Conveyancing Frequently asked questions

Some of the most commonly asked questions regarding conveyancing and sale/purchase of property.

Conveyancing FAQs

  • What does Conveyancer mean?

    A Conveyancer is a specifically qualified professional who is licensed to provide advice and carry out the legal, financial and administrative works related to property sale, purchase, transfer & lease.

  • What is the difference between a Conveyancer and a Solicitor?

    A Conveyancer is someone who is specifically qualified to work with the transfer of real estate. They give professional legal advice on title transfers and conduct official legal work to ensure the purchase/sale runs smoothly.

    A Solicitor is known to be a more general legal practitioner who also have the specialist knowledge required to handle the transfer of property.

    Conveyancers will have a stronger working knowledge of the rules and regulations in the State it is taking place in when it comes to Conveyancing because this is their specific area of expertise.

    Conveyancers have an extensive amount of knowledge in this field it is rare that an issue will arise that a Conveyancer cannot solve.

  • What makes a good Conveyancer?

    A good Conveyancer or Conveyancing firm is the one that:

    • Keeps their customer and their interests as their priority.
    • The Conveyancer should be Licensed & appropriately Insured.
    • Provide sound legal advice is plain and jargon free English.
    • Has the experience required to handle their client's property.
  • What is conveyancing and who can do conveyancing work?

    Conveyancing is usually completed by a Licensed Conveyancer. A common conveyance usually takes 6 weeks. Conveyancers often offer fixed price conveyancing services which usually includes costs of searches, legal advice and other expenditure. In NSW a typical conveyancing process for buying a property includes, but is not limited to, the following:

    • Title Searches
    • preparation of legal documents
    • making sure rates, land tax and water consumption charges are paid by the appropriate party
    • arranging for the payment of fees and charges
    • checking for encumbrances and restrictions on the property
    • ensuring any special conditions mentioned in the contract are met



    Due to the three level system of government in Australia (federal, state and local), it must be made sure that all rights and title are properly awarded to the seller. Most information is retrieved from state or local (council) authorities. A standard search package could include:

    • Company search
    • Contaminated Land search
    • Council Property search
    • Full Council Inspection of Records search
    • Land Tax search
    • Main Roads search
    • Registered Plan Search or Building Units/Group Titles Plan Search
    • Titles Search & check title search



    Sydney Conveyancing have provided conveyancing services to hundreds of happy clients in Sydney and across NSW. GET A QUOTE from SYDNEY CONVEYANCING in 30 seconds.

  • What is the process of Conveyancing?


    Generally speaking Conveyancing is the process of transferring the ownership of a property or real estate from the seller to the buyer.


    It's your decision, however we thoroughly believe that you should let a professional Licensed Conveyancing firm assist you. While the process is 'do-able', it is complex enough to challenge an average person and time consuming.

    The cost of hiring is affordable, much more competitive as compared to a Solicitor and especially keeping the cost of property in mind.

    We suggest that you GET A QUOTE FROM SYDNEY CONVEYANCING  and then make a good informed decision.

  • What are property searches?

    Before purchasing a property, it is a standard procedure to conduct a due diligence to confirm whether it is worth investing in a property. Normally the purchasers will be satisfied and proceed to purchase the property once they verify that the property is free from encumbrances. However, there may be a range of other important searches which the purchasers need to conduct before closing the purchase deal. Types of Property Searches in New South Wales (NSW) The types of searches a purchaser may conduct before deciding to buy a property in NSW are as follows:

