Skip to content Skip to main navigation

Ask RiotACT

Ray White Tuggeranong - fresh, fun & professional approach to real estate

DIY Conveyancing in Canberra (house sale)

By apis - 3 February 2014 35

I’ll be selling my house soon and am really considering doing conveyancing on my own. The cost of putting the house on the market is huge, and while I can’t avoid paying for advertising and building/compliance/pest/EER report, I could have a go at conveyancing to save about $1,000.

If anyone’s done it, please post as much details as you can.

This is what I know so far:

– purchase Contract for sale from the ACT Law Society (2 copies @ $25 each)

– obtain building/compliance/pest/EER report (up to $900)

– lease conveyancing from ACTPLA – not sure if this is the same thing as title search

What’s Your opinion?


Please login to post your comments
35 Responses to
DIY Conveyancing in Canberra (house sale)
1
erkel 12:13 pm
03 Feb 14
#

The thing is, if you stuff it up, you can get sued, so find a cheap conveyancer and let them deal with it. There are deals around for about $700. Its a few hours work when you know what you are doing, many more when you don’t. Time is money.

Report this comment

2
LegalNut 12:51 pm
03 Feb 14
#

I can’t provide advice on the process but remember that the buyer will reimburse all costs for the building reports so don’t worry about finding the cheapest one, just find the provider you like.

Report this comment

3
schmeah 8:54 pm
03 Feb 14
#

erkel said :

The thing is, if you stuff it up, you can get sued, so find a cheap conveyancer and let them deal with it. There are deals around for about $700. Its a few hours work when you know what you are doing, many more when you don’t. Time is money.

I would strongly suggest you don’t do it yourself. Being sued is a real possibility. And as for seeking out a cheap option, don’t. A colleague of mine did this, the whole process took months, and months. Contact with the conveyancing agent was almost non existent and in the end the vendor nearly pulled out… Though, I would too if the buyer’s agent was jerking me around for 3 or so months. Spend the money, $1000 in the process of selling your property is not much to pay for peace of mind.

Report this comment

4
apis 9:14 pm
03 Feb 14
#

Thanks guys, yeah I’m aware of the reimbursement for reports and the fact I can stuff up something. But I would like to know where I can stuff up, what is it that I could get wrong that could cost me later. I definitely won’t go into this if I’m not confident that I can do it properly… so in the meantime I reckon it is ok to continue research and maybe we can come up with a reliable guide for Canberrans.

Here’s some more info…

Docs for contract:

Crown Lease of the land – $25 (ORS)
Current edition of the certificate of title for the crown lease (title search)- $25 (ORS)
Deposited plan for the land – $20 (ORS)

Lease conveyancing inquiry documents for property – $82.60 (ACTPLA)

Asbestos advice

Reimbursed by the buyer ($800-$900), if sold!:
EER Statement
Building and compliance inspection reports (includes building conveyancing inquiry documents – the inspector orders this from ACTPLA)
Pest information report

Then, exchange of contracts:

• Send one copy of completed contract to buyer’s solicitor
• Write to my bank and ask how much to pay off my mortgage at settlement date (this is probably roughly because settlement date is negotiated a bit later)
• Answer questions from buyers solicitor (Section XX)
• Receive signed contract
• Sign second copy and send to buyer’s solicitor
• Determine settlement date

Settlement Statement:
Shows the amount the buyer needs to pay (you work it out and send to buyer’s solicitor – sale price less deposit, ± balance for rates, land tax, actewagl)

Memorandum of Transfer (MoT) – receive from buyer’s solicitor
• Sign, return to buyer’s solicitor
• Receive back – stamped

Settlement
• Buyer, buyer’s solicitor,gives me bank cheques
• Buyer gives me authority to RE agent to pay me deposit
• I give bank cheques to my bank
• My bank will arrange to have the mortgage noted as discharged on my certificate of title
• I give the Cert of Title to buyer
• I give stamped MoT to buyer
• I give Discharge of Mortgage to buyer
• I give keys to buyer

Anyone can fill in any holes?

Report this comment

5
apis 9:20 pm
03 Feb 14
#

Forgot to say that Contract for Sale comes from ACT Law Society, 2 copies @ $25 each. lol
So out of pocket expense is $200, instead of at least 1,000 … dunno, is it worth it? I heard some stories that even if you’re doing it through a conveyancer and something goes wrong, you still need to hire a solicitor, so you’re on your own anyway.

Report this comment

6
djk 11:05 pm
03 Feb 14
#

I pity the person that buys your house, because not only will their have to pay their solicitor fees, they will likely have to pay for the large amount of time their solicitor spends holding your hand so that you can save “$800”. Also for a decent solicitor it will probably be more like $1800 all up.

FYI there are no “conveyancers” in the ACT – all conveyancing work must be done under a solicitor’s name/firm/certificate.

While you have got most of the basics outlined, there is a lot more to do than just connecting the dots.

Report this comment

7
wooster 12:09 am
04 Feb 14
#

apis said :

Forgot to say that Contract for Sale comes from ACT Law Society, 2 copies @ $25 each. lol
So out of pocket expense is $200, instead of at least 1,000 … dunno, is it worth it? I heard some stories that even if you’re doing it through a conveyancer and something goes wrong, you still need to hire a solicitor, so you’re on your own anyway.

I dont want to come across the wrong way, Apis, but I think you’re missing the point entirely.

Conveyancing is a potentially complex matter. There is a reason why some of us spent 5yrs+ at uni to become qualified to do the work. Yeah some of it is grunt work, but much of what you are paying for is expertise and, in fact, professional indemnity insurance for any stuff ups they are responsible for.

