Conveyancing: Could your property dream turn into a nightmare?

Conveyancing: Could your property dream turn into a nightmare?

There is a lot more to conveyancing that meets the eye

Friday, 22 July 2005

Dear Sir/Madam,

It's shocking.

I hear the horror stories nearly every day.  Families in crisis ...  They are thrown into turmoil, or worse still, lose thousands of dollars they have worked so hard for.

It's a shame. I am writing to make sure that this does not happen to you.  Many property transactions go smoothly, but there are always some that don't.

Are you a gambling person?   May I ask you, do you wear a seatbelt in your car?  ... and it's not like you drive off expecting to have an accident every day.  But I am sure if you ever are unfortunate enough to have an accident, you will be glad your seatbelt was there!

The ironic thing is, no matter how careful you are, it's the actions of others that can affect you.  If someone else falls asleep at the wheel, or suddenly changes their mind and heads in another direction....

You might be wondering what this has to do with conveyancing, and that is a great question.  The answer is sadly, quite a lot.  Sadly for those who are un-informed.

.. ,and the purpose of this letter, is to let you be one of the fortunate few who are 'in the know'.

If you feel we have been of assistance and you can picture yourself using our services by the time you read this letter and the enclosed information, by any means give us a call.  You are under no obligation and whatever you decide, we are happy to know we have helped you.

Either way, you will find this very interesting and informative, and reading it...

won't cost you a cent, but might save you a few dollars, or more!

My name is Frank Costanzo, from Costanzo Lawyers.  One of the services we practice extensively

in is property law and conveyancing.  I help people like you with the transfer of property, uncover any surprises (before they have a chance to turn nasty) and make sure that everything goes as smoothly as possible.                                                                         '

What is conveyancing?

Conveyancing is essentially the transfer of title from one person or entity to another.

That's the simple answer.  Like a car, it gets something from A to B.  Like a car, if something goes wrong it can be a pain in the butt and cost you a lot of money to fix ...

In actual fact, there is a lot of work involved in conveyancing ... when the work is done properly.

There is also a lot of trust involved.  You will be trusting someone with one of the biggest purchases you will probably make in your life.  You will be trusting them with your cash, and more importantly, to advise you if there are any problems and what to do, both with the property and titles, but also if there are issues with the other party.

For example:

If you are the Vendor,

  • What happens if the Purchaser suddenly changes direction and fails to pay the deposit?
  • Or even worse ... can't or won't pay the balance of monies at settlement?

If you are the Purchaser,

  • What happens if the Vendor suddenly changes direction and won't settle?
  • What if they won't offer vacant possession?
  • What is ''fair wear and tear" between the date of the contract and the date of settlement?

If there are delays,  can you claim  compensation   for  rent, removalist   fees, mortgage   interest, disruption   to your  lifestyle?

… and  if so, how would  you go about  this?

An interesting thing is, if you are only using a conveyancer instead of a Lawyer,

a conveyancer  is prevented  by law from even answering those  questions!

So that brings up another often asked question:

What is the difference between a Lawyer and a conveyancer?

A Lawyer is someone who has passed in the top 5% of the state in HSC (VCE) and completed a law degree, has completed  12 months of articles under a senior lawyer before admission, is a member of Law institute, has professional  indemnity insurance, has a trust account audited by the Law Institute,

is governed by the Legal Practice Act, is allowed to give legal advice, and is a barrister I solicitor and

an officer or the supreme Court I High Court.

A Solicitor needs no formal tertiary legal qualification, has no qualifying period of legal practice, is not a member of any governing  body, has no mandatory insurance cover, has no trust account, no auditor, is governed by no rules, no standards, is not allowed to draft legal documents or give legal advice and can be prosecuted by the police if they do. Basically, they can be anyone ...

You  might  think  it's sort  of like the difference   between  using  a Nurse or a Surgeon  to perfonn  . surgery,   (hope  It's  not your  brain and hope  it's  not your  child  being operated  on!)

As you can see, there's a difference,

What would happen if…  you trusted a conveyancer during the process of your conveyancing with

$414,203 of your hard earned cash, and they did a runner, 'fell asleep at the wheel' or went bankrupt. What would you do?  If they have no trust account,  and are not Insured,  neither  are you!

You might think that sounds far fetched, but tell that to Mavis Avery  who  is owed  $414,203 or Fiona Lynch, a widow, who believes she stands to lose $225,000 from the collapse of Grove Consulting - once one of Geelong's  busiest conveyancers who also carried out work in Werribee and Apollo Bay.