    • Title Search and Title Plan Search: Land Title Search provides various details of the land or property such as the name(s) of the registered owner(s), physical description of the property, encumbrances attached to the property like mortgages, easements, caveats and covenants. Title Plan Search shows the registered extent of the land or property, its administrative area, lane title number and general positioning of the boundaries. These searches are usually accompanied by the “Land Title Register” containing the folio number, plan number, the local government area, parish and county of the property, details pertaining to the names of the owners, details of the mortgages, existence of easement rights and encumbrances.
    • Survey Plan or Strata Plan Search: Land Survey Plan provides information pertaining to the dimension of the land and the location of buildings and structures on the land. A Strata Plan reveals the lot dimensions of the property, building outlines, wherever applicable, Certificate of Title number of the lot, details of unit entitlement and common property, notification and encumbrances affecting the strata plan.
    • Lease Data Search: A Lease Data Search provide details in relation to the leasing out of the land or property, lease agreement details, names and addresses of the Lessor and the Lessee, tenure of the lease, lease amount, renewal terms and details of covenants, restrictions and easements contained in the lease.
    • Deeds and Instrument Search: Through this search, a purchaser can obtain information concerning various deeds or instruments such as title deed detailing the transfer of property to the existing owner, lease or sub-lease deed, mortgage deed, restrictive covenants and easements.
    • Historical Search: Historical Land Title Search reveals about the local history of a land or property. This search can be performed by accessing the following registers:
      • Old Form Torrens Register: This shows the ownership chain affecting the title of the property over a considerable period.
      • Charting Maps: These are cadastral land boundary guide used to search plan and title information relating to a property.
      • Crown Plans: These are survey diagrams demonstrating the State’s terrestrial boundaries, natural topographies and include references to early leasing and ownership of the land or property.
    • Boundary Search for two adjoining properties: This search includes the land title register, survey plan, strata plan and an instrument for each of the adjoining properties and signifies most of the registered property information and documents for two adjoining properties.
    • Right of Way and Right of Access Search: This search discloses another person’s right of way and access to and from a property or a land.
    • Zoning Search: Certificate issued from this search shows the planning controls applicable to a particular land or property. The Zoning Certificate is issued by the relevant council and it specifies the true status and permitted use of the property.
    • Drainage or Sewer Details Search: This search shows the location of the internal and external service lines or the main sewer of the property. A drainage or sewer diagram can be obtained from the concerned local water authority.
    • Pest Inspection: Search should be made to find out whether the land or property is infested with destructive pests that may have caused or are likely to cause damage to the property. A Pest Inspection Report can be obtained from a qualified pest controller.

    If you are contemplating to buy a property in NSW, Sydney Conveyancing can assist you in conducting the property searches.

  • What are special conditions?

    Special conditions are supplementary conditions incorporated in a contract. Whether you are the seller or the buyer, to protect your interest it is advisable to consult your Solicitor to determine as to what conditions can be deemed ‘special’ for inclusion in the contract. Special conditions can be included in a contract at the request of either the seller or the buyer and which are mutually agreed upon by both the parties. Though special conditions depend upon the terms of a particular contract, however you may include the following conditions set out herein by way of special terms:

    • your licensed surveyor or a structural engineer or a person holding professional indemnity insurance to finalise and provide a ‘Land Inspection Report’ confirming the structural reliability of the property;
    • a registered termite inspection company to prepare and provide a ‘Termite Inspection Certificate’;
    • working order clause with respect to setting up of electrical lines, piping and plumbing fittings, drainage system or such other things which the parties to the contract may deem proper;
    • payments to be made by either party with regard to necessary maintenance and repairs to the land or property;
    • schedule of payment of deposit amount in installments such as first installment to be paid on signing of the sale contract while the balance amount to be paid upon financial sanction from a bank or other financing companies;
    • penalty(ies) for delay in settlement;
    • the sale of the land or property is subject to lease;
    • nominating and authorising any person to accept the contract on your behalf by facsimile;
    • any repair that the parties have agreed to do;
    • approval of the sale contract by a nominated Solicitor;
    • time limitation for acceptance of offer by the buyer in circumstances where the seller is hard to get hold of or the existence of several offers to buy the land are in place;
    • purchasing a strata-titled property only upon satisfactory inspection of body corporate records;
    • simultaneous settlement wherein you are selling off one of your properties and the fund so obtained is being used to purchase another property;
    • testing the soil for the purpose of pool installation and checking whether such installation complies with the applicable local bye-laws or not;
    • accepting the property in its current condition subject to all the latent and patent defects;
    • accepting to buy the land within a certain time period from the date of making the offer; and
    • a special condition wherein the seller can also accept or reject the offer within a certain date.


    All the special conditions in a contract must be as precisely worded as far as possible in order to avoid future disputes. All amendments and extra conditions should be signed and dated by the parties to the contract. It is advisable to seek expert advice to ensure that the special conditions are drawn up correctly. Furthermore, any special condition should clearly state as to what action ought to be done and when, who will be responsible for the action being done, who is responsible for payment of the action being so done and what are the consequences if such action has not been completed within the due date as given in the contract.

