Should you try DIY or use a so­lic­i­tor when buy­ing or sell­ing?

Whitsunday Times - - DOMAIN -

DIY or use a so­lic­i­tor? This is one of the more com­mon ques­tions asked of real es­tate agents and their sales staff dur­ing real es­tate trans­ac­tions is whether the con­veyanc­ing should be a DIY job or han­dled by a so­lic­i­tor.

Con­veyanc­ing is the le­gal trans­fer of a property’s ti­tle from the seller to the buyer and the Real Es­tate In­sti­tute of Queens­land (REIQ) strongly rec­om­mends the use of a qual­i­fied so­lic­i­tor in property mat­ters.

Queens­lan­ders cur­rently have the choice of em­ploy­ing a so­lic­i­tor to han­dle the con­veyance or do­ing the job them­selves.

When us­ing a DIY kit, buy­ers or sell­ers take on the risks of costly or time con­sum­ing mis­takes such as miss­ing a con­tract dead­line or fail­ing to make ap­pro­pri­ate ad­just­ments at set­tle­ment.

“A high pro­por­tion of those people who set out to han­dle their own con­veyanc­ing strike prob­lems in the process,” REIQ man­ag­ing di­rec­tor Dan Molloy said.

“They of­ten end up seek­ing pro­fes­sional le­gal ad­vice that can cost as much as, or more than, the orig­i­nal con­veyanc­ing charges they sought to avoid.

“Us­ing a so­lic­i­tor of­ten saves time on pa­per­work, such as ti­tle searches and stamp duty, and can also pro­vide peace of mind when mak­ing what may be the largest sin­gle fi­nan­cial trans­ac­tion of your life.”

Whether you use a so­lic­i­tor or de­cide to do it yourself, con­veyanc­ing still in­curs costs such as searches of the Ti­tles of­fice, cer­tifi­cates of rates, zon­ing, stamp duty (if you are not a first home buyer) and reg­is­tra­tion fees.

Ac­cord­ing to the In­sti­tute, one of the big­gest pit­falls of DIY is not re­search­ing the area you in­tend to buy in. The con­tin­ual de­vel­op­ment and re­de­vel­op­ment of cities and towns around Queens­land means buy­ers should con­duct more than just a ti­tle search.

“Re­search­ing the area you in­tend to buy in sig­nif­i­cantly re­duces the risk of be­ing stuck with an in­ad­vis­able pur­chase,” Mr Molloy said.

“Lo­cal govern­ment searches have be­come vi­tal in de­ter­min­ing how an area will de­velop in the next five to ten years, and en­sur­ing that ma­jor changes such as new free­ways and ma­jor roads are not planned for your back­yard.”

Searches of zon­ing and ti­tles will de­ter­mine whether the property has any re­stric­tions such as ad­verse plan­ning, de­mo­li­tion or­ders, out­stand­ing taxes or en­cum­brances on ti­tle such as ease­ments. These searches are stan­dard in so­lic­i­tor con­veyanc­ing, but are of­ten over­looked dur­ing DIY.

Con­sumers can con­tact the Queens­land Law So­ci­ety for the names of qual­i­fied so­lic­i­tors and are ad­vised to seek out a REIQ ac­cred­ited agency when buy­ing or sell­ing real es­tate.View other con­sumer col­umns on buy­ing a property.

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