Most people buying or selling property know they need a conveyancer, but if you ask the average punter what a conveyancer does, you’ll be hard-pressed to get an answer.

A conveyancer’s main responsibility, other than drafting sales contracts, is to conduct “conveyancing searches”.

Searches are a type of legal fact-checking that helps ensure:

  • You’re buying a property from its legal owner
  • You won’t incur any unexpected charges after you buy/sell and;
  • The property will be fit for its intended use

Most sales only require “standard” searches to be carried out. These basic checks only cost a few hundred dollars in total and are a small price to pay for the protections they offer.

Standard searches for a Brisbane properties include:

  • Title Search: Shows who actually owns the land as well as any encumbrances on it. An encumbrance is a claim against, limitation on or liability against the land. It can affect the owner’s ability to transfer the title to a new owner, and it may change the property’s value.
  • Rates Balance Enquiry: Provides you with rates information including the account balance of the property at the time of sale.
  • Special Water Meter Read: Shows the current status of any water and sewage accounts associated with the property, so that you aren’t lumped with the previous owner’s bill.
  • Contaminated Land & Environmental Management Register Searches: If a property is listed in either of these registers, it may affect how you can use it and whether you want to buy it.
  • Department of Main Roads Search: Notifies you if the Department of Main Roads has a roads, ports or rail proposal or resumption of works that will affect the property.
  • Land Tax Clearance Certificate: Shows if the current owner owes land tax on the property. If land tax isn’t paid before settlement, the debt becomes the new owner’s problem.

While you can technically conduct these searches yourself, most people prefer to have a conveyancer do their searches because:

  • Searches involve a lot of paperwork
  • Different searches have different deadlines and;
  • An experienced conveyancer can recommend additional searches you may need to conduct

To talk to a conveyancer about your next property purchase or sale, call Conveyancing Home Queensland on (07) 3236 2852, fill out our short online enquiry form, or head to our website for an obligation-free instant conveyancing quote that includes all of the searches in this article.