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    australian institute of conveyancers nsw division  
  helping you find a professional conveyancer  
     
 
 
 
 

Frequently Asked Questions

  What are the benefits of using an AICNSW member?
  When do I instruct my conveyancer?
  Are all conveyancers the same?
  What questions should I ask my conveyancer?
  Should buyers and sellers use the same conveyancer?
  Should I use the conveyancer the estate agent has referred me to?
  What are the costs involved in buying real estate?
  What are the costs involved in selling real estate?
  If I sell my house without the intervention of an Estate Agent do I still need a conveyancer?
  Do all conveyancers carry professional indemnity insurance?
  Who do I refer to if I have a complaint about the service provided by a conveyancer?




What are the benefits of using an AICNSW member?

Being a member of the AIC means that the conveyancer must abide by the rules and codes of conduct of the AIC, they must also complete the annual continuing education requirements that are required to renew a conveyancer's licence each year. These requirements are set out by the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) and the AIC provides the facility by which members can complete their continuing education.

The AIC promotes the view that members should complete more than the compulsory requirements set down by the OFT and that continuing education is of utmost importance to the continuing skill and expertise that is needed to remain abreast of the ever changing nature of the conveyancing profession. Most members will complete more than the compulsory continuing education requirements.

A Licensed Conveyancer is a qualified professional, who specialises in this single field of law (conveyancing) and as such is up to date with all changes to legislation and procedures that may affect your transaction. An AICNSW member must comply with our high standards and has the full backing and support of the AIC.


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When do I instruct my Conveyancer?

You should speak to your conveyancer as early as possible. You should, preferably, speak to your conveyancer before you look for a property or before you decide to put your property on the market when selling. Never sign anything before consulting your conveyancer first. If you are asked to sign a contract request a copy of the contract first so that your conveyancer can go through the contract with you before you sign. If you do this you will understand what you are signing. There is no such thing as a standard contract.


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Are all conveyancers the same?

No. As with any profession or trade each individual will be different. Some conveyancers are self-employed and some work in small business or in large conveyancing firms. Some will offer a wider range of services than others and they will all have their own set of fees and business practices.

If you use a member of the Australian Institute of Conveyancers then you know that the conveyancer you have chosen has undertaken specialist training, participates in a compulsory professional development program, holds professional indemnity insurance for your protection and will offer professional service and advice.


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What questions should I ask my Conveyancer?

It is important that you explain carefully your personal situation and exactly what you want. Explain anything that may have an influence on your transaction. Finance needs to be discussed, any time limits and your preferences. Advise your conveyancer of any details at all about the transaction no matter how important, or not, they may seem to you, it is possible that what is not important to you may have an important bearing on the transaction that you are not aware of. Your conveyancer will decide what is important or not.

Ask your Conveyancer;
  • Are you a member of the Australian Institute of Australia?
  • What exactly will I pay in fees and charges?
  • What is your fee and what services are included in those fees?
  • Will, or can there be, any additional charges or costs?
  • What Government fees will I have to pay?
  • How long will completion take?
  • Is there anything I need to do and when do I do it?
  • Will you personally be handling my file?
  • How will you keep me up to date with what's happening?



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Should buyers and sellers use the same conveyancer?

There is nothing legally wrong with using the same conveyancer however, the Institute does not recommend this practice. Your conveyancer is working for you and to give you the best advice and guidance throughout your transaction.

It is not always possible to give a buyer and seller the same advice and a conflict can arise. Sometimes these conflicts are only small but can have a large bearing on your transaction and it is not always possible to predict when a conflict may arise. The small amount of savings made, if any, when using the same conveyancer will not balance out the risks that are potentially large. Delays can be experienced if the conveyancer cannot continue to act for either party if a conflict of interest arises.

Remember that conveyancing is not just the filling out of forms and attending to stamp duty payments. This may be the largest transaction of your life and you will want to know that your conveyancer is acting in your best interests and not compromising with someone else's interests at the same time. Have comfort of mind by using your own conveyancer.


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Should I use the conveyancer the estate agent has referred me to?

