How Much Does Conveyancing Cost in NSW?

Written by Rania Shashati on 21 Jun 2024

Conveyancing is the legal process of transferring property ownership from one party to another. It involves various administrative and legal tasks, including title searches and contract reviews, to protect both parties while transferring property ownership. As Sydney’s median house price reached $1.6 million in January 2024 and is forecast to rise even further, buyers and sellers may wonder how much to pay for conveyancing. This guide will discuss the costs of conveyancing services in Sydney and what to consider when buying or selling property. 

In NSW, conveyancing typically costs $1,500 to $2,500 for buyers. For sellers, the cost is usually between $2,000 and $3,000. These prices usually include the cost of disbursements and searches. Several factors can influence the conveyancing costs, including the complexity of the transaction, location and type of property. If the buyer or seller is a more complex entity, such as a company or trust, this can also make the process more expensive. 

Conveyancing costs for buyers and sellers

Usually, conveyancers or solicitors will charge a sliding scale (base fee) or a fixed amount for their services. 

Buyers 

Fixed-fee conveyancing for buyers usually includes all searches and disbursements, whereas a sliding scale rate means that some costs are charged separately. While the base amount may seem low and more attractive, it may cost more and make it challenging to budget appropriately during a property transaction. Buyers can expect to pay between $1,500 and $2,500 for conveyancing in NSW. 

Sellers 

For sellers, the conveyancing process involves a few more steps, such as drafting the contract of sale, ensuring all legally required information is disclosed, calculating council and water rates for both parties, overseeing title changes and more. Sellers can expect to pay between $2,000 and $3,000 for conveyancing in NSW. 

What is the difference between sliding scale and fixed fee conveyancing? 

Sliding-scale conveyancing means that conveyancers may charge a ‘base fee’ for their time and expertise plus additional charges for all searches and extra work. The cost of disbursements will be charged separately and may vary depending on the location and type of property. 

Disbursements are costs incurred during the conveyancing process. These can include title searches, council rates certificates, compliance certificates, registration of mortgage fees, transfer fees, and land tax certificates. 

Fixed-fee conveyancing usually includes disbursements, making it easier for buyers and sellers to budget for the costs involved more accurately. There are no nasty bill surprises at the end. 

Can you do conveyancing yourself? 

In NSW, you can do your own conveyancing. However, a lot is involved, and the legal and financial implications of making a mistake are significant. If you’re buying or selling a property worth over a million dollars, is it really worth the risk to do this yourself?

So, what could go wrong if you do it yourself? You could miss a property search that reveals the home has an extreme flood risk, making it uninsurable. You could make a mistake with the entity details you’re buying or selling under, or worse, you could enter into a contract for the wrong property! 

These issues may be difficult for a layperson to identify and can create all sorts of problems, complicating what should have been a straightforward process. It costs much more to fix a mistake than to get it right in the first place. 

Inconsistencies or errors in the contract can also affect the property transfer, potentially causing you to forfeit your deposit. When reviewing the Contract of Sale, a property lawyer or conveyancer knows what to look for and can ensure everything is in order. 

Professional conveyancers and solicitors also have professional indemnity insurance, protecting them in case of errors. If you take on the conveyancing process yourself, you’re unlikely to be protected if something goes wrong. 

Getting legal advice on the contract ahead of time can protect both buyers and sellers. 

Who pays conveyancing fees? 

Each party is responsible for paying conveyancing fees to their legal representative. Your conveyancer may take all or part of their fee at settlement, reducing your upfront costs; however, their fees will still need to be paid one way or another. 

Conveyancing fees can be paid by the other party if this is negotiated as part of the contract. 

Is it worth hiring a conveyancer?

Hiring an experienced conveyancer can streamline the complex process of property transactions, ensuring all legal aspects of ownership transfer are diligently managed. While it may seem tempting to do it yourself or to hire the cheapest conveyancer you can find; experience is key to avoiding the legal complications and additional expenses that can arise from an initial oversight or mistake. 

At RS Law Group, we provide fixed-fee conveyancing and same-day contract review to help our clients achieve their goal of selling or buying a home in NSW with complete peace of mind. 

As a property lawyer specialising in conveyancing, we understand the complexities of property law and can advise you on various aspects of the property transaction to protect your interests. Our conveyancing costs are competitive and transparent, and we offer comprehensive property law expertise. 

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Rania Shashati

With over 10 years of legal experience, Rania is highly specialised in property law, conveyancing, immigration law, wills and estates, strata law, contract and commercial law and power of attorney and enduring guardianship. She has a proven track record of handling all types of simple and complex legal matters, going above and beyond to help her clients achieve a positive outcome. Her depth of experience and client-centred approach makes her an invaluable asset to clients needing honest legal advice and representation.
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About RS Law Group

RS Law Group is a Sydney-based boutique law firm focusing on legal services like property, commercial law, and immigration with a client-centric approach.

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