Buyer’s Guide to Property Conveyancing

Purchasing a home is a big step, and the whole process can become quite overwhelming. So its best to have an experienced Settlement Agent on your side to guide you through the tedious conveyancing process and ensure you have a smooth settlement without falling victim to the piles of paperwork. But what exactly is property conveyancing? Let me elaborate in detail.

Conveyancing is the legal transfer of ownership of the property from one person to another. This process traditionally requires a solicitor or licensed conveyancer who acts on behalf of the purchaser and/or seller to see that this transfer happens as contractually required.

Solicitors or Conveyancers

Man Signing ContractMake sure you make the right choice – solicitors and conveyancers are both equally qualified to handle this job but solicitors can give you additional legal advice on other related matters. It is also worth using a conveyancer that is attached to a law firm, that way legal advice is readily on hand if it’s required as conveyancers are not able to give legal advice.

On the other hand, if you try to do your conveyancing yourself to avoid the added expenses, you might be placing yourself at the devil’s door. You cannot expect to have your actions covered by insurance, so if you end up making any mistakes or blunders, there will be very little chance that your losses are compensated. Plus if there are delays in settlement the penalty interest alone can quickly surpass the cost of any saving. Doing your own conveyancing means you are effectively taking complete responsibility for the process.

What is involved?

Here is an outline of what I understand the conveyancing process to involve, keep in mind this is just from my own research and knowledge as a real estate agent. I would never suggest that anyone acts as their own conveyancer, unless they know what they are doing.

  • Ensure the buyer is aware of any interests on the title or negative impacts, preferably before an offer is made.
  • Review of the contract of sale ensuring it is complete and conditions clear and then met.
  • Ensuring the payment of deposit.
  • Ensuring conditions of the contract are met for any pest & building inspections.
  • Ensuring the buyers bank finances are ready or sellers loan discharge is arranged.
  • Arrangement of payment of transfer duty by the buyer to the Office of State Revenue.
  • The preparation and signing of  settlement documentation including- land transfer, ID verification, settlement statement etc.
  • Discovery of any outstanding obligations that are linked with the property.
  • Calculate the water, council, strata levies and land tax expenditures to be apportioned between the parties.
  • Oversee the transfer of  legal title with Landgate.
  • Attendance at settlement.

Before you do find yourself a conveyancer or solicitor, make sure you have a realistic idea of the related expenses. Most charge a scaled fee depending on your purchase price or they charge depending on the complexity of the transfer. Do not let your sole decision be based on price as experience and reputation is worth paying for to ensure a smooth and trouble free settlement.

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