Many estate agents refer clients to a local conveyancer. There is nothing wrong with this practice so long as it is based on the professionalism and expertise of the conveyancer. If you don't know a conveyancer then this referral may be helpful to you.

Keep in mind that the conveyancer is there to protect your interests and if you would prefer to select your own conveyancer then you can refer to the Institute for a referral or check our web site to find a conveyancer of your own choosing. While there is usually nothing wrong with the agent referring you to a conveyancer you need to feel comfortable with it and it is your choice not the agents as to whom you use.


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What are the costs involved in buying real estate?

There are several costs involved in buying any real estate. It is vital that you know what they are before you commence the transaction in order to budget for them. Costs can blow out if you are not prepared and make yourself aware of what is involved.

Ask your conveyancer to give you a written quotation of all the fees and charges involved in your particular transaction so you know what the conveyancing process will cost you. Ask whether there are any other costs or charges that may arise that are not included in the quotation

Standard fees and charges payable to your Conveyancer;
  • Stamp duty on the contract
  • Title search costs
  • Governmental and Council Inquiries
  • Agency fees for settlement etc.
  • Fee for attending to loan and mortgage documents, when necessary
  • Your conveyancer's fee
  • Registration fees paid to the Lands Department
  • Inspection reports including building, pest and swimming pool
  • There may be others depending on your individual transaction
Other costs to be aware of;
  • Fees and charges for obtaining a loan
  • Mortgage insurance where applicable
  • Adjustment of rates and taxes for the period you own the property
  • Insurance of buildings
  • Removalists and other moving costs



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What are the costs involved in selling real estate?

Before proceeding with any conveyancing transaction it is important to know exactly what the costs are, selling a property is no different. Ask your conveyancer for a written quotation of the conveyancing fees and charges. You should also make sure the estate agent gives you a written quotation of his fees and charges or at least the manner in which they will be calculated.

The standard costs when selling real estate are;
  • Fees and charges payable to discharge any loan
  • Agent's commission and charges for advertising etc.
  • Rates and taxes adjustment for the period you own the property
  • Moving costs
  • Balance of loan repayments
  • Conveyancing fees and disbursements (typically)
    • Title search
    • Zoning certificate from council
    • Drainage diagram
    • Agency fees (settlement etc)
    • Fee to arrange discharge of mortgage, when necessary
    • Your conveyancer's fee
    • Swimming pool inspection certificate
Check with your conveyancer for any other costs


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If I sell my house without the intervention of an Estate Agent do I still need a conveyancer?

Yes. You cannot list or advertise your property for sale in any way whatsoever until your conveyancer has prepared the proposed contract for sale. Anyone who makes an inquiry or an offer on your property is entitled to ask for a copy of the proposed contract for sale, there are fines payable if a copy is not available on request.

It is important that if you are going to sell without an agent then you should consult your conveyancer before you do anything further.


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Do all conveyancers carry professional indemnity insurance?

All licensed conveyancers are covered by a policy of professional indemnity insurance. This is done for your protection in the unlikely situation that something goes wrong with your transaction. You should check to see that your conveyancer is a member of the Institute and if they are then you will know that they are covered by the policy held by the Institute and approved by the governing body, Department of Fair Trading.

If you choose to use an AICNSW member for your conveyancing, you will have done so in the knowledge that you have chosen a conveyancer who holds Professional Indemnity Insurance and who must participate in the AIC's Risk Management Program for your protection.


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Who do I refer to if I have a complaint about the service provided by a conveyancer?

We receive very few complaints about members of the Institute. Those that are received are generally misunderstandings or a lack of communication between the client and the conveyancer. We suggest that you talk to your conveyancer about any complaint you have and try and sort it out amicably with them. AICNSW members are professionals and do not want complaints and should attempt to resolve them quickly and hopefully easily. If however, you are not satisfied then please contact us and if we cannot resolve the matter, or if it is of a type that we cannot resolve we will refer you to the correct place to have your complaint resolved.


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think property, think CPC
think property, think CPC