What is conveyancing?
If you are thinking of buying or selling a property, you have to go through conveyancing. In simple terms, conveyancing is the process of transferring legal and financial ownership of property or land from one person to another.
It includes steps to make sure that the transaction is correct for both buyer and seller, and that any outstanding conditions such as rates, taxes and levies are cleared at settlement.
Buying a property is one of the most rewarding and exciting things a person does in their life. But it can also be a long, complex and exhausting time, especially if you re a first home buyer. After finding your dream home and having your bid or offer accepted, there s still a multitude of legal and financial formalities to go through before settlement, when you can call the property your own.
It s at this stage when many property buyers are first referred to a conveyancing lawyer by their mortgage broker or real estate agent.
So, what exactly is conveyancing and how can a conveyancing lawyer protect you through the intrepid legal process of buying or selling?
What is conveyancing?
Conveyancing is the legal process of transferring a property title from the seller to the buyer. A typical conveyancing transaction consists of three stages: before contract, contract to settlement and after settlement.
A conveyancing lawyer will protect your rights under the contract and help you navigate through these stages to secure your property.
Throughout the process a conveyancing lawyer will generally carry out:
- Contract review
- Contract exchange
- Due diligence enquiries
- Giving notice of contract conditions
- Liaising with lenders
- Preparing land titles office transfer forms
- Ensuring stamp duty is paid
- Organising settlement
- Calculation of settlement figures
- Attending settlement
- Notifying authorities of the transfer of ownership of title
Why do you need a conveyancing lawyer?
Developers and agents have their own interests in mind, but a good conveyancing lawyer is there solely to protect your interests.
Each state and territory in Australia has its own property laws and conveyancing process. It is wise for both parties – the buyer and the seller – to engage an experienced conveyancing lawyer to navigate the process, decipher the jargon and prepare the right documents so you settle on time. A conveyancing lawyer can also take away the stress of having to negotiate with the other party and will attend settlement on your behalf.
It s not compulsory to engage a conveyancing lawyer, but unless you know the ins and outs of property law it can be very complex and – the last thing you need when moving house is already stressful enough.
Poor communication or an inefficient conveyancing lawyer can cause costly delays or may even kill a property deal completely. You should choose a conveyancing lawyer that is experienced, knowledgeable and responsive.
Steps in the conveyancing process:
- 1 The brief: Your conveyancing lawyer should take time to speak to you to obtain the details they ll need to complete the conveyance. This is also a good opportunity to discuss your circumstances and the type of property you re buying or selling to make sure the transaction is structured properly.
- 2 Timelines: Conveyancing is full of tight deadlines so a good conveyancing lawyer will set out the critical timeframes from the start and inform you when you need to provide further instructions and sign documents.
- 3 Contract review: Your conveyancing lawyer will review the contractual documents, flag any issues with you, negotiate any required changes and ensure the contract is signed correctly.
- 4 Issues resolution: The conveyancing process involves a number of parties with sometimes competing interests, and from time to time there may be issues that can only be resolved by effective communication between you and your conveyancing lawyer.
Exchange and settle contracts quicker and easier with lawlab’s esignature and streamlined conveyancing service:
- Contracts can now be signed electronically by the vendor and purchaser
- The standard contracts for sale of land are sent by lawlab electronically to the purchasers lawyer who reviews the contract online and approves it
- The purchaser then receives an emailed link to the online contract and signs it online using the legally valid and secure docusign platform
- Signing is easy and can be done using a stylised font of the signers name or by using a mouse/stylus pen or by uploading a digital signature. No witnessing is required.
- The signed contract is then automatically forwarded to the vendor who countersigns it online and the contract is exchanged
- lawlab then issues the exchanged contract to all parties through its collaborative Rundl system so the real estate agent, mortgage broker and other service professionals are kept in the loop on the progress of the sale all the way to settlement
- Docusign will soon be integrated with Rundl so the electronic signing and exchange can occur completely within the Rundl environment making the conveyancing process streamlined from start to finish