We talk to property solicitor, Luke Primon, about his work managing the team at Entry Conveyancing.
With two decades of experience practising law, Primon is the company’s senior solicitor and conveyancing expert.
Graduating with an Arts/Law degree in 2003 and admitted as a Solicitor in 2004, Luke Primon spent most of his legal career in conveyancing and property law, as well as wills and estate planning. His focus on this area of law was a considered decision. Taking care of clients’ property and estate planning has been an interest since his early days at university.
There are many reasons Primon enjoys working for the Entry Group, and one is the Group’s focus on customer-centred service. It’s how he prefers to work, and his wide experience in the law enables him to provide legal advice to clients when conveyancing becomes more complicated than transferring ownership of a property.
“A lot of conveyancing is procedural”, Primon explained, “but there can be areas of legislation and law that pop up and go beyond that.” He may also be managing property transfers between spouses for tax reasons, or due to a court order.
The most common type of conveyancing done at the Entry Conveyancing is residential, with most clients buying and selling property. Investment property is also popular, with buyers taking advantage of record low interest rates.
Entry Conveyancing covers all Australian states and territories, and it’s not unusual for Primon to find himself managing property settlements in Queensland, NSW and Victoria during a single week.
First, check the section 32
One of the most important things to do before bidding at auction, or making offers in a private sale, is read the section 32 carefully.
Sometimes called the ‘Vendor’s Statement’, the section 32 should disclose the following information:
- outgoings (e.g. rates)
- declaration (e.g. bushfire prone area).
Source: Consumer Affairs Victoria
Primon applies due diligence to the section 32, and recommends that his clients should as well. If it isn’t complete or/and has factual errors then they should alert their conveyancing solicitor as soon as possible.
Also check for drainage easements, right of carriageway, building permits and environmental overlays, Primon said. And, if the information listed in the section 32 doesn’t correspond with the real estate advertisement, and what the client sees themselves when inspecting the property, the conveyancing solicitor needs to be notified.
If purchasing a property that’s part of an owners corporation, check the cost of the management fees, what they cover and if there are any special levies.
The most recent annual general meeting of the owners corporation is usually included in the section 32, and it can provide additional information about the property over the preceding 12 months.
Get advice before you sign
“If you’re going into an auction, it’s an unconditional sale,” Primon said. “This means you buy it as it is and you have no recourse.”
With a private sale, he explained, you can make an offer subject to conditions such as finance, a building inspection or a pest inspection. Then, if you receive a report that’s not satisfactory, such as structural defects or termites, you can pull out of the sale.
Primon emphasises, however, that it’s up to the clients to make their own decisions. “I say to them that it’s my job to warn you and provide you with advice, but it’s up to you whether you want to take the risk.” He also encourages clients to speak to the real estate agent if they have any specific questions about the property.
The most common causes of delayed settlement
Settlement delays can be due to something as simple as the title name being incorrectly spelt, or building or pest inspections not being satisfactory.
The most common cause of hold ups, in Primon’s experience, is the bank not being ready for settlement. Often the property valuation comes in lower than anticipated, and the loan has to be adjusted or reconsidered.
Transferring properties with mortgages and/or loans can involve three or four different departments of the bank, and this can cause delays. If the buyer doesn’t understand the processes involved and doesn’t employ a conveyancing solicitor in time, then settlement delays are more likely to occur.
When settlement is delayed, clients may need to stay in a hotel and rebook their removalist. This costly inconvenience can often be avoided if the client is more educated about, and involved in, the settlement process.
Don’t leave it too late to appoint a conveyancer
Buyers sometimes purchase a home, or an investment property, and not give a lot of thought to conveyancing. Then at the last minute they get in touch, Primon said. “They have their bank ready, but not their conveyancing.” This oversight can happen a lot with first home buyers, or somebody who hasn’t bought property in a long time, he explained.
In these instances, Primon is happy to help buyers through the conveyancing process. There can also be anxiety and stress about finalising loan agreements, he explained, because buyers are often looking at large loans that will take three decades to pay off.
Being guided through the conveyancing process by an experienced property solicitor is certainly a bonus!
The most important thing to do when waiting for settlement
While waiting for settlement, there’s nothing more important than making sure the loan has been approved and that the loan details are all in order, Primon said.
Secondly, he advises, the client should ensure all their conveyancing is in order. They can do this by getting in touch with their solicitor and asking if any issue is outstanding.
The third thing to do while waiting for settlement is to conduct a final inspection of the property and make sure the building/s and grounds are in order and that any chattels and fixtures are either in place or removed, as agreed.
Tenants in common or Joint proprietors?
When purchasing property with a friend, partner or spouse, there are decisions to make about how each person will ‘own’ the property.
Joint proprietors own the property together. One part-owner cannot sell off their share of the property, and when either dies the surviving partner becomes sole proprietor of the property.
Tenants in common generally have equal shares in the property. With equal shares, they own 50% of the property and are able to sell it. On either partner’s death, the 50% stake is dispersed according to their will.
A property solicitor helps clients make the right decision about how to structure ownership of their property.
A property lawyer will provide more thorough legal advice than a conveyancer would, such as explaining the different types of legal ownership that can go onto the Title.
Settling online with PEXA
Entry Conveyancing uses the nationwide e-conveyancing platform PEXA (Property Exchange Australia) to conduct settlements.
PEXA, an initiative of COAG (Council of Australian Governments), is used across Australian states and territories for property settlements. It is paperless and utilises real-time lodgement of Land Registry documents. It also minimises errors and has a number of features that make it an impressive alternative to traditional property settlement methods.
PEXA is not mandatory in all states and territories. Clients should check with their solicitor if they’re interested in using it.
Contact us today
Using an experienced property solicitor for your property settlement is the best choice you can make.
At Entry Conveyancing we do conveyancing for a set competitive fee.
This means cost is not a consideration. Why? Because you don’t have to pay more to have an expert property solicitor manage your settlement.
This peace of mind is what you deserve.