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Do you need to know what conveyancing involves? This article will help you!

This article gives an introduction to the process known as conveyancing, provides an overview of the typical steps and costs involved in the conveyancing process and looks at whether you should do it yourself or whether you should get a professional to do it.

What is conveyancing?

Conveyancing is the process when the title of property is transferred from one person to another. It generally consists of three steps:

  • pre-contract;
  • pre-completion;
  • post-completion.

When does conveyancing start?

Conveyancing technically starts when you first enter into the contract as you may engage a professional to review and advise on the contract and arrange searches, reports and enquiries before you sign the contract. The entirety of this process is what is known as conveyancing.

When does conveyancing conclude?

Conveyancing finishes once the transfer of tile is registered at the Land Titles Office. This means ownership of the property has been transferred from the vendor (or seller) to the purchaser (or buyer).

What is property title?

Property title is the legal interest you have in your property.  If you have title to property it means that you own it. In some states, you do not need to register your title and all you need is a Certificate of Title to show that you own property.

Common steps in the conveyancing process

Conveyancing often involves:

  • building and pest inspections;
  • strata inspection (if you are purchasing a strata title property, e.g. a unit);
  • reviewing, advising on and negotiating the contract fort sale of land;
  • exchange of contracts and payment of deposit;
  • arranging stamping of contract and payment of stamp duty;
  • reviewing loan documents (if finance is required by the purchaser);
  • searches and enquiries relating to land tax, government and other authorities, zoning, rates and title;
  • transfer of title;
  • settlement adjustment figures;
  • attending settlement.

Typical costs

The fees you have to pay for a conveyance will depend on the professional you engage.  In addition to the actual service fee, you will have to pay for a range of disbursements, including:

  • searches and enquiries (including title search, charges by water, electricity, roads and statutory authorities);
  • photocopying;
  • mortgage registration;
  • pest and building inspections;
  • insurance;
  • valuation fees;
  • stamp duty;
  • mortgage duty;
  • water and council rates and levies.

Should I do it myself or hire someone to do it?

The conveyancing process is difficult and there is a high risk of error. It is recommended that you engage a professional to assist you. Buying or selling a property is a big decision and it is important to get it right.  The costs of conveyancing are small compared to the cost of a property. If you make a mistake along the way the results can be extremely costly.

What questions should you ask the professional who conducts the conveyancing?

  • Do you specialise in certain types of property?
  • How much will it cost?
  • Are there any hidden fees and charges?
  • What is payable at settlement?
  • How much work will each of us need to do in the process?
  • How long will it take?
  • How will the communication process work?

Conclusion

There are varied and complicated steps in the conveyancing process.  This means there are also many opportunities for it to go wrong.  Speak to a conveyancer or conveyancing lawyer to ensure your interests are best protected in the long term.

LegalVision cannot provide legal assistance with this topic. We recommend you contact your local law society.

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