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Conveyancing Fees

A Guide To Conveyancing Costs In Australia – UPDATED 01/06/2021

Commonly conveyancing fees may range from $500 to $2,200 depending on whether you are buying or selling, and what State you are transacting in. If you would like a quote for your personal conveyancing fees, please click here.

What are conveyancing fees on existing houses in QLD, VIC and NSW?

Below is an example of what the average conveyancing fees for buying an existing house may be:

LocationFixed Professional Legal FeeStandard Search CostsTotal Estimated Conveyancing Fee
QLD Brisbane$850-$950$350-$500$1200-$1450
VIC Melbourne$600-$800$270-$350$870-$1150
NSW Sydney$750-$1000$350-$450$1100-$1450

Below is an example of what the average conveyancing fees for selling an existing house may be:

LocationFixed Professional Legal FeeStandard Search CostsTotal Estimated Conveyancing Fee
QLD Brisbane$450-$550$18-$30$468-$580
VIC Melbourne$700-$850$350-$400$1050-$1250
NSW Sydney$800-$950$300-$350$1000-$1300

What are conveyancing fees on land in QLD, VIC and NSW? 

Below is an example of what the average conveyancing fees for buying land may be:

LocationFixed Professional Legal FeeStandard Search CostsTotal Estimated Conveyancing Fee
QLD Brisbane$850-$950$290-$450$1150-$1500
VIC Melbourne$600-$800$270-$350$870-$1150
NSW Sydney$750-$1000$350-$450$1100-$1450

Below is an example of what the average conveyancing fees for selling land may be:

LocationFixed Professional Legal FeeStandard Search CostsTotal Estimated Conveyancing Fee
QLD Brisbane$450-$550$18-$30$468-$580
VIC Melbourne$700-$850$350-$400$1050-$1250
NSW Sydney$800-$950$300-$350$1000-$1300

What are conveyancing fees on apartments in QLD, VIC and NSW? 

Below is an example of what the average conveyancing fees for buying apartments may be:

LocationFixed Professional Legal FeeStandard Search CostsTotal Estimated Conveyancing Fee
QLD Brisbane$850-$950$450-$650$1300-$1600
VIC Melbourne$600-$800$450-$500$1050-$1300
NSW Sydney$750-$1000$450-$600$1200-$1600

Below is an example of what the average conveyancing fees for selling apartments may be:

LocationFixed Professional Legal FeeStandard Search CostsTotal Estimated Conveyancing Fee
QLD Brisbane$450-$550$18-$30$468-$580
VIC Melbourne$700-$850$400-$500$1100-$1350
NSW Sydney$800-$950$400-$500$1200-$1450

What are conveyancing fees on buying Off the Plan (OTP) property in QLD, VIC and NSW? 

Below is an example of what the average conveyancing fees for buying off the plan (OTP) property may be:

LocationFixed Professional Legal FeeStandard Search CostsTotal Estimated Conveyancing Fee
QLD Brisbane$850-$950$200-$350$1050-$1300
VIC Melbourne$600-$800$450-$500$1050-$1300
NSW Sydney$750-$1000$350-$450$1100-$1450

Why is there a difference between conveyancing fees and the type of property brought?

The main difference in fees between property types is the searches required to be conducted. For example, an apartment requires searches of the body corporate, strata corporation or owner’s corporation who manages the apartment, whereas an existing property does not require this search.

Are conveyancing quotes a precise total or an estimate? 

Conveyancing quotes are in almost all cases an estimate of the conveyancing fees you will pay at settlement. The reason for this is that your specific needs and personal goals will change what work, information and searches you require. Also, the type of lot purchased, and the parties involved in the transaction can impact the cost of the conveyance.

In saying that, the estimate is usually a good starting point that indicates that as long as nothing unusual happens in your transaction, that is the cost you will pay.

What is usually included in the conveyancing fee? 

A conveyancing fee quote will usually include the following costs:

  1. Legal Fees – This includes the cost of labour, conveyancing work, lawyer’s time and conveyancer’s or file owner’s time. A lawyer, conveyancer and file owner are required to run your file with due diligence as a part of this fee.
  2. Standard Search Fees – This includes the fees payable to third parties for standard searches.
  3. Other Costs – This will be for costs outside of the Legal Fees and Standard Search Fees. This can include settlement agent fees, postage costs and bank fees.

Only at settlement will your conveyancing fee be certain as the final conveyancing fee is determined by the specific work/labour required, any additional searches you require, and additional costs incurred.

Due Diligence – What is it? 

A lawyer, conveyancer and file owner are required to work with due diligence as part of your legal fees. Due diligence means that reasonable steps are required to be taken when carrying out work on your file. This can include taking steps to uncover risks or special circumstances that impact your transaction. Due diligence will help determine what mitigative action and conveyancing work is required to protect your interest and rights. Any conveyancing work required outside of the scope of the “standard conveyance”, which is what your quote covers, will affect your final cost.

Standard Conveyance – What is it?

Each firm has their own definition of what a standard conveyance is. You will be able to see how a standard conveyance is defined by reviewing the Appointment Terms and Conditions included as part of your quote. It is important that you understand what the quote includes as standard and are happy with that quote when you nominate your conveyancer or conveyancing lawyer.

Below details what you can expect to be within the scope of work Lead Conveyancing will do for you as part of a Standard Conveyance.

VIC Purchaser

  1. Drafting and providing you with documents at the commencement of your file (For example, Transfer of Land, Duties Forms, Notice of Acquisition and Nomination documents as applicable)
  2. Conducting a review of the Section 27 Statement and supporting documents, then organising for you to sign the Section 27 Statement.
  3. Checking and providing the relevant documents to the Vendor’s Solicitors
  4. Corresponding with the Vendor’s Solicitor or Conveyancer in relation to your transaction including negotiating settlement adjustments and organising settlement.
  5. Corresponding with you and your financier to organise funds to be made available for settlement and providing any documents as required.
  6. Preparing the statement of adjustments and booking settlement with the relevant parties.
  7. Completing settlement on the day of settlement including coordinating between the parties on the funds to be transferred at settlement.
  8. Notifying the relevant authorities of your purchase of the property and issuing a Notice of Acquisition.
  9. Sending a post settlement letter to you together with a copy of the statement of adjustments, our tax invoice and Trust Account Statement.

VIC Vendor

  1. Obtaining your instructions on matters relating to the sale for the purpose of preparing the Contract and Vendor’s Statement.
  2. Preparing the Contract and Vendor’s Statement and issuing it to your Real Estate Agent.
  3. Preparing the Section 27 Statement and obtaining details from your bank for completing the Section 27 Statement. Forwarding the Section 27 Statement to you and the Purchaser to sign if requested.
  4. Organising for the execution of Transfer Documents and for the document to be available at settlement.
  5. Preparing a Goods Statement and forwarding to you to sign.
  6. Corresponding with you and your financier to organise a discharge of mortgage to be provided at settlement.
  7. Reviewing the Statement of Adjustments received from the Purchaser.
  8. Booking settlement with the relevant parties.
  9. Completing settlement on the day of settlement including coordinating between the parties on the funds to be transferred at settlement.
  10. Notifying authorities of your sale of the property and issuing a Notice of Disposition.
  11. Sending a post settlement letter to you together with a copy of the statement of adjustments, our tax invoice and Trust Account Statement.

NSW Purchaser

  1. Drafting and providing you with documents at the commencement of your file (For example, Transfer, Revenue NSW Forms and eNOS as applicable).
  2. Checking and providing the relevant documents to the Vendor’s Solicitors.
  3. Corresponding with the Vendor’s Solicitor or Conveyancer in relation to your transaction including negotiating settlement adjustments and organising settlement.
  4. Corresponding with you and your financier to organise funds to be made available for settlement and providing any documents as required.
  5. Arranging for the Transfer and relevant documents to be assessed and stamped for duty.
  6. Preparing the statement or adjustments and booking settlement with the relevant parties.
  7. Completing settlement on the day of settlement including coordinating between the parties on the funds to be transferred at settlement.
  8. Notifying the relevant authorities of your purchase of the property and issuing a Notice of Acquisition.
  9. Sending a post settlement letter to you together with a copy of the statement of adjustments, our tax invoice and Trust Account Statement.

NSW Vendor

  1. Obtaining your instructions on matters relating to the sale for the purpose of preparing the Contract.
  2. Preparing the Contract together with Special Conditions and issuing it to your Real Estate Agent.
  3. Corresponding with you regarding any amendments to the Contract and responding to the Purchaser in accordance with your instructions.
  4. Attending to the exchange of the Contract.
  5. Forwarding the Purchaser’s requisitions on title to you and providing the Purchaser’s with your answers.
  6. Organising for the execution of Transfer Documents and for the document to be available at settlement.
  7. Signing the Section 22 Notice on your behalf in preparation for settlement.
  8. Corresponding with you and your financier to organise a discharge of mortgage to be provided at settlement.
  9. Reviewing the Statement of Adjustments received from the Purchaser and providing a Section 184 Certificate to the Purchaser.
  10. Booking settlement with the relevant parties.
  11. Completing settlement on the day of settlement including coordinating between the parties on the funds to be transferred at settlement.
  12. Sending a post settlement letter to you together with a copy of the statement of adjustments, our tax invoice and Trust Account Statement.

