What is conveyancing?

Conveyancers are licensed professionals who deliver expert advice and information regarding the transfer of property from one party to another. A typical conveyancing transaction goes through two main phases: the exchange of contracts and completion. Conveyancers work with you to assist in the sale, purchase, transfer, and lease of both commercial and residential properties.

What is the difference between conveyancers and lawyers?

It’s easy to get confused by the difference between conveyancers and lawyers. While both occupations are qualified to act for you in a conveyancing transaction, what are the differences?

Conveyancers are licensed to operate in only one aspect of property law: conveyancing. As such, it is common that conveyancers possess much more specialised skills, given it’s the only thing they focus on. There’s also less chance of a conveyancer being out of the office or in the courts dealing with other issues. Conveyancers are only responsible for making sure you meet every legal obligation involved in your property transaction.

In contrast to lawyers, conveyancers cannot advise on areas of the law outside of conveyancing. If you need general legal advice, conveyancers will refer you to a qualified lawyer. Lawyers are trained to advise clients on their legal rights and obligations and represent them in the courts across various issues.

Typically, conveyancers have more substantial knowledge regarding the rules and regulations of conveyancing, as this is their only area of specialty. Lawyers are more of a general practitioner with knowledge in the area that isn’t as in-depth.

When should I engage a conveyancer for property transactions?

As soon as you’ve decided to buy, sell, or transfer property, you should contact a conveyancer immediately to set up a ‘pre-purchase contract review’. Like anything, the quicker you start, the easier the process will be for you. It’ll also make the conveyancers’ life easier, as they have much more time to work on and prepare any necessary legal documentation.

How does conveyancing work?

Your typical conveyancing transaction generally consists of three stages: pre-contract, pre-completion, and post-completion. Your conveyancer will do everything necessary to ensure you’re prepared for critical dates during the process.

Conveyancing involves the following actions:

  • Research property background and title certificate
  • Prepare, clarify, and lodge legal documents
  • Make sure any agreed-upon conditions within the contract are satisfied
  • Calculate any adjustments arising from rates or taxes
  • Ensuring payment of land tax, water consumption charges etc.
  • Settle the property on your behalf

Understanding the complicated legal jargon of property transactions can be challenging without the necessary knowledge. Of course, you could fill out the forms yourself if you wanted to, however, it’s not as easy as it sounds. And if you get it wrong, you run the risk of losing your property, as well as your 10% deposit.

Conveyancers take the guesswork out of buying, selling, and transferring property and are skilled across all aspects of the conveyancing procedure and experienced in filling out the relevant paperwork’s necessary for finalisation.

What happens at settlement?

Property settlement is the legal process necessary for the transfer of ownership from one party to another. Buyers, sellers, solicitors, and banks are all involved at settlement.

The length of the settlement process varies from state to state and property to property; however, as a rough guide, it typically takes anywhere from 30 to 90 days.

On settlement day, the purchasers’ bank will provide the funds needed to purchase the property to the buyers’ agent or solicitor, and in return, receive the Certificate of Title from the seller’s bank. Keys can then be handed over to the purchaser, provided all other agreements listed in the contracts have been met. From here, the buyer’s bank registers the relevant documentation and mortgage, notifying services such as electricity and water of the change.

What is an “off-the-plan” purchase?

An “off-the-plan” purchase involves a plot of land that has not yet been divided or a property that does not exist physically and instead only resides on an approved or proposed plan.

For example, suppose someone has a large paddock and wants to subdivide it into smaller plots. In that case, he may sell the divided blocks in theory and then separate them later once he knows that people are interested in purchasing them. This strategy minimises risk for the seller.

In this scenario, it should be noted that a vendor typically has 18 months to 3 years to sub-divide the land. If not, purchasers get their money back. Purchasers will select the blocks of land they want off the plan

Off the plan purchases are extremely common for apartments, especially when new skyrise buildings are built. This can be risky in some cases, as there is potential for you to be dissatisfied with the completed property’s appearance of liveability.

What is stamp duty and do I need to pay it?

Stamp duty is a tax imposed by your state government upon the purchase of a property. Whilst both parties are liable, the terms of a standard sale contract place liability on the buyer. The amount of stamp duty payable is determined by the purchase price of the property.

Different states in Australia have differing rates of stamp duty. The payment deadline also varies from state to state.

Why should I choose Entry Conveyancing?

At Entry Conveyancing, we understand the emotional attachment one has to their property and how hard it can be to let go of sentiment. When we see a residential property, we don’t see dollar signs, we see stories, memories, and relationships.

Our one and only aim with our conveyancing services is to help you get the result you’re after with the least amount of stress possible.

