Whether you’re a new or returning home buyer or seller who is confused by the legal aspects of transferring property, chances are you’re not alone.

When it comes to buying property, there’s a number of steps to complete before your new home is legally yours. Here’s our top tips for conveyancing to help you better understand the steps, responsibilities and costs involved in transferring a property.

What is conveyancing?

Conveyancing is the process of transferring the legal title of a property from one party to another. It is a necessary part of every property sale, the purpose of which is to ensure that the new owner receives the legal title to the property after the seller has received payment.

Can I do my own conveyancing?

While you’re legally entitled to do your own conveyancing, it can be a highly technical process, often requiring specialist knowledge. More importantly, if there are any issues with the transfer or you make a mistake on the application, it can result in the settlement being delayed or the sale not going through. For these reasons, when buying or selling property it’s recommended to engage the services of an experienced conveyancer or solicitor.

What’s the difference between a conveyancer and a solicitor?

While both conveyancers and solicitors can help you through the process of buying or selling property, only a solicitor is qualified to handle the more complex legal issues than can sometimes arise. Also, if the transaction becomes litigious, a solicitor can act on your behalf to protect your interests.

What are the steps involved in conveyancing?

A typical conveyancing transaction consists of three stages, which take place before, during and after the contract of sale.

1. Before the contract

  • Search for a suitable property.
  • Obtain formal finance approval from your lender.
  • Review the sales contract and make sure you understand it.

The good news is that a conveyancer can help you prepare, clarify and lodge legal documents, including your contract of sale and memorandum of transfer. They will also help you to understand the conditions of the contract and negotiate any special conditions on your behalf.

2. Before contract completion

There are many steps that need to take place before a transfer of property can be finalised. A conveyancer can handle each of these steps for you.

For the buyer:

  • Research the property and determine if the certificate of title has any encumbrances.
  • Put the deposit money for the property into a trust account.
  • Calculate adjustments to the purchase price for rates, taxes and fees.
  • Prepare the land title transfer forms and send them to the seller to sign.
  • Arrange all of the necessary documentation for the transfer of the property.

For the seller:

  • Complete all necessary legal documents.
  • Respond to any requests or questions from the buyer.

Because buyers carry higher risk than the seller when transferring property, conveyance for the buyer is a more complex and comprehensive process.

3. After completion

At this stage, the conveyancer will act on your behalf to exchange the relevant documents and funds, and will send you a final letter of advice confirming the details of settlement. Once the confirmation from the Land Registry has been received, the conveyancer will also notify the relevant agencies that you’re the new owner of the property. How much does it cost?

Conveyancing fees differ from state to state. When you’re ready to move ahead, the best option is to contact your chosen conveyancer to prepare a free quote for you.

There are many steps and details involved in the conveyancing process. To ensure your transaction goes as smoothly as possible, it’s important to work with an experienced conveyancer or team who can get the job done thoroughly and efficiently, while protecting your interests at all times.

Posted by Robert Kean – blog on 16th December, 2015