What is the Real Estate Conveyancing Process? Melbourne and Conveyancing Brisbane, Australia, 2021?
Buying or selling property in Australia can be a complicated process and is certainly not a simple process of signing a contract. A real estate conveyancer or solicitor can assist you to ensure the sale transaction and property transfer goes smoothly and fairly as well as providing legal advice and making certain that all legal obligations are satisfied during the process.
Conveyancing is by definition the process by which property ownership is legally transferred. Hiring a reputable conveyancer or solicitor can assist people with the legal aspects of buying or selling property. A conveyancer assists clients to ensure that real estate ownership passes fairly and efficiently from the seller to the buyer without any legal hiccups. So, what is the real estate conveyancing process, when do you hire a conveyancer and what roles will they perform?
Why hire a conveyancer
Conveyancers are hired to perform the legal duties associated with transferring real estate ownership from one party to another. You can hire a solicitor or a property conveyancer, but unless you have a more complex case or ongoing legal needs, it will probably be more efficient and make more financial sense to hire a conveyancer. Try to choose an experienced and qualified conveyancer who works in your area to ensure that they will have local knowledge about the building and development rules and regulations in your area.
Step 1: Hiring a conveyancer
A conveyancer should be hired as early as possible to help streamline the buying and selling process. For people selling property, this means hiring a conveyancer before you list your property for sale so that the conveyancer can help to draw up a Section 32 (or Vendor’s Statement) document. For clients who are buying a property, it is advisable to hire a conveyancer as soon as your offer to buy a property has been accepted, but preferably before the Contract of Sale has been signed, as ideally, you will have your conveyancer review this document.
Step 2: Review of the Contract of Sale and the Section 32 document
If you are considering buying a property, the real estate agent will supply you with a Contract of Sale and a Section 32 document. These documents need to be inspected carefully.
The Contract of Sale should contain details of the property including the seller’s, buyer’s, and agent’s names, as well as details of both seller’s and buyer’s conveyancers or solicitors. The document will also state the price you have agreed on, the deposit amount, and the amount owing at settlement, as well as the agreed settlement period and any items at the property that are part of the sale.
In Victoria, the vendor is also required to supply a Section 32 Statement, or Vendor’s Statement which includes information about the property including mortgages, easements, covenants, zoning, and other details.
Both are legal documents so it’s important that all the information supplied is accurate or you can risk voiding the sale or incurring legal action. Your conveyancer or legal representative will review the documents and ensure any necessary corrections or special conditions are added.
Step 3: Making/receiving an offer and deposit
Having a property under offer doesn’t stop other potential buyers from also making an offer, so they offer phase can involve a degree of negotiation over price. Once an offer is accepted, a deposit (usually 10% of the total price) needs to be paid to the vendor and the Contract of Sale signed. If you are the buyer, you may want to arrange a building and/or pest inspection before signing the Contract of Sale.
Once the buyer and vendor have signed the Contract of Sale, the property is considered to be sold. In Victoria, buyers usually have a three-day cooling-off period after the Contract of Sale is signed, and in Brisbane, there is usually a five-day cooling-off period.
Step 4: The buyer’s conveyancer undertakes checks on the property
During this period, your lawyer will search for the relevant certificate of title at the Land Registry. This will show all registered caveats, easements, covenants, mortgages, and mortgage discharges that affect the property.
Your lawyer can also conduct other searches that determine whether the property is affected in other ways. For example, they can check whether the property is affected by land contamination.
Step 5: The purchase is finalized
The sale of the property is finalized once the outstanding balance of the purchase price has been paid. On the day of settlement, a final search of the title may be obtained and, in the week leading up to settlement, the buyer may choose to do a final condition inspection of the property. The property ownership is then transferred to the buyer.
For more information about Jim’s Conveyancing Melbourne, or here for information about Jim’s Conveyancing in Brisbane. Or for expert advice on property conveyancing services in Australia, please contact our friendly and experienced staff on 13 15 46.