Many small details are involved with selling a home, but it is at heart a legal transaction. Conveyancing is one aspect of this. This is an important part of any real estate transaction, involving the transference of a title from the vendor to the buyer. It may seem like a simple change of legal ownership, but as with any legal transaction there can be several issues that arise along the way.
To help navigate the twists and turns of conveyancing, many sellers choose to hire a professional to help. Real estate agents can put you in touch with a professional conveyancer or solicitor, and some may have the legal expertise to help you with this issue.
(A good real estate agent will have professional connections to conveyancers and conveyancing solicitors, you can compare real estate agents upfront at LocalAgentFinder and get the expert advice to help you sell your property.)
The Role of a Conveyancer
Unlike transitory forms of investment, real estate is permanent. After a sale has been made, it can’t be destroyed, moved, or otherwise hidden. This makes it a valuable investment for the owner. If a bank has given out a loan, the bank assumes an interest in the property. It doesn’t matter if the owner defaults on their payment, because the bank will still hold this interest. They are legally able to sell their stake in the property so that they may recover the cost of the loan.
A conveyancer steps in to ensure that the property’s ownership is transferred without being bogged down in petty legalities. They can make sure that there are no other interests that can impede this title transfer; such as covenants, easements, or caveats. In many cases, the process is quite straightforward. However, using a conveyancer can be reassuring because they will have up to date knowledge regarding real estate procedures and legal details. A professional conveyancer will also be able to anticipate any potential problems, and prevent them before they cause trouble.
One example of an issue that could arise requiring the assistance of a conveyancer is when a home is sold that originally had two names on the sale contract. This could lead to problems if there is a death or divorce before the property is sold. There may be tax or liability issues that the owners had not considered, or survivorship implications in some cases. This is where a good conveyancer, financial advisor, or lawyer will be needed to help make decisions. However, this is only one example and there are many complications that can arise. It’s a good idea to consult with a real estate agent before you start the selling process, to determine if a conveyancer will be necessary. You can find a qualified agent with a strong working knowledge of these legalities using the comparison tool at LocalAgentFinder. Most agents will be able to refer you to a conveyancer or lawyer as needed.
Hiring a professional to take care of the conveyancing process ensures that you will have a knowledgeable professional taking full responsibility of this important legal transaction. You will not need to worry about bearing the brunt of any tricky situations that arise. Although it costs money to hire a conveyancer, it is well worth avoiding the complications that can arise without one.
What Can Go Wrong during Conveyancing?
Although selling a property may seem like a straightforward transaction, there are numerous details that can go awry if you’re not careful. Property boundaries can be difficult to identify when selling a strata title unit, titles may be lost over the years, and the measurements of the home may differ from what’s on your original title. Further problems can come up during an inspection. There may be issues related to structures that haven’t been approved by the council, or damaged or missing property discovered during the inspection process. If you built your home, there may be problems arising stemming from this when you try to transfer the title. These are just a few examples of common complications that could lead to you needing the assistance of a professional conveyancer. You will need someone who knows all the ins and outs of real estate law to help you avoid these pitfalls.
The Process of Conveyancing
The conveyancing process entails four separate components, each of which can be accomplished more easily with the assistance of a professional conveyancer. A conveyancer or solicitor will be able to help you with all of the following four steps of this process.
To get started with this part of the process, the title must first be found. Conveyancers have access to specialty software programs that can do this quickly and efficiently. The search will provide the professional agent with all of the current information that they need about the registered home owner, previous influences or actions that could have bearing on the title, and any encumbrances that have been officially registered on the title.
Off Title Restrictions and Interests:
After completing a title search, the conveyancer will now have all registered encumbrances and restrictions. However, there may be other restrictions out there that haven’t been officially registered. They must conduct a thorough search for all of these unregistered restrictions to avoid future problems. A good conveyancer will be able to do this by using records from various authorities. This could dredge up information regarding zoning, rates and outgoings, heritage listings, land tax, building approvals, and road proposals. They will be able to find information related to potentially contaminated sites or any other information that could affect the title.
Zoning is particularly important because it helps determine what the land can be used for. Rates and outgoings are costs that must be paid if someone owns real estate, and road proposals would come into play if the local authority wishes to build new roads near the home. These are all just a few potential issues that could be of interest.
Vendor’s Statement and the Contract:
Laws will differ depending on the state that you live in, and must be complied with at the time of sale. One example of laws relating to the Vendor statement refers to the Section 32 Vendor Statement in Victoria. This is important because homebuyers can legally back out of a contract if the seller doesn’t include an information statement in accordance with Section 32 of the Sale of Land Act. This should include knowledge of outgoings needed to be paid due to owning the home, details of all building permits and home owner warranty insurances, knowledge of any notices served to the vendor, and services connected to the home or property.
This is just one example of a required vendor statement. The rules will change depending on the Australian state or territory that your property is located in. A conveyancer will know these local laws and help you include this important statement in your contract.
It’s important for the contract of sale to detail all specified terms and conditions that pertain to the ultimate sale of the property. The conveyancer can also address further issues such as the release of deposit, statement of adjustments, the purchaser’s final inspection, and the cooling-off period. There are many factors that go into the home sale process, which is why it’s useful to have a professional draw up these contracts for you.
Post Settlement Issues:
After the settlement has been completed, there are still more tasks to address. The conveyancer must send a Notice of Disposition to council and water authorities, so that they are aware of the new property owner. Stamping and lodging must also take place, although in most cases this will be taken care of by the buyer’s lawyer. If the homebuyer has taken out a mortgage, which they will in most cases, the vendor’s conveyancer must take custody of a variety of documents. This includes the Discharge of Mortgage, Withdrawal of Caveat, and Transfer of Land statements. All of these must be stamped and registered for the new owner. Without these important tasks completed in an accurate and timely manner, settlement on the property may be delayed.
A conveyancer is useful from the beginning of the contract through the end of the settlement and handover process. They can assist with everything from finance approval to building inspections, and ensure that all legal documents are in the right order once settlement is reached. It’s important not to skimp on any of these services, because they help prevent sales from falling through at the last minute and consequent financial loss.
After the completion of settlement, you still must register the house’s transfer of ownership at the Land Titles office. Some contracts will have terms that must be met after the settlement has been completed, such as repairs to the home. A good conveyancer will help you complete this checklist, avoiding the loss of unnecessary time and money.
Keep reading to learn more about issues pertaining to selling your home: