Total conveyancing costs are typically made up of:
- the solicitor’s professional fees and
- the cost of disbursements and outlays and
- government charges
Professional fees cover the cost of the time and resources of the professional lawyers required to complete the matter, the risk management and legal compliance activities, and normal office costs (e.g. postage, telephone, photocopying, faxes etc.).
As in many aspects of life, you will often get what you pay for. So it is important to look for legal firms that offer good value for money, rather than just looking for the cheapest in town.
Disbursements and Outlays are the costs payable to other agencies such as search companies, councils and utility authorities, settlement agents, etc. The primary purpose of these searches and other services is to protect your interests, so beware the conveyancor that quotes the total price low by skimping on the activities that will protect your interests.
Government charges for purchases can include transfer duty and registration fees.
When comparing legal quotes, don’t just compare total to total. Make sure that you are comparing apples and apples. For example, compare professional fees to professional fees and assess what you are getting for your money in terms of expertise, customer service, and responsiveness. Then compare disbursements to disbursements to review what is being done to look after your best interests. In Queensland the conveyancing protocol recommends a number of standard searches to be undertaken. These recommended searches can be a good comparative guide.