When selling or buying a property in Australia, understanding the conveyancing process helps you become conversant with the legal intricacies involved in the transfer of property from one person to another. Generally, there are three stages typical of any conveyancing transaction. Read on for more insight.
Prior to the contract
Contrary to popular belief, the conveyancing process does not begin when there's a contract in place between the buyer and the seller, but rather, whenever a buyer expresses an interest in acquiring a given property. This means that prior to making an offer for a given property; you should first consult with your property conveyancer regarding your plans for the acquisition. As a buyer, you will typically part with a specific deposit amount after placing your offer on the property as a sign of seriousness.
Contract to settlement
Once you've exchanged contracts with the seller or buyer, what follows is the cooling-off phase which affords you time to cancel the contract if you deem so. This also marks the time to organise for a seamless settlement, which means you have to carry out a number of things, including making payments for stamp duty, reviewing any mortgage contracts, assessing any intended developments that may affect the property and conducting a final inspection.
In the meantime, your property conveyancer will work out the settlement adjustments for water and council rates and, if relevant, land tax and rental fees. Moreover, the conveyancer will also mail a list of official queries pertaining to the property, referred to as requisitions on tiles. Ideally, this document discloses information which might not have been formerly revealed during the opening property inspection.
On the date of the settlement, your conveyancer will attend the settlