Even if you’ve done it before, buying or selling a home can be a stressful and often perplexing process for most individuals. No matter how experienced you are in buying or selling property, you will almost certainly need to hire a conveyancer (or a property lawyer to carry out the conveyancing process), but what exactly happens during the conveyancing process that makes it nearly impossible for unqualified people to carry out themselves?

Conducting conveyancing searches pertinent to the property in issue – whether you are purchasing or selling the property – it is one of the most crucial jobs of a conveyancer.

So, what exactly are they, do you really need them, and can you DIY the whole thing? Continue reading to find out.

Why are Conveyancing Searches Done?

These searches are necessary to guarantee that the seller owns the property and has the authority to sell it to you. They will also tell you of any encumbrances on the title. The seller, for example, may have registered a mortgage against the property. This mortgage must be taken off the title.

Other sorts of instruments may also be registered against the title. There might be easements that allow the town or a utility company to use a piece of your land for things like sewage, electricity, telephones, or gas.

On the title, there may also be restrictive covenants that limit how the property can be used. A neighbourhood, for example, may have building size and design standards. It is also critical to verify all features of the land and structures. You should ensure that the structures on the property were built in the right areas and that the buildings of your neighbours do not infringe on your land.

While the costs of doing the requisite searches may reach upwards of a few hundred dollars, they are an important component of ensuring that you acquire valid title to your property.

In Australia, you will be required to have the following searches carried out:

  • Title Search
  • Rates Balance Enquiry 
  • Survey Search
  • Special Water Meter Read
  • Department of Main Roads Search
  • Contaminated Land & Environmental Management Register Searches 

Is It Possible to Do Searches Yourself?

Yes, you can, and there are plenty of content online teaching you how, such as how to complete a transfer form and what to do when a property owner dies. However, if you are considering doing some DIY conveyancing, there are a few things you should be aware of.

There is much more to the conveyancing process than just filling out and mailing forms. Searches and other official inquiries are frequently required before a transaction may take place securely. If things aren’t done correctly, or at all, major issues might develop after a transaction has occurred. For example, someone other than the present owner may have an existing interest in the property that is only now becoming known.

Furthermore, depending on the type of transaction, there may be several legal and financial considerations that must be addressed in the production of the documentation. These may not be included in the conventional forms.

If you’re a do-it-yourself conveyancer, all parties involved may need to have their identities confirmed before we can record the transaction. If you hire a solicitor, they will handle this for you.

If the transaction involves a mortgage, the lender will almost certainly require that a solicitor handle the conveyancing.


Searches are the most important component of a successful conveyancing process, and you can do them, but you must be aware of the potential risks.

If you are planning to purchase or sell property, we’re here to support you every step of the way. Contact us today if you have any questions about the conveyancing process or how to find an appropriate conveyancer for your property.

Are you seeking conveyancing solicitors in Ipswich? Drop Springfield Legals a line today! We’re a law firm specialising in property and business conveyancing, family law and more.