Frankly if you’re selling your house yourself, you’re actually going to save far more, arguably from an agent that doesnt have such a significantly different level of expertise in their area of work, as compared with the difference between yourself and a professional conveyancer.

The risk of getting it wrong is real, and the consequences can be costly. Put the countless hours of research you would otherwise put into the conveyancing and focus it on the sale. Or the move. Or on a rock collection. Anything but the conveyancing.

A good analogy would be someone with no mechanics experience suggesting they will change their brakepads completely unassisted – you might get it right, but its not worth the risk and hassle.

As an aside, even though I could manage a conveyancing on my own behalf, I would actually just stump up and have someone elses ass on the line for it, rather than putting myself at risk.

Report this comment

8
NoImRight 10:23 am
04 Feb 14
#

Just.Dont. I spent years doing this stuff as part of a bigger job and its just not worth the few bucks you ,actually wont, save. Have you worked out how long just getting around to put all these documents together will take? Do you know what you are looking at on them? What if your buyer pulls out after signing will you also be the one enforcing your no doubt immaculate contract?

As said above some poor solicitors secretary will end up doing all your work as well. Then bitching to her boss who will bill his customer. I know how it feels Ive done it. My favourite being sitting in a solicitors office for a settlement in NSW. He was using the new Linen Plan as a coaster for his coffee. When you know why thats funny you are ready to have a go at your own. 😉

Report this comment

9
curmudgery 10:31 am
04 Feb 14
#

To me, DIY conveyancing is like driving to Queanbeyan to buy toilet paper because it’s ‘On Special’.

And you don’t want to get home and find that your finger goes straight through it.

Report this comment

10
zorro29 11:06 am
04 Feb 14
#

I wouldn’t recommend DIY conveyancing…hire a solicitor preferably (approx $1000-1500 to rep you through the whole process). There are lawyers who just do conveyancing for around $700-$900 but I heard they aren’t good if things go awry/complications occur.

It seems like a big expense but really it’s small potatoes to protect yourself. A good solicitor is well worth that investment.

I sold my own house (after an agent messed up)…fortunately it’s pretty easy in Canberra. Here is what you can expect (approx) so budget accordingly and be flexible about it remembering that you’re saving $10k+ on RE fees depending on the price of your house:
– Lawyer $1000
– Advertising on allhomes $700 (compile a good statement and photos)
– Photographs (get them done professionally – worth it) $500
– Inspection $950 (this will be reimbursed by the buyer on sale)

Then run a couple of open houses and make sure you do your research and price realistically. Sometimes chatting to an agent is good for that and costs nothing.

Yeah but I would recommend a lawyer.

Report this comment

11
dtc 12:37 pm
04 Feb 14
#

Actually the biggest risk in selling a house is stuffing up the settlement statement or forgetting to get the right documents at the right time (eg discharge) or not getting the cheques right and delaying the settlement…or being unable to complete the settlement when required and being sued. The buyer’s solicitor cant help you wish this because s/he wont know what is required.

The documents themselves are not particularly complicated and, in any event, its the buyer who is at risk so will check those for you.

The risk is not that you will do something wrong, its that you wont know what you are meant to be doing. What happens if the buyer is also self represented, could be a disaster…

(NSW is much much more complicated, I would never suggest anyone do a NSW conveyance on their own).

To save money, sell the house yourself without an agent. Pay for the lawyer.

Unless something goes awry, of course.

Report this comment

12
Grrrr 1:58 pm
04 Feb 14
#

So are you selling privately?

I’ve sold privately twice,saving $6-12k. Was still happy to pay the $1k for the solicitors to do the conveyancing. Allhomes fees at $1.5k are becoming extortionate for private sellers.. I’m assuming an Allhomes listing is a lot cheaper for Agents, and would be curious to hear rumours of current agent pricing.

All we need is Allhomes – and a strong competitor to Allhomes to keep the prices down!

Report this comment

13
djk 7:56 pm
04 Feb 14
#

Grrrr said :

I’m assuming an Allhomes listing is a lot cheaper for Agents, and would be curious to hear rumours of current agent pricing.

All we need is Allhomes – and a strong competitor to Allhomes to keep the prices down!

$875 for the allhomes ad according to the agent’s invoice sitting on my desk.

Report this comment

14
apis 8:15 pm
04 Feb 14
#

First of all, I respect all responses, different people – different opinions.I had no intention of having a go at conveyancing industry, hence these somewhat hostile responses from people from the industry are unnecessary. I understand that everyone likes talking big about their profession, but there are limits. As an accountant, I could say that no one else is able to do a tax return, but that would be incorrect. With a proper research literally anyone can do it, even those complex ones. However, the more complex it is, the more research is required.

So, can I suggest that we take constructive approach, rather than trying to impose ‘fear of the dark’ on people? All ‘conveyancers’ warned about ‘real risks’ but no one gave 1 example. Actually, there was one – settlement statement. Surely that can scare someone who doesn’t know what it is, but come on guys, it requires basic mathematical skills.

Yes, things can go wrong, one big risk that I see is that settlement fails. I’m not saying that I’d be able to enforce the contract, for that I would need a solicitor, for something like that I would have to pay extra anyway because it is not covered by the standard price.

Report this comment

15
apis 8:32 pm
04 Feb 14
#

Grrr – allhomes ad now costs $1595, which is outrageous. For agents it is about $800.
We never needed allhomes, realestate.com was fine.

Report this comment

1 2 3

Related Articles

CBR Tweets

Sign up to our newsletter

Top
Copyright © 2016 Riot ACT Holdings Pty Ltd. All rights reserved.

Search across the site