It can be confusing when most conveyancing lawyers or firms quote fixed fees but then has a disclaimer that searches have to be paid in addition your conveyancing legal fees.
One of the reasons for this is because the costs of the searches for each property varies. The property searches are obtained from bodies such as Councils and Water Authorities. The costs for searches from the Newcastle Office varies to the cost of searches from the Lake Macquarie Council. The costs of the searches are not set by the conveyancing firm acting for you but by the bodies that they obtain the searches from.
Property searches for purchasers
There are numerous property searches that you can make. You are not legally required to make all of these searches.
There are however some searches which you will have to make in order for settlement to take place. These searches include any water rates and land rates are owing for the period in which you are moving into the new property and will be adjusted between the vendor and the purchaser.
It is highly recommended that you order an up to date section 149 (2) & (5) certificate from the council. This certificate will tell you if the land is bush fire prone, flood-prone, affected by road proposals, tree disputes and if you can operate a home business.
Townhouses and apartments
If you are purchasing or selling a strata property such as a townhouse or apartment there are additional property searches. The searches will contain information about any proposed works to be carried out in the strata complex and the funds in the bank account of the strata property. It will also show you if the vendor has any strata fees owing.
Property searches for vendors
In addition, you will need to order the dealings that are registered over the title. Once we order a title search we can ascertain if there are any dealings and if so will be able to advise you on the costs of the dealings. Dealings are covenants that are registered over the title. For example, in new estates, strict building covenants apply.
Properties with pools
If you are selling a property that has a pool you will also be required to provide a pool clearance certificate with the contract. The costs will involve an inspector going to your property to investigate if the pool is compliant. There are numerous companies that offer this service. If you are not able to find one, then we can provide you with the names of some companies.