When you choose us for your conveyancing needs, you receive the following:

  • Quality, genuine advice
  • Legal expertise
  • Skilled conveyancing services backed by extensive experience
  • Personalised service and insight
  • Fixed-fee payment structure
  • Professional indemnity
  • Comprehensive onsite evaluation and inspection
  • A calm, considered approach to property transactions
  • Friendly customer service
  • Detailed communication with clients

At Entry Conveyancing, you’re our priority. Whether you’re a first home buyer, new investor, experienced investor, overseas buyer, or property developer, you can count on us to deliver practical, cost-efficient conveyancing services.

If I sell my house without the intervention of a real estate agent, do I still need a conveyancer?

Yes. Property cannot be listed on the market or advertised before a proposed contract for sale has been prepared. Anyone who makes an enquiry or offers a property is entitled to ask for a proposed contract for sale. Failure to do so can result in fines.

To draw up a proposed contract for sale, you’ll need to enlist the services of a conveyancer. At Entry Conveyancing, we make the process of buying, selling, or transferring property as stress-free and straightforward as possible; you won’t have to worry at all about little details or legal jargon. We can help you prepare a contract for sale and deliver much advice regarding the other aspects of the process, pre-completion, and post-completion measures.

Call us today on 1800 518 187 for a free consultation and quote.

What is “gazumping”?

Gazumping occurs when a seller accepts a verbal offer on the property from one potential buyer but then reneges and accepts a higher offer from another party.

In Australia, it is assumed that a purchaser understands that a sale has not taken place until all involved parties have fully executed the contract and that a purchaser who claims to have “been gazumped” has merely failed to understand the law.

To prevent yourself from being gazumped on a property, we recommend formalising a written contract agreement with your offer as soon as possible.

Should I have the contract and Section 32 checked before I buy?

It is crucial to have your contract and Section 32 checked before you purchase any type of property.

At Entry Conveyancing, our pre-purchase legal advice allows you to navigate the many ups and downs of buying, selling, and transferring property with more confidence. Too many people fail to receive conveyancing or legal advice from a qualified professional before purchase, which can unfortunately lead to substantial financial issues later on in life.

If you’re in the early stages of purchasing, selling, or transferring property ownership, call us on 1800 518 187 for a free consultation and quote. Our fixed fee rates also remove the possibility of being charged. We’re here to help you navigate the stresses of property ownership, and you’re our only priority.

What do conveyancers search for when evaluating property?

Conveyancers conduct searches to assist the buyer in evaluating the property before the final purchase. These searches help identify any legal, property or ownership issues, such as land being on the contaminated land registry, if the building has the relevant approvals, if it has heritage lists or if there are any issues over the title. These searches are also done to make sure any debts in land tax or other rates are present or if they’ll be remediated before settlement.

If you have any special requirements for the property, let us know so that we can search the property with these issues in mind. Given our experience in the industry and conveyancing expertise, we’ll be able to advise you as to whether or not you should go through with the purchase.

However, to conduct specific searches, special conditions will have to be present in the contract to allow for different types of searches. If these special conditions are not present, you may not be able to terminate the agreement based on findings from the investigation.

What is a cooling-off period, and how long is it?

A cooling-off period is an interval during which both sides of the transaction can cancel the contract and ‘walk away’ from the purchase without incurring a penalty.

Cooling-off period regulations and length differ from state to state. For example, in Victoria, the cooling-off period lasts for three days and begins as soon as the buyer signs the contract, even if the seller hasn’t.

In Victoria, if the buyer decides to exit or cancel their contract within the cooling-off period, they will have to forfeit either $100 or 0.2% of the purchase price, whichever is higher.

That’s why we recommend buyers undergo a comprehensive review of their contract, making sure they’re happy with the terms before the final agreement or the cooling-off period. Conveyancing offers invaluable insight and advice regarding property contracts and final sale actions, allowing you to better navigate the often-complex nature of legal jargon and property contracts.

What do I need to know about buying at an auction?

Real estate auctions are a risk for everybody involved, however, they can be highly rewarding, especially for the seller.

At an auction, a vendor will list their property for a reserve price. If the final ‘winning bid’ is below this reserve price, the house is not sold.

Auctions can go very well for sellers if multiple parties are interested in the property and bid against each other.

As a buyer, you should compare the listed reserve price to how much you or an agent believe the property to be worth. It is possible to get a good deal on a home that goes to auction.

What do I need to know about real estate contracts?

The most important thing a seller or buyer should know about real estate contracts is that real estate agents do not have to see or edit them; it is recommended that you do not involve agents in the writing up of your contract, just in case.

For example, it is illegal for an agent to draw up contract conditions and advise vendors to the legal effect of the conditions.

Before you sign any written documents concerning the purchase or sale of real estate, you should obtain legal advice from a qualified lawyer or conveyancer. Conveyancers and lawyers are your best bet when it comes to drawing up and handling real estate contracts.

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