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What is Conveyancing?

As you go about the process of selling your house, you may hear or read the term “conveyancing”. This is a legal term which refers to the transfer of the legal title to a real property from one part to another. A mortgage or lien can also be transferred in this manner. When the time comes in the selling process to transfer this title, most sellers choose to work with a Conveyancer or Conveyancing Solicitor. It’s highly recommended to use a professional Conveyancer or Solicitor for this purpose, because they will have the experience and specialised knowledge necessary to help navigate the specific council regulations, laws, and processes in your region.

(Many real estate agents will have a working knowledge of conveyancing or be able to help you find a qualified Conveyancer. You can compare real estate agents upfront at LocalAgentFinder and get the expert advice to help you sell your property, for free. From here, your agent will have professional connections to conveyancers and conveyancing solicitors who will be able to help you through the legal process of selling your house.)

Time Frame and Fees

In most cases, the full conveyancing process can take anywhere from 4 to 12 weeks. This will depend on the settlement date specified in your Contract of Sale. The fees charged by Conveyancers or Solicitors will vary, but they usually fall between $500 and $1200. In most cases, a Conveyancer will charge less than a Conveyancing Solicitor, due to differences in experience and expertise. Sellers who have a more complicated conveyancing situation or higher priced purchases often choose to work with a Solicitor, who will have more expertise and legal knowledge. On the other hand, Conveyancers are suitable for straightforward cases or for those on a restrictive budget. The conveyance fee often is a fixed price, including legal advice and title or planning search costs.

What Is Involved in a Conveyancing Transaction?

A conveyancing transaction typically involves two main events, including:

  • The exchange of the Contract of Sale
  • The settlement of the Contract of Sale

You’ll find several documents involved in this transaction. These include:

Contract of Sale

This document is signed by both the vendor and purchaser. It lays out all of the property details, including the price that has been agreed upon by both parties. The Contract of Sale will also include any special conditions, such as the sale being subject to financial approval or the need for a building inspection before purchase. In many cases, the real estate agent working on behalf of the seller will prepare this final Contract of Sale. However, in some cases the Conveyancer or Conveyancing Solicitor will take care of this. For example, if there’s a sale by Auction or if there is no agent involved, this would be a duty of the Conveyancer instead.

Vendor’s Statement

This document sets out many details pertaining to the specific property being sold. This includes the cost of body corporate fees, any planning details that are related, and any taxes that might be payable. It also should include encumbrances that affect the property. Because incorrect information could render the Contract of Sale invalid, it’s not recommended to try and prepare this on your own. In most cases, the Conveyancer or Solicitor will prepare this document. As part of the research for the Vendor’s Statement, these professionals will undertake planning and rate searches along with title searches. The vendor will be expected to pay for the cost of these searches, which could average between $150 and $200.

Transfer of Land

Another important document that is part of the conveyancing process is the Transfer of Land. This document is also signed by both the buyer and seller, and it includes their full names, the ownership of the property, and any title particulars. It will then be submitted to the State or Territory Revenue Office in your area, where it will be stamped after the payment of stamp duty. After payment, it is then lodged in the Land Titles Office. Although this document is prepared by the Conveyancer working on behalf of the purchaser, it’s retained by the seller’s Conveyancer until the settlement day. After this time, the buyer’s Conveyancer or Solicitor will arrange for the payment of the stamp duty and lodging.

These are the three main documents involved in a typical conveyancing transaction. Yet they may not be the only ones. It’s a good idea to have a knowledgeable real estate agent at hand before you even start this process, to make sure you don’t overlook any details. Use the free online dashboard at LocalAgentFinder to find a qualified professional who knows about the regulations in your area.

You will then need to hire a Conveyancer or Solicitor to prepare all of the necessary documents to facilitate the final settlement of the property. The following is a basic breakdown of the conveyancing process:

  • The Conveyancer or Solicitor will undertake title searches to determine if there are any liens, restrictions, encumbrances, or taxes against the property.
  • Meeting all special conditions in the Contract of Sale
  • Ensuring that council and water rates are up to date in payment, and that any other rates are similarly paid and adjusted as needed
  • Paying any other fees or charges, including registration fees and stamp duty
  • Preparing all legal documents required to transfer the property’s title from the seller to the buyer.

These are the main tasks that fall under the category of conveyancing. If a bank is involved in this process, they may take care of the payment of fees and other issues as well. Yet in any case, it is quite difficult for a regular lay-person to navigate all of these legal requirements accurately. This is why it’s strongly recommended that anyone in need of conveyancing services consult with a fully qualified Conveyancing Solicitor or Conveyancer for assistance.

What’s next?

A licensed real estate agent is also an essential component of any real estate transaction. As you think about selling your property, you’ll want to find the right real estate agent to help you navigate the initial selling process. Compare real estate agent fees and services in your local area at LocalAgentFinder, to find the right agent for your needs, for free.

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