QLD Purchaser

  1. Drafting and providing you with documents at the commencement of your file (for example, a first letter and relevant concession forms).
  2. Drafting and providing the Transfer and Form 24 documents to the Vendor’s.
  3. Reviewing and giving you advice on Special Conditions included in the contract.
  4. Corresponding with the Vendor’s Solicitor in relation to your transaction including notifying of satisfaction of clauses, negotiating settlement adjustments and organising settlement.
  5. Preparing the Transfer Duty transaction for the Office of State Revenue, then collecting the Transfer Duty and organising the stamping of the Transfer.
  6. Reviewing the Transfer and Form 24 before settlement to ensure they are suitable for lodgement.
  7. Corresponding with you and your financier to organise funds to be made available for settlement and providing any documents as required.
  8. Preparing the settlement statement and booking settlement with the relevant parties.
  9. Completing settlement on the day of settlement including coordinating between the parties on the funds to be transferred at settlement.
  10. Sending a post settlement letter to you together with a copy of the settlement statement, our tax invoice and Trust Account Statement.

QLD Vendor

  1. Drafting and providing you with documents at the commencement of your file (for example, a first letter).
  2. Drafting and providing initial correspondence to the Vendor’s and the Real Estate Agent.
  3. Reviewing and giving you advice on Special Conditions included in the contract.
  4. Corresponding with the Purchaser’s Solicitor in relation to your transaction including negotiating settlement adjustments and organising settlement.
  5. Organising for the execution of Transfer Documents and for the document to be available at settlement.
  6. Corresponding with you and your financier to organise a discharge of mortgage to be provided at settlement.
  7. Preparing the settlement statement and booking settlement with the relevant parties.
  8. Completing settlement on the day of settlement including coordinating between the parties on the funds to be transferred at settlement.
  9. Sending a post settlement letter to you together with a copy of the statement of adjustments, our tax invoice and Trust Account Statement.

Fixed Legal Fee – What is it? 

A fixed legal fee is the money you will pay for standard conveyancing work conducted by your file owner and lawyer. This fee is fixed so you will not pay any more or less for the standard conveyance service conducted by the conveyancing lawyer, File Owner and support team. Some law firms may still charge an hourly fee for work conducted on your file instead of a fixed fee. Where possible, it will generally be cheaper for you to select a fixed fee quote instead of an hourly fee quote.

Are the costs of conveyancing in QLD, VIC and NSW different?

Each State has different legal and search requirements which impact the conveyancing fee charged. For example:

VIC Conveyancing requires a Vendor Disclosure in every Contract and the completion of a Section 32. This means that a Contract is required to be drafted or reviewed by a lawyer before signing.

NSW Conveyancing requires a Vendor Disclosure in every Contract and the completion of a Section 10.7. This means that a Contract is required to be drafted or reviewed by a lawyer before signing.

QLD Conveyancing requires the Purchaser to investigate all matters in relation to the property as the Vendor is required to provide minimal disclosure in the Contract. Generally, an Agent drafts the Contract and a pre-Contractual review is optional.

What work may be required outside of the standard conveyancing fee? 

Work required outside of the standard conveyancing fee can include the following:

  • Work required for drafting or reviewing a Deed of Rescission or Deed of Variation
  • Work required and costs incurred as a result of a caveat lodgement
  • Work required and costs incurred as a result of a priority notice lodgement
  • Work required for drafting or reviewing a Licence Agreement
  • Work required for drafting or reviewing a Contract prior to your signing i

This kind of work is not standard as not everyone will require the work to be done. These services will however come at an additional cost.

Searches – What are they?

Searches are a request for information from a third party. To get the information a fee will need to be paid to the third party. The common searches included as part of a conveyancing fee can include:

  • Title Search – This provides the particulars for the title to the property, details of the current owner and details any encumbrances that effect the property.
  • Plan Search – This provides the dimensions, gradient and physical features of the lot.
  • Land Tax Search – This details any outstanding land tax payments on the property.
  • Council Rates Search – This details any outstanding rate payments on the property. This search can also include information council believes you need to know in relation to the property.
  • Special Water Meter Reading – This confirms the current water usage for the property so the costs of the water used can be adjusted at settlement.

