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Conveyancing service, are they all the same?

Discussion in 'General Property Chat' started by Samj, 19th Apr, 2016.

  1. Samj

    Samj Well-Known Member

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    Hi,

    I am looking forward to buy a property in Brisbane area and I have got quotations from 3 different solicitors from $1300 to $2200 almost for the same searches. The most difference is their admin charges and other fees. The most expensive one I have used before and they were great and easy to communicate. I haven't had any issues last time. This time I am just wondering if it is worth to spend something extra for them while there are other (apparently good) services aviailable around $700 less.

    So my question here is, if they do the same searches are they all the same? I am just wondering if you have any better recommendations?
     
  2. Peter_Tersteeg

    Peter_Tersteeg Finance broker and strategist Business Member

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    Get a recommendation from your broker or a buyers agent, don't take a recommendation from the selling agent.

    I refer a lot of business to a couple of conveyancers because they're highly competent. They make my job easier and thus everything seems to be easier.

    I don't recommend solicitors. Solicitors have more legal qualifications which can be useful, but it's not what they do all day every day. Whenever there's been problems in the conveyancing process it tends to be a solicitor not a dedicated conveyancer involved. Qualifications does not equal competence although it does appear to result in higher fees.

    Conveyancers tend to be dedicated to that task, they're very specific about what they do and they've seen a lot more scenarios than the average solicitor. The conveyancer should have a direct association with a solicitor for the rare event where things do need legal intervention.

    Additionally solicitors will be able to look at the broader picture of the clients circumstances. What tends to occur is we recommend a particular conveyancer but their boss the solicitor does a short initial interview to make sure there aren't any broader requirements, then they leave the conveyancer to get the conveyancing done.
     
  3. jpcashflow

    jpcashflow Well-Known Member Business Member

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    Not at all... there are some good conveyancers out their and some average ones as well. Like any industry :)
     
  4. Rich W

    Rich W Well-Known Member

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    Is it wise to get a conveyancer from around the area you are buying in? Eg, I'm from Sydney but if you buy in Central Coast or Wollongong for example? Or it doesn't really matter?
     
  5. Corey Batt

    Corey Batt Finance Strategist Business Plus Member

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    After dealing with hundreds of them - they certainly are not all the same. Some are on the ball and ensure the deal progresses smoothly from their end - others will stall the deals incessantly. I agree with Peter - it's best to get a recommendation from your broker as they will have the most front facing transaction experience with conveyancers and have your interests more aligned than a sales agent.
     
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  6. Perthguy

    Perthguy Well-Known Member

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    In my experience of buying and selling properties, they are not all the same. In Vic, I hired a very expensive solicitor to settle a property and it was an expensive distaster. Next time around (when selling), I hired a cheap and cheery conveyancer and had no issues at all.

    Can you get some recommendations from investors who are active in the area? Brisbane is hot now so there should be a lot of deals being done.
     
  7. RPI

    RPI Property Lawyer, Town Planner Business Member

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    In QLD the firm has to be a firm of solicitors but the people doing the conveyance are normally just admin staff, no need to have done any conveyancing study at all. We only use solicitors to run the conveyance, no admin, paralegals etc.

    In QLD my order of preference would be
    1. Solicitors that do conveyancing continuously,
    2. admin person that does conveyancing everyday under supervision of solicitor;
    3. Solicitor that does a bit of conveyancing.

    Number 3 is likely to be too distracted by their other matters to offer the time commitment needed.

    Check your quotes too, many have small print with extras for legal advice, extensions, settlement etc etc.

    The big difference in firms that I note is what their attitude is.

    Many firms think people only buy a property every 7 years or so, therefore they don't care about service as they are unlikely to see the client again. They can then load up their staff with ridiculous numbers and get the job done, but only just.

    I know that each of my solicitors runs 2-2.5 times less settlements a month then one of the cheapies up here.
     
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  8. Peter_Tersteeg

    Peter_Tersteeg Finance broker and strategist Business Member

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    Keep in mind that most brokers don't refer a solicitor or conveyancer because the conveyancer is giving them lots of business, it's quite the opposite. I refer a particular law firm in Melbourne a lot because their conveyancer does a great job.

    Conveyancers are often the last person a purchaser talks to when buying a property, finance is one of the first. When a conveyancer refers a client to a mortgage broker it's because something has gone seriously wrong with their finance already - it's not exactly AAA business.