  • What is settlement?

    The buying and selling of a property is a long drawn process and involves many stages. Settlement is the last stage of the process when the terms of sell or purchase are finalised and the transfer of ownership is initiated. The following aspects are usually required to be finalised before settlement:

    • completion of all searches and clarifications relating to the property;
    • completion of negotiation regarding payment of amount due on Settlement;
    • completing formalities with the financer and making due arrangements for the money to be paid on Settlement; and
    • payment of all the relevant duties and taxes like Stamp Duty.


    In NSW it usually takes place up to 6 weeks after the exchange of contracts happen and terms are finalised. The Title Deed is exchanged after the payment of the due amount.The possession of the property is transferred after settlement. However, an early possession may be taken ‘under licence’ after an agreed payment of rent.

  • What is transfer duty?

    Transfer Duty is a form of Indirect tax levied on the transfer of, or other dealings in dutiable property. Dutiable property can be classified as land, a chattel, or a business asset. Certain dutiable transactions include:

    • acquisition or transfer of dutiable property;
    • vesting of dutiable property by statute or Court Order;
    • foreclosure of a mortgage over dutiable property;
    • acquisition of units and/or shares in a corporation or unit trust which is “land rich”;
    • surrender of special dutiable property; and
    • acquisition of partnership acquisition, trust or declaration of trust over dutiable property or trust surrender.


    Business Transfer Duty is levied on the transfer of business assets in New South Wales.

  • What costs are 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 so please make yourself aware of the costs involved.

    • Stamp duty on both the contract and any mortgage
    • Title search costs
    • Governmental Inquiries
    • Agency fees for settlement etc.
    • Fee for attending to loan and mortgage documents, when necessary
    • Sydney Conveyancing's fee
    • Registration fees paid to the Lands Department
    • 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
  • What costs are 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. Sydney Conveyancing can provide 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
    • Drainage diagram
    • Agency fees (settlement etc)
    • Fee to arrange discharge of mortgage, when necessary
    • Sydney Conveyancing's fee
    • Check with Sydney Conveyancing for any other costs
  • If I sell my house without the intervention of an Estate agent do I still need a conveyancer (Certified Practising Conveyancer)?

    Yes. You cannot list or advertise your property for sale in any way whatsoever until you have the 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. Sydney Conveyancing can help you with preparation of the contract for sale. It is important that if you are going to sell without an agent then you consult Sydney Conveyancing before you do anything further.

  • Do conveyancers working for Sydney Conveyancing 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. At Sydney Conveyancing, your transaction will be handled by a licensed conveyancer who is a member of the Australian Institute of Conveyancers, a CPC and who holds Professional Indemnity Insurance.

  • Why use Sydney Conveyancing?

    At Sydney Conveyancing, your sale or purchase will be looked after by a Certified Practising Conveyancer (CPC) who will keep you informed at all times so your transaction is as comfortable for you as possible. A Certified Practising 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 & procedures that may effect your transaction. Usually, this conveyancer will be a member of the Australian Institute of Conveyancers which means that they abide by the rules and codes of conduct of the AIC and also complete the annual continuing education requirements that are required to renew a conveyancer's licence each year as set out by the Office of Fair Trading (OFT).

  • Are Conveyancers cheaper than Solicitors?

    Conveyancers are usually more price effective Solicitors. This is because Conveyancers are focused on Conveyancing only where as Solicitors work in all areas of Law are and used to charging more.

  • What is the conveyancing process?

    Conveyancing is the process of transferring the ownership of a property or real estate from the seller to the buyer.

    Usually, both the seller and the purchaser have their Coneyancers involved in the process and all formal communication occurs via the Coneyancers.

    The Contract of Sale will detail the specifics such as the completion date, completion period, inclusions, exclusions and special conditions etc.

  • How long does conveyancing take in NSW?

    The standard Contract of Sale provies 42 day settlement period in New South Wales (NSW), Australia. This period is negotiable and often altered depending upon the negotiations between the seller and the  buyer.

