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Glossary – Common Conveyancing Terms

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Whether you’re buying or selling property, you will need to complete the transaction by going through the conveyancing process. However, conveyancing can involve a variety of legal terms that you may have never come across before, which can make it somewhat confusing. Many people will choose to work with a conveyancer or solicitor who can help explain this terminology, but it’s also helpful to have a cheat sheet as you get started so that you know what conveyancing is and how it works.

(Good real estate agents will have professional connections to conveyancers and conveyancing solicitors, compare real estate agents upfront at LocalAgentFinder and get the expert advice to help you sell your property.)

The following terms are some of the most common to come across in a typical conveyancing transaction, and are worth understanding.

Adjustments: This refers to the method used to calculate how property outgoings will be divvied up between the buyer and the seller. This process helps ensure that both parties are only responsible for paying the outgoings for the time period pertaining to when they are in possession of the property.

Certificate of Title: This legal document sets forth the particulars of the title and the owners or registered proprietors of a property. If a mortgage is involved, the mortgagee or financial institution will hold onto the document until it has been paid off. However, if there is no mortgage the Certificate of Title will usually be held by the registered proprietors of the property.

Conveyancer: A professional who has the qualifications necessary to represent another party during the transfer of property.

Conveyancing: The formal process of transferring title on a property from one party to another. In most cases, this will include the buyer and the seller.

Contract of Sale: This is a formal, legal document drawn up between the buyer and the seller. It sets out the specific terms from which the seller will sell the property to the buyer. In many cases this is first drawn up by the vendor’s real estate agent. If you’re a seller who needs to proceed with this step, you can compare your options using the free online dashboard at LocalAgentFinder to find an agent.

Cooling Off Period: A cooling off period is the official time that the purchaser has during which they can rescind the Contract of Sale, at a small cost. This usually commences as soon as the buyer signs the contract.

Deposit: The buyer must put down a certain amount of money in order to secure the property purchase. In many cases, the deposit will be 10% of the overall purchaser price. However, this amount can vary as long as the seller agrees to the sum.

Disbursements: There are two main types of expenses that must be paid to a solicitor or a conveyancer, including professional fees and disbursements. Disbursements could include settlement or search fees, which the conveyancer must pay on the client’s behalf.

Requisitions and Enquiries: The purchaser usually has questions which can be posed to the seller in relation to the property. These are included under the category of requisitions and enquiries, with many sale contracts including a clause which excludes the purchasers from this right.

Settlement: The settlement process involves the purchaser paying the official purchase price or balance after having paid the deposit to the vendor. It also involves the vendor handing over any relevant legal documents to facilitate this transfer of property.

Stamp Duty: All Territories and States in Australia have some type of stamp duty levy, with few exceptions. The duty will be payable by the buyer when the property is transferred into his or her name.

Transfer: This legal document shows the property’s title particulars for the property that is going to be transferred between two parties.

These are a few of the most common terms that you will come across in the conveyancing process. It’s always a good idea to consult with your conveyancer, solicitor, or real estate agent if there’s something you don’t understand. Register now at LocalAgentFinder to find a professional who you feel comfortable discussing these issues with. A good agent will be happy to answer any of your questions.

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