    I'm quite happy to take their referrals. The benefit of the relationship to me is they value my business and take good care of the clients I refer. They also help me out when myself or a client has a legal question to be answered, it's helped a few people get out of a tricky situation.
     
  9. Terry_w

    Terry_w Solicitor, Finance Broker, CTA Business Member

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    You should only use a solicitor for conveyancing in my opinion. Ideally a property lawyer that specialises in conveyancing. Conveyancers may be good and doing conveyancing, but it is the little legal issues which they don't fully understand that is important.

    e.g. estate planning issues, family law issues, asset protection issues, ownership structure - TIC v JT etc, bankruptcy issues.

    ps. I am a lawyer that doesn't do conveyancing.
     
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  10. Jamie Moore

    Jamie Moore MORTGAGE BROKER - AUSTRALIA WIDE Business Member

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    Agree 100%

    I only refer clients to solicitors/conveyancers that have a track record of providing a good/efficient service - makes my life easier too!

    Cheers

    Jamie
     
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  11. Blacky

    Blacky Well-Known Member

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    +1
    We nearly lost a property which was under offer - when the seller tried to withdraw the offer at the last minute. It was because, and only because, we were using a solicitor for settlement that they were able to unravel the sellers withdraw (in a nicely summarised 1page letter) that ensured we secured the property.

    They are all the same...till they are not.

    Blacky
     
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  12. dabbler

    dabbler Well-Known Member

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    No they are not the same, no where near the same, but cheap or expensive is not an indicator always of what you will get.

    I tried one from the old forum once, that person was an idiot, always calling me complaining about the lender, vendors solicitor, the agent, in the end not only were they not cheap, but they cost me other money down the track, did not notify council or water authorities of changes etc, big mess.

    I prefer to use business with more than one staff member & with at least one solicitor in house.

    Now if your paying 1500+ they should be able to handle the matter with minimum from you. But not always, sometimes you get lumped with a junior who is learning.

    If paying under a grand, expect to be getting involved and having to check things often, and guiding them a lot, not always, but more chance of getting a junior or someone new, I had the most excellent service from one of the cheapest solicitors, there used to be a real cheap guy in Sydney & geez was he on the ball, but he must have retired & his manner was a bit gruff, but very good, he was in the 500 range about 15 years ago.
     
  13. larrylarry

    larrylarry Well-Known Member

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    @Samj IP is a big investment. Don't be dictated by price. Heaps offer cheap rates in Chinatown, Sydney but they're a nightmare to deal with. Look for solicitors who are confident in dealing with conveyancing, day in day out. I have seen purchasers DIY and they're a nightmare to deal with when it comes to settlement day.
     
  14. Samj

    Samj Well-Known Member

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    Many thanks guys!

    BTW, do you have any recommendations?
     
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  15. Peter_Tersteeg

    Peter_Tersteeg Finance broker and strategist Business Member

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    Which state? Most conveyancers or solicitors are only licensed in a single state for this sort of thing.
     
  16. Samj

    Samj Well-Known Member

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  17. Steven Ryan

    Steven Ryan Mortgage Broker Business Plus Member

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    @Samj, ask your broker :)

    I recommend Fiona & team at Gustafson Franke Lawyers to my clients. They're amazing.
     
  18. jins13

    jins13 Well-Known Member

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    $1300 for my conveyancing fee and she is excellent
     
  19. dabbler

    dabbler Well-Known Member

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    And the company is ? The fee is that the conveyancing fee + disbursements, or including ?

    I have been using a company that has conveyances and solicitors in all eastern states, would only recommend if you know the process in case you get a less senior staff member to deal with.

    How do they become "amazing" ? by doing the job without stuffing up ?

    You may want to tell them that whomever looks after the website is not doing such an amazing job

    Index of /

    But they probably do not show the fee structure there anyway, what do they charge you for a normal straight forward job ?
     
  20. larrylarry

    larrylarry Well-Known Member

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    @dabbler i think at the very least your lawyers should communicate with you clearly, alerting you to possible problems from reviewing contract, be contactable and responsive. The average cost would be around $1,200 excl. disbursements. You'd be surprised to know that the most complaints about lawyers and suits against lawyers are due to conveyancing work. This area of law has the highest claims on law cover, consistently over the years in NSW.