3 Things to Note When Choosing a Conveyancing Law Firm - Mortgage Master Blog

3 Things to Note When Choosing a Conveyancing Law Firm


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- by Peter Lin


Did you know that every time you take a new bank loan for your property, you will need to use the services of a Conveyancing Law Firm?

Yes, whether you’re making a new home purchase or refinancing your existing loan, lawyers from a conveyancing law firm are involved.

What do conveyancing lawyers do for you? They represent you when communicating with multiple parties, including the bank you took the loan from, the CPF Board, SLA, HDB and IRAS. The job of the conveyancing law firm is to make sure all the various payments are made on time with the relevant government agencies. Now that you know what they do, you’ll probably agree that these law firms are handling the most important portion of your mortgage application!

Yet, the work of a conveyancing law firm largely goes unnoticed in the excitement of purchasing your new home. That is, unless they screw up!

As mortgage brokers, we’ve heard many horror stories of poorly run, very disorganised firms which do not have the necessary procedures in place to act on behalf of you, the homeowner. As a result, they cause clients to encounter late charges with the gahmen, late disbursement of your bank mortgage and CPF monies or, in the worst case scenario, completely disappear like a cowardly boyfriend scared of commitment! We’re not exaggerating - ask anyone in the mortgage industry and they’ll tell you the same story.

So if you’re taking a home loan or you’re planning to refinance your loan every 5-10 years, these are the things which you should take note of during your meeting with a conveyancing law firm.

1. Confirm the price you are paying.

"You know why God made snakes before lawyers? He needed the practice." -Saul Goodman, Better Call Saul

(Lawyers, if you’re reading this, please don’t sue us. We’re kidding, we promise!)

The truth is, you can never be too sure if your lawyer is there to help or harm you. So always confirm the amount they’ll charge you before signing any agreements.

For example, a firm may initially entice you with a very low legal fee. Make sure the price is indicated NETT ALL IN, or something to that effect. This is because law firms may include additional charges including:

  • Mortgage Stamping fee
  • CPF fee
  • Law Society fee
  • GST

This can cause the originally promised low $2,000 fee to suddenly be inflated to $3,500!

2. Make sure the first thing you get from the conveyancing manager is a printed calendar.

Your conveyancing lawyer should be more experienced than you in this matter. One way to find out is to see if they provide you with a list of dates and deadlines with regards to your home loan purchase or refinancing.

The follow dates are very important:

  • when you have to exercise your option
  • when you pay your stamp duties
  • when you collect your keys
  • when your funds are disbursed

Any conveyancing representative worth their salt will have all these written, highlighted and pointed out to you. Failure to meet these dates will result in fines and more fines, so make sure to get a copy for your own reference before you leave.

3. Activation of CPF

Your conveyancing fee includes the activation of CPF for lump sum payment (also known as your downpayment) and also activation of CPF to be used as monthly installment. The law firm has to pay a certain amount to CPF to activate these for you.

As mentioned in point 1 this is already included in their fee charged to you. Some firms though do not include the fee for activating the monthly installment. Especially for Private BUC properties. They then save a couple hundred dollars which with 50-100 clients a month translate to huge profit for them so make sure it is activated!

4. Bank panel of law firms

Check if the law firm is under the panel of the bank you would like to have your home loan financed under so as to not incur additional cost. For loans which are above $3 million, prices will be higher. Do note that law firms may change their prices and terms at any time.

Conveyancing Law Firm Fees in 2020

Here's a list of typical conveyancing fees you can expect from a good law firm:

  • Refinancing Fees- $1,500 to $1,800
  • New Purchase Fees- $1,800 to $2,800
  • Sale of Property Fees- $1,300 to $2,000
  • Private Property Term Loan- $1,300 to $2,000
  • Mortgage Redemption- $600 to $800

Are you buying a new property or has your lock-in period ended on your existing loan? We can recommend the best conveyancing law firms in Singapore. Give our mortgage brokers at Mortgage Master a call at 6974 7673, WhatsApp us or fill up our enquiry form.

Posted in Home Loan on Apr 08, 2020.