How would you feel if you  lost $414,203?

How is that seatbelt  looking now?

And they are not the only two who are affected by this ...

Police say when Grove closed they owed between $6 million and $9 million, with the only major asset available for redress being $130,000 equity in Grove's former headquarters at 60 Sydney Parade, Geelong.   (Source: The Age, Novembert4. 2004)

You do the math ...

With $9 Million owing, and around $130,000 in the pot,

how much do you think those unfortunate people will get back?

I don't know about you, but it makes me angry.

When people hear stories like this, of people like you and me being ripped off...   cheated out of their hard earned savings ... they could be excused in wondering if it is really worth the $50 or $100 you could potentially  save by using a conveyancer  instead of a Lawyer.

You could probably save $50 or $100 on the price of your car if the manufacturer made it optional to install seatbelts, but would you?

Sure there will always be one or two people who would choose the discount, but that's why it's law for seatbelts to be installed.  To protect people that don't know or realise the outcome.

And until it's law that only a Lawyer can do conveyancing, I will have to invest time and money in informing people so they can make an educated decision about what they feel is safest for them.

Please feel free to browse the articles and information included with this letter for more information

You might be asking yourself ...

If a Lawyer is a safer option, how do I choose one?

Just like flavours of ice-cream, there is no right or Wrong answer to that question.  You have to choose the one that you prefer, or looks right to you.

I am not saying we are the right choice for you, and so you can make the right decision for you, here is some information about what you can expect from us....

A Service guarantee to you

  • Our office hours are 8.30 am to 7.00 pm (That's right!  Not just from 9.00 'am to 5.00 pm.) We realise you probably work during the day, so this way you can visit us after your working hours.
  • We are open during lunch - we do not close between 1.00 pm and 2.00 p.m. like most law firms traditionally do!
  • All calls are returned promptly each day.
  • We will follow you up to see if you require anything during the course of your sale campaign.
  • A preliminary  Section 32 Vendors Statement is prepared on the same day of delivery of documents  by our clients and hand delivered to the selling agent!

That is just a small sample of what we do to "knock your socks off' with service ...

·..and another important aspect you would want to know about is our


It is said that you can sometimes  judge a person by the company they  keep, and our conveyancing department has over 100 years of combined conveyancing experience.

We are all fully qualified, and keep up to date through regular training and study including the area of property law.

We have Communication  with leading lawyers in the field on direct basis

  • Ms Ann Johnston LIV lawyer
  • Mr Russell Cocks author of “1001 Conveyancing Answers” and imminent property law authority
  • Mr Simon libbis author of Subdivisions with the Lor and imminent property law authority and advisor to the Victorian government on electronic  conveyancing.
  •  Ms Sharon Taylor advisor to the Legal Profession of GST
  • Our numerous and varied contact points:
    • Telephone
    • Fax
    • Email
  • Also, video conferencing is available

You will even get a mobile number to contact us on, for emergency access to your Lawyer

After all, you would probably agree, if you are going to have an emergency, you might as well do it properly and try and catch us out! Many have tried...

We provide written confirmation of all costs, disbursements and GST prior to proceeding on your behalf.

How to get started

The next step is to call one of our offices on 03 9464 2449 and make an appointment for a cost free, obligation free discussion about your requirements and situation.

One of the benefits and reasons you would choose a Lawyer is because  we are the only ones authorised to give Legal advice on your situation, and that good advice comes included as part of our service.

It would be unethical, even negligent to give you advice

if we don't even know what your situation is.

There are many questions that might have a bearing on your particular situation as we assist people in asset protection, tax minimisation, family law and commercial law.

Have you considered…

Who's name or what structure should you transact  a property  under?

That is just one question that could save you thousands, and there are many more…

Thank you for your time in reviewing this information. You may choose to speak to me further about conveyancing or make an appointment. You might choose to sit back and think about it a while longer.

The choice is yours.

To find out if we can help you, phone me at my office on 03 9464 2449. Together we can organise what your next step should be.

Thank you



P.S. The reason I am so appassionate about this matter is because of the years of experience helping people prevent a dream property becoming a nightmare. And helping people who come to me after the fact. Sometimes by then it’s too late however.

You may not yet be convinced. If so, I’m thinking, the only reason that you wouldn’t use a Lawyer for your conveyancing is because you feel “it’s not going to happen to me”.

If that is the case, I would recommend you read the accompanying material and newspaper clippings.

All those people either didn’t know or thought it would never happen to them.

P.P.S. How would you feel if it was YOU in one of those articles?

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