Understanding conveyancing fees

Understanding conveyancing fees

May 8, 2024 | by DiJones

Buying and selling property should be fun and rewarding. However, it can be easy to get lost in the procedural aspects, and hidden legal costs can add unexpected stress.

Consider conveyancing your guiding compass. Conveyancing is a crucial process that steers you from offer to ownership, ensuring you dot every legal I and cross every contractual t.

But what actually is conveyancing, how much does it cost, and why should buyers and sellers care about it in the first place?

What is conveyancing?

Conveyancing is the legal process of transferring property from seller to buyer. So, all the paperwork, legal checks, contract negotiations, and statutory requirements come under the professional umbrella of conveyancing.

Conveyancing is about more than boring paperwork and shuffling papers. Letting expert conveyancing professionals handle these procedural aspects of property transfers can help you in two critical ways:

  • They ensure your rights are protected during the process.
  • They ensure your property transaction complies with the law.

What do conveyancers do?

Conveyancers are masters at the legal arts of property transactions. Their responsibilities can include:

  • Title searches: Conduct searches to verify the legal owner of the property and to check for any restrictions on the title.
  • Legal documentation: Prepare and lodge legal documents required for property transactions. These might include files such as contracts of sale, transfer documents, and mortgage documents.
  • Stamp duty: Calculate and advise on your stamp duty obligations, including potential concessions or exemptions.
  • Property checks: Organise and review property inspections and reports. These ensure the property is in good standing and include documents such as pest inspections and building certificates.
  • Settlements: Coordinate the property settlement process. This includes the exchange of legal documents and financial transactions to officially transfer ownership of the property.
  • Bank communications: Communicate with financial institutions in relation to mortgage discharges and new mortgages.
  • Council and utility searches: Conduct searches with local councils and utility companies to check rates, land tax, water consumption, and other property-related fees and charges.
  • Advice and explanation: Provide advice on the property conveyancing process and explain the legal implications and special conditions of contracts and documents. They’ll help to explain things like how many business days certain processes take and keep you informed of all updates. This one’s a big one, and that’s why we refer to them as your guiding compass.
  • Adjustments:  Calculate adjustments for rates, taxes, and utility charges to be split between the buyer and seller at settlement.
  • Post-settlement: After you sign the contract, it’s not all done. They’ll make all the necessary notifications to government authorities and utility providers about the change in property ownership after the settlement date.

As you can see, conveyancers play a pivotal role in ensuring that all details of the property transaction are legally sound and well-rounded. Hiring conveyancers with local knowledge is especially useful to ensure you always comply with specialised local property laws.

What qualifications do conveyancers have?

Licensed Conveyancers are highly trained professionals in Australia. They’ll usually hold a diploma of conveyancing, which all the states offer variations of. They’ll also likely be members of the Australian Institute of Conveyancers (AIC). Their localised education equips them with a thorough understanding of property law wherever they operate. Being part of the AIC also means they are encouraged to always stay up to date with the latest developments in the legal intricacies of property transfers. This level of education means they can navigate the conveyancing process with expertise and offer value to their clients.

What are conveyancing fees?

Conveyancing fees are simply the fees associated with hiring a conveyancer to handle elements of your property transaction. Simple enough, right? The reason this warrants its own heading is that conveyance fees can vary quite significantly based on a number of factors

  • The complexity of the transaction.
  • The value of the property.
  • The experience level of the conveyancer.

Conveyancing fees typically include an upfront fee for the conveyancing service. This is often supplemented by disbursements for out-of-pocket expenses incurred during the process.

Disbursements cover necessary searches and checks, such as title searches, council rates, and certificates of compliance, each with its own estimated charge that varies across the country.

A property purchase or sale is usually one of the most important transactions you’re likely to make. That’s why it’s worth paying a professional conveyancer to ensure everything goes smoothly. Their expertise in property law can help you avoid costly common mistakes and pitfalls along the way. That’s true whether you are buying or selling a property.

So, the rationale for hiring a conveyancer is clear, but how much are you likely to spend?

Conveyancing fees by state

While the costs involved vary, you can expect to pay anywhere from $1000 to $2000 for professional conveyancing services in Australia. Where you land on the spectrum depends on the specifics of your transaction.


