Buying or selling a home, land or investment property is a process called conveyancing. This is the essential step of transferring the ownership of a property from one owner to another. Although individuals can handle their own conveyance, it can be quite time-consuming and complex. This is why most people may choose a licensed conveyancer or solicitor to do the work for them. Read on for a breakdown of the conveyancing process.
Who can do conveyancing work?
- Licensed conveyancer
Because purchasing a new property is a significant financial investment, it is worth hiring a professional to ensure no stone is left unturned. It is always important to conduct some research before commencing the conveyancing process.
What does conveyancing involve?
In a nutshell, the conveyancing process covers a number of things, such as the payment of the deposit, the balance of purchase price and completing the correct forms to ensure that the property is properly and legally transferred to the correct person. It also includes making enquiries about outstanding debts, obligations or potential defect or disputes on the property and ensuring that the property is transferred to the rightful owner. This can be broken down into the following four broad areas:
1. Before signing of contract
For the buyer, a conveyancer is usually engaged until after the contract has been signed. This is because a conveyancer is not legally able to conduct any conveyancing work for the buyer until after the contract has been signed. A Solicitor will provide comprehensive legal advice about the contract of sale and Section 32 Vendor’s Statement, advising the buyer of their rights and obligations under the contract, the meanings of special conditions as well as any possible issues with the property.
For the seller, a conveyancer or solicitor will prepare and clarify the legal documents, which is the contract of sale. In addition, a solicitor is also able to draw the Section 32 Vendor’s Statement that outlines the important information about the property.
2. After signing of contract
A conveyancer or solicitor will investigate whether a government body has a particular interest in the land or whether there are any proposed developments or notifications that could affect the property. This involves gathering information and making enquiries about the land and title from relevant authorities to ensure that there are no hidden defects, debts or mortgages on the property and that the property is in compliance with Council and State regulations and law.
3. Before completion (before settlement)
During the conveyancing process, a conveyancer or solicitor will draw the relevant documents to ensure that the property is transferred to the correct owner at the end of the process.
A conveyancer or solicitor will represent his or her client and will liaise with the other side directly. This includes exchange of transfer documents, requesting extension of time if required, answer or ask questions about the property, talk to the bank if there is one involved, and make arrangements once the matter is ready to settle.
A conveyancer or solicitor will calculate the final amount due at settlement after all the relevant rates and charges are paid on the property. If there is a mortgage involved, a conveyancer or solicitor will talk to the bank to find out about the funds available or payable at settlement and also attend settlement on behalf of his or her client.
4. After completion (after settlement)
Once settlement is over, the conveyancing process is typically finished. In some cases, a conveyancer or solicitor for the buyer may attend to stamping and lodging of the transfer documents. This means that they will assist in preparation of the documents to pay for stamp duties and to lodge the transfer documents so that a new Certificate of Title is issued in the name of the rightful owner.
If you wish to obtain legal advice or assistance regarding conveyancing, contact Hutchinson Legal using the details below.
Ringwood Office: 10-12 Warrandyte Rd, Ringwood VIC 3134
City Office: Level 10, 459 Little Collins Street, Melbourne VIC 3000
Tel: (03) 9870 9870
Fax: (03) 9870 5704
*Disclaimer: Please note that the information provided in this article is for general information only and is not to be used or relied upon as legal advice. You should seek legal advice from a professional before making a decision to buy or sell property.