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I Don’t Understand All the Legal And Conveyancing Jargon, Should I Be Concerned?


Whether you’ve only in the preliminary stages of a real estate transaction or have already started the conveyancing process, you may find yourself confused when it comes to the legal terminology used. Although licensed conveyancers can assist you with this process without necessarily having any legal qualifications, conveyancing is still a legal transaction. As with any transaction of this nature, there is bound to be vocabulary in use which a regular lay person would not understand.

(A good real estate agent will have professional connections to conveyancers and conveyancing solicitors, you can compare real estate agents for free at LocalAgentFinder and get the expert advice to help you sell your property.)

It’s important to ask questions as you proceed with the conveyancing process, to help gain a greater understanding of your rights and how the process works. One possible source of information is your real estate agent, who may be involved in preparing the Contract of Sale. This is one example of a time when it’s important to clarify any terms you don’t understand, so that you know what you’re agreeing to when you sign this contract. It’s a good idea to choose a real estate agent who you feel comfortable discussing these terms with.

You should also be able to ask your solicitor or conveyancer for clarification if you don’t understand any legal terms which appear in the contract or other legal conveyancing documents. It’s important to remember that this is part of the reason why most people hire conveyancers or solicitors. They will be able to explain these terms to you in a simple fashion, giving examples to help you grasp the concepts.

The following are a few common legal terms that you will most likely come across during the conveyancing process:

Contract of Sale

This document is signed by both the buyer and seller of a property being sold. It is signed after all of the terms and conditions of the sale have been defined and agreed upon. These could include the sale price, deposit amount, and settlement date.

Vendor’s Statement

The vendor is required to prepare an official statement for the purchaser detailing all of the particulars of the property being sold. This should include the amount of outgoings and rates for the property, so that the purchaser knows what their financial obligations will be.

Cooling Off Period

After the buyer signs the Contract of Sale, there is a short grace period of three days in most cases. During this time, the buyer is entitled to terminate the Contract of Sale without risk of being sued by the vendor for breach of contract. However, there may be financial penalties for backing out of the contract, so this is something to discuss carefully. Find an agent to help you understand how this works by comparing local agent fees and services at LocalAgentFinder, or speak directly to your solicitor or conveyancer.

Settlement Date

This refers to the day when the purchaser pays the balance of the predetermined purchase price to the seller. At this time, the seller then gives the purchaser all of the legal documents required to transfer the property to the purchaser’s name.

Statement of Adjustments

There may be some overlap of fees such as council and water rates during this transitional process. The Statement of Adjustments is a document which states any adjustments between the buyer and seller. It helps ensure that the buyer will pay for outgoings when they take possession of the property, and that the seller will pay for these outgoings when they are still in possession of it.

Because a great deal of legal jargon is used throughout the conveyancing process, it’s always a good idea to clarify these terms with the help of a professional conveyancer, solicitor, or real estate agent. They should be happy to answer your questions and help you understand what these documents are used for, so that you know exactly what you’re getting into.

Start the conveyancing process by finding a licensed real estate agent who knows all of the real estate regulations in your state or territory. Most Australian real estate agencies have provided their information at LocalAgentFinder, making this no-obligation service a good source of information. Find out how it works and make your real estate transaction run more smoothly.

LocalAgentFinder View all articles by LocalAgentFinder

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