Your lawyer or File Owner will need these searches to undertake their due diligence and complete the conveyancing work. In most cases searches will be required, mandatory, and will incur a cost in addition to the Legal Fee. As an example, searches are similar to when you buy a phone but need a sim card and phone plan in order to be able to use the phone as intended. Searches are like the sim card and phone plan that you need in addition and cannot be avoided otherwise it will negatively impact your conveyance.

Additional Searches – What are they? 

Depending on the property, you or your bank may require additional searches on the property. Your lawyer or file owner may also recommend additional searches if they suspect any out of the ordinary risks in relation to the property. An additional search may be needed to discover mining rights if your property is located in an mining area, or to discover if the property may be registered in the contaminated land register. Such additional searches may give you a right to terminate the Contract or even claim compensation from the Vendor if it would prevent you using the property as you intended it to be used.

As mining and contaminated land searches are commonly area specific and most suburbs in Australia will not require them, if you need them for your property you would need to pay an extra fee for the search. Even so, conducting the additional search can save you hundreds of thousands of dollars by avoiding you having to purchase a property that is not suitable to your needs.

Why are certain searches mandatory? 

Your lawyer and file owner are required to manage your risk. Accordingly, certain searches are always required to confirm basic information on the property for the conveyance and protect you against risk. This is why you cannot ask your lawyer or file owner to use out of date searches, free searches, only conduct some standard searches or not do searches at all. By making those requests you would be preventing your lawyer and file owner from best protecting you. As property purchases are the biggest transaction most people will conduct in their lifetime, it is best to make sure you have up to date search certificates. If a provider tells you a search is not required, you should be suspicious. The only way to make sure you get the property you want without unnecessary additional costs is to conduct the relevant searches.

Why a final price can only be provided close to settlement?

A lawyer or file owner needs to be fully involved in the transaction before they can determine what risks or special circumstances relate to your transaction. Circumstances can arise through the course of your transaction that can result in unforeseen costs which can impact your final conveyancing fee. In other words, your final conveyancing fee will be a result of an intensive diagnosis and active due diligence throughout the conveyance. This is why final pricing is difficult to determine.

Where an additional cost is required your lawyer or file owner will contact you to inform you of the additional cost so you can budget for it at settlement.

Is the conveyancing fee dependant on the cost of the property? 

Some firms will quote a conveyancing fee that is dependant on the price of the property. However, many firms do not rely on the price of the property to determine your conveyancing fee. Where a firm does not charge a conveyancing fee that is reliant on the purchase price, the fee will be the same for a $300,000 property as it would be for a $2,000,000 property.

Is the conveyancing fee dependant on the type of property? 

Yes, a conveyancing fee will vary depending on the type of property involved. For example, an apartment will require body corporate, strata corporation or owner’s corporation searches.

Is the conveyancing fee dependant on the location of the property? 

Yes, a conveyancing fee will vary depending on the location of the property. The reason for this is search fees can vary dramatically across the different councils. Searches in your capital cities generally are cheaper than those in more regional areas. An example of the differences is provided below:

VIC Water Information Statement Cost Differences

Water information Statement from Melbourne City Council $31.00

Water information Statement from Macedon City Council $160.00

Water information Statement from Greater Geelong City Council $41.00

Water information Statement from Baw Baw City Council $105.00

NSW Water Information Statement Cost Differences

Water information Statement from Sydney City Council $20.00

Water information Statement from Central Coast City Council $105.00

Water information Statement from Queanbeyan-Palerang City Council $250.00

Water information Statement from Great Lakes City Council $115.00

QLD Rates Statement Cost Differences

Rates Statement from Brisbane City Council $15.00

Rates Statement from Gold Coast City Council $190.00

Rates Statement from Sunshine Coast City Council $105.00

Rates Statement from Logan City Council $350.00

Is the conveyancing fee dependant on where or how the property settles? 

Yes, a conveyancing fee will vary depending on how or where the property settles. In most States a majority of properties may settle by an electronic settlement platform, such as PEXA. An electronic settlement will generally be cheaper than a paper alternative. In circumstances where an electronic settlement is unable to be completed, or where you may have a choice to complete a paper or electronic settlement, then settlement will need to be booked for a specific location. Paper settlements are generally more expensive than the electronic option and you will find that settlements in major business centres will be cheaper than those that are required to take place in regional areas.

An example of the costs you may expect for settlement are detailed below:

PEXA Settlement Fee: $116.60

Paper Settlement Fee in Capital City: Est $160

Paper Settlement Fee in Regional City: Est $300

We can provide you with a free quote for your personal conveyance by clicking here.

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