    The completion period is usually noted the front page of the contract and when amended the settlement period or completion date must be inserted on the front page of the contract.

  • What is the role of the conveyancer?

    Preparation of the contract, negotiating terms of the contract, dealing the the seller's or buyer's mortgage & bank and attending to the settlement are all part of the Conveyancer's role.

    Most property transactions in New South Wales (NSW) will involve two Coneyancers. One for the seller and the other for the the purchaser.


  • What is the difference between a lawyer and a conveyancer?
    The main difference is that a conveyancers specialise in conveyancing work that is the transfer of ownership of property between parties whereas a lawyer can undertake many other legal services in addition to conveyancing.
  • How long should conveyancing take?
    It really depends upon the negotiation between the buyer and the seller. The completion period  or the settlement is noted on the contract and is negotiable. In New South Wales (NSW), the standard settlement period is 42 days.
  • How long does conveyancing take in Australia?
    In New South Wales (NSW), Australia the standard compeltion period is 42 days. This period is negotiable and is noted on the contract front page.
  • Should a conveyancer be before or after offer?
    It's best to engage a Conveyancer before you make an offer. You should discuss your property transaction with Conveyancer before making an offer.
  • Why does conveyancing take so long?
    It takes so long becuase there are several stakeholders involved such as the buyer, the seller and their Conveyancers & their banks. All these parties need time to get ready for  settlement.
  • How much does a conveyancer charge in NSW?
    Coneyancers charge between $1000 - $2500 to complete a Coneyancing transactions. Solicitors often charge more than that.
  • How much is typical conveyancing in NSW?
    Typically conveancing in NSW will cost between $1000 - $2500. Conveyancers are generally speaking more price effective than solicitors. 
  • Is conveyancer worth it?
    A good conveyancer is certainly worth it. Property transactions can be complex and having a good conveyancer working for you cetainly helps.
  • Do you need a conveyancer?
    Most people do need a conveyancer involved in their property transaction. Conveyncing process can be complex and a good conveyancer will help you deal with the contract, your bank, payming stamp duty, negotiating the contract etc.
  • 3 reasons you should use a Conveyancer rather than a Solicitor?
    1. With the progress in technology, conveyancing transactions have become mostly an online process. A good price effective conveyancer can get the job done for you.
    2. Conveyancers specialise in conveyancing only. Experienced conveyancers deal with a lot more conveyancing transactions than a typical solicitor who deals with many different legal areas and will usually employ a conveyancer to do their conveyaning work.
    3. In NSW, over the last few years the process can be completed entirely online which means that physical visits to the conveyancer's office are not required. It's convinient and effective.
  • What is the difference between a conveyancer and a solicitor in Australia?
    In Australia and specifically in NSW, a conveyancer is licensed & specialises in conveyancing only. A lawyer on the other hand can deal with legal area such as criminal law and corporate law etc. Conveyancer are generally speaking much more price effective that solicitors.
  • Is it OK to have the same conveyancer as the seller?
    The same conveyancer can technically represent both the purchaser and the seller however this is not recommended. Occasionally this is done where the two parties are closely related but challenges reamain.
  • Is conveyancing the same as settlement agent?
    No. In New South Wales, Australia most settlements are now done electronically and as such sttlement agents are not required. The coneyancer deals with the entire transaction whereas the settlement agent attends to the settlement only (if it is a physical settlement - which is rare these days).
  • What is the difference between a real estate agent and a conveyancer?
    The conveyancer deals with the legal aspect of a property transaction such as the contract, the mortgage and settlement where as the real estate agent deals primarily with the sale of the property often including both parties signin the contract and the real estate agent receives the deposit in  their trust account.
  • What is the last step in conveyancing?
    In NSW, settlement and handing over the possession of the proeprty to the purchaser is the final step of a conveyancing transaction. Settlement includes transfer of monies to the seller and their bank (& any other parties such as the the local council, local water authority etc).
  • What is the shortest time for conveyancing?
    A conveyancing transaction can be completed in 2 weeks. This will likely not be possible if the seller or the buyer has a mortgage involved. In other words, if the seller has no mortgage and the buyer is buying in cash & has no mortgage inolved such a transaction could be completed in 2 weeks.

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