Do You Need a Solicitor or Conveyancer?

Using a solicitor or conveyancer to help with the sale or purchase of your property takes the risk out of the transaction.You do not want to experience costly delays or errors during the settlement period.

‘Buying and selling a property is the biggest transaction most people undertake in their lives. You should seek professional help to make sure that all the legal requirements are met. Serious consequences apply if the terms of the contract are not fulfilled or settlement fails.’

Steven Brown Etienne LaywersDeed and House

Conveyancing anywhere in Australia:

  • Sydney
  • Canberra
  • Brisbane
  • Melbourne
  • Adelaide
  • Hobart
  • Perth

is the process of buying and selling land in all its various forms. We use a due diligence process of carefully checking the title of the land. We determine if there are any adverse encumbrances such as

  1. mortgagees
  2. caveats
  3. writs
  4. easements or
  5. restrictive covenants

that impact on your use and enjoyment of your new home or investment property.

What Extras Do I Have to Pay?

We will assist you in calculating the amounts you have to pay in addition to the purchase price – including

  • insurance
  • stamp duty
  • building, pest or strata reports
  • property enquiry searches
  • legal fees
  • survey of the property
  • building certificate from the Council

Property Enquiry Searches

Government departments have the power to resume land. To ensure there are no plans to resume your new home or that there aren’t any unpaid

  • council rates
  • water rates
  • land tax
  • strata levies

we carry out property searches for you. We recommend the searches you need. We will tell you the fees payable for the searches. We will get the searches and explain them to you.

Survey of Property and Building Certificate

You will need to consider obtaining a survey which will show if your new home is on the right land. If it is

  • within the boundary of the land,
  • does it follow council regulations and any easements for restrictive covenants?

Conveyancer Etienne Lawyers


Once the exchange has taken place, you have a financial interest in the property. You need to insure the building from this time. Your lender will want this.

Legal Terms

Exchange or Exchange of Contracts

We give the contract you signed to the other solicitor or conveyancer. they provide us with the contract signed by their client. If you are purchasing a property, we hand over your deposit. If you are selling, we received your deposit. You are now bound to buy or sell the property to the other party.

Settle, Settlement, Complete or Completion

Completion is the time when you pay the balance of the purchase price and all the adjustments. Now you become the legal owner of your new home.

Cooling Off Period

Cooling off period is the time after the exchange that you can get out of the contract. You will lose 0.025% of the 10% deposit. During this time you can decide not to proceed for any reason you want. After the Cooling Off Period, you must settle. Unless there are valid reasons, you must continue with your purchase of the property. 

The Cooling Off Period does not apply to

  • properties sold at auction
  • commercial properties
  • farms

Each state has different periods of cooling off

  • Queensland 5 business days
  • New South Wales 5 business days
  • ACT 5 working days
  • Victoria 3 business days
  • Tasmania has no cooling off period
  • South Australia 2 business days
  • Western Australia has no cooling off period
  • Northern Territory 4 business day


Completion is when you pay the balance of the purchase price to the seller. You will receive the keys and are the legal owner of the property. Completion will be six weeks after Exchange of Contracts (this can be different state to state). We can try to negotiate a longer or shorter settlement period if needed. Special conditions or extraordinary circumstances can alter this.

Within the six-week period, Etienne Lawyers for your protection will

  • get the property searches
  • finalise your lender’s requirements
  • make sure the land you are buying is free from any adverse securities

You should

  • have the funds for stamp duty available
  • arrange the balance of the purchase price
  • finalise the finance
  • sign the mortgage documents
  • arrange furniture removal

Possible Extraordinary Circumstances

Circumstances outside of our and your control can cause delays:

  • Obtaining pre-exchange searches such as survey or building certificate
  • You getting finance
  • Preparation by your lender of your mortgage documents
  • The seller not being able to vacate the property when the contract requires
  • Problems revealed by the searches and other inquiries we have made for you.


It is important that you have your finance approved before you exchange contracts.

You should not exchange contracts if you can’t complete the purchase. Even if you have a cooling off period, it is less stressful to have your finance approved.

You should get the following reports. Either before you exchange contracts or before the Cooling Off Period ends.

  • Building Report
  • Pest Report
  • Strata Report (if applicable)

These reports give you valuable information about the property. Etienne Lawyers can get these for you.

Stamp Duty

Unless you qualify for a first home purchase exemption, you must when buying a home pay Stamp Duty. You pay Stamp Duty to the State Government, based upon the price for the property. Stamp Duty is payable at various times in the different states. If you are borrowing money your lender will require a cheque for stamp duty at settlement.

Legal Fees for Solicitor or Conveyancer

When you choose a solicitor or conveyancer for your conveyance make sure you know what their service offers.A low price may mean the solicitor or conveyancer does the minimum of “filling in the forms.’ With Etienne Lawyers, you receive a full service. With advice and help throughout the process.

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