Property developers understand the importance of carrying out a title search before purchasing any property. A title search is going to help you to identify the legal owners of the property, along with details of any mortgages or liens on the property. But more importantly, it can reveal issues that could affect your investment or plans for the property. These could be anything from easements, through to caveats and covenants. And if you don’t already know, there are factors that can affect how much a title search in Victoria costs.
Factors That Affect the Cost of a Title Search
Two factors that can affect the cost of a title search in Victoria are:
- The Complexity of the Search: Although the cost of a title search using LANDATA is low, the cost does increase if you require other information. This includes property sales information, copies of a transfer, caveat, or mortgage, or a copy of the Plan. The standard cost of a title search also assumes you have the relevant Volume/Folio number. Using a street address to search for a title incurs an additional Land Index search fee.
- The Search Provider: Related to the previous point, basic searches can easily be carried out using LANDATA. However, in some instances the complexity of the search could necessitate the use of an authorised information broker. The costs in this case would vary from one broker to the next, further influenced by the complexity and detail required.
Cost of a Title Search in Victoria
Property developers have several options when it comes to conducting a title search in Victoria. The most common is to use the government partner, LANDATA, where a single title search will cost less than $20. Including mortgages, covenants, caveats, transfers, and copies of the Plan in your search will increase the cost.
For more complex searches, including title searches for multiple properties, authorised information brokers could be a better option. However, you should expect the cost to be higher than the standard fees charged by LANDATA. The actual cost will depend on complexity, any supporting documents you want, whether it is a rush order, and the information broker used.
Archistar now also supports title searches on a site-by-site basis in Victoria, NSW, and Queensland. The cost per title search for Victoria—using Archistar—is currently $12.50 per title.
Benefits of Investing in a Title Search
Even if you have to use information brokers for some of your property title searches, the benefits always outweigh the costs. The most significant of these would be the identification of any legal issues relating to the property you are interested in. Things like easements, caveats, and covenants can all affect your development plans and delay or complicate the purchase. Knowing about easements and covenants in advance make it easier for you to factor them in to your plans, designs, and feasibility and due diligence. While the existence of a caveat could encourage you to look at other properties instead. As a property developer, you want to maximise your ROI in as short a period as possible. And this is only possible if you are aware of obstacles and encumbrances that come with specific properties.
Carrying out a title search can be disruptive and time-consuming as you decide between going directly to LANDATA or through an information broker. Luckily, Archistar allows you to conduct title searches directly from the platform, allowing you to streamline your workflow and keep everything in the same place.