any building, pest, environmental, strata or other such property reports;  

  • provide any financial or taxation advice; or

  • apply to Revenue NSW on your behalf for any transfer duty exemptions/concessions.  

Legal costs agreement
 

All of the above legal costs are set out in a costs disclosure and/or costs agreement at the beginning of a transaction.