There are 4 main steps in the conveyancing process when selling a property:
We prepare a sale contract and forward it to the real estate agent. A real estate agent cannot market a residential property without a contract. We can usually prepare a contract within 2-3 business days.
Once you agree a sale with a purchaser, contracts are exchanged and a deposit (up to 10%) is paid by the purchaser. The cooling off period which applies to residential property sales (excluding auction sales) is usually waived by purchasers. The parties are now in a legally binding contract.
We prepare for settlement. We arrange for the transfer to be signed. We respond to any requisitions raised by the purchaser’s representative and approve the final settlement statement. We obtain a payout figure from any discharging mortgagee. We arrange a settlement date and time.
This is the final step. The purchaser normally carries out a final property inspection and title search. At settlement, the purchaser will provide the balance of the purchase price (accounting for any adjustments for council rates, strata levies, etc.) in exchange for the transfer and the keys. The deposit will also be released to the vendor.
Our legal costs - standard residential property sales
We charge a fixed professional fee for standard residential property sales.
Our fixed professional fee generally includes:
assessing the legal issues on the proposed sale;
advising you on the steps and your statutory obligations as a vendor;
obtaining all certificates and other documents required by law to be attached to the contract;
preparing and advising you on the contract;
submitting the contract to the real estate agent for marketing;
dealing with any questions raised by a prospective purchaser and negotiating any requested amendments to the contract;
attending to the exchange of contracts (if a sale is agreed) and managing any cooling off period;
answering any requisitions raised by a purchaser's solicitor/conveyancer;
arranging for the transfer (and any other relevant documents) to be signed;
liaising and arranging settlement with the purchaser and your mortgagee (if applicable);
reviewing and approving the purchaser’s final settlement statement; and
attending at settlement with all relevant parties and arranging the release of the deposit.
If any 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 sales (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
In addition to our professional fee, you also have to pay for certain certificates and other documents ("property searches") which are required to be attached to the sale contract, e.g. a title search and plan, a planning certificate, a sewer diagram, etc. We obtain these property searches on your behalf from external information providers. The cost of property searches vary for each property sale but we provide you with a cost estimate at the beginning of a transaction.
3. Electronic VOI, exchange & 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 the estimated cost for these services.
4. Other costs (optional)
There may be other documents that you may wish to obtain before proceeding with the sale of a property (for which we can provide estimated costs at the beginning of a transaction):
Swimming pool compliance certificate
If we act for you on the sale 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; or
provide any financial or taxation advice.
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.