Estimation of cost of conveyancing fees









 Northern Territory 


Western Australia 


 South Australia


Source: These fees were supplied by Dott & Crossitt Conveyancing + Solicitors.

The figures shown above represent the broad range of upfront costs for conveyancing across Australia. In addition to these fees, you need to budget for the extra fees(the disbursements), too. Of course, the typical selling costs are often less than the costs of buying since there is no need for these disbursements.


Fee Estimates

 Title searches/Land title searches


 PEXA fee


 Council rate searches (so called Section 603 Certificate) 


 Water charges search (so called Section 66 Certificate) 


 Office of State Revenue Stamping Fee




Source: These fees were supplied by Dott & Crossitt Conveyancing + Solicitors and are approximate figures for a NSW property.

The above list of potential disbursements is not exhaustive. Depending on the nature of the property, you may require other specialist services, like if the property is on the heritage register or if there are environmental concerns.

These fees can quickly accumulate, making it all the more important to prepare for and budget for conveyancing costs.

Can you do it yourself?

Looking at those figures above, you’d be forgiven for thinking: “Can I complete the conveyancing stuff myself?” After all, you already have to factor in real estate agent fees, registration fees, and so on. Technically, yes, you can take care of all this on your own when selling or buying property. But the question is, should you? Conveyancing requires intricate legal know-how and minute attention to detail. DIY conveyancing carries risks that could lead to you actually breaking the law. A mistake can cost you far more in the long run than merely relying on a professional to do what they do best.

The benefits of leaving it to a conveyancer

Using a professional conveyancer 

 DIY conveyancing

Ensure legal compliance

 Cheaper (of course)

Protects your rights

 Risk of making mistakes

 Law expertise to see potential issues

 Risk of breaking the law

 Will perform several responsibilities as part of the property transfer   

 A lot of work, taking up time and raising stress levels  

 Peace of mind


When you hire a professional conveyancer, you’re getting more than pen-pushing paperwork completion. What you’re really paying for is peace of mind. In fact, getting your average conveyancer on board can help you tick off many of the things on our list of top ten tips for property investors. The stakes are likely pretty high as you negotiate your latest property investment or the purchase price of your future dream home. When so much money is already involved, doing it yourself is, frankly, dangerous. A professional conveyancer will leverage their property law expertise to foresee and manage potential issues. In this way, their guidance can actually save you time, money, and stress.

8 questions to ask a conveyancer before hiring

While we’re all about outsourcing this important work to a professional, that doesn’t mean you’re completely off the hook.

You should do your research before you hire a conveyancing. Ensure you ask the right questions beforehand to know exactly where you stand with your chosen conveyancing transaction.

Consider the following questions:

  1. What is your conveyancer fee structure? Is it a fixed fee, or will there be additional fees?
  2.  Can you provide a detailed breakdown of all potential disbursements and their estimated costs?
  3. How will you communicate with me throughout the conveyancing process? How frequently?
  4. Are you a member of the Australian Institute of Conveyancers or any other professional bodies?
  5. Will I be working directly with you, or will other members of your team be handling my transaction?
  6. What is your process for handling any issues or delays that may arise during the conveyancing process?
  7. Can you tell me about your experience in conveyancing, particularly with properties like mine? (if you’re a seller)
  8. What information will you need from me to get started?

Such questions can help you gauge the conveyancer’s suitability for your circumstances. They also help lay the groundwork for a good working relationship going forward.

Summing up

Conveyancing fees are an essential part of budgeting for your property transaction. But remember, they're also an investment in expertise.

With the right conveyancer by your side, you can navigate the legal labyrinth of buying or selling property with confidence.

How DiJones can help

Looking to buy or sell property and seeking guidance? DiJones offers a wealth of experience and expert advice to help you every step of the way.

Speak to one of our local agents or property managers today for unparalleled personalised advice featuring all the latest on the property market trends near you.

Contact us today to learn more about our services and ensure your next property transaction is smooth sailing.

DiJones Real Estate, together with their directors, officers, employees and agents have used their best endeavours to ensure the information passed on in this document is accurate. However, you must make your own enquiries in relation to the information contained in this document and seek advice from your financial advisor, broker or accountant to ascertain its application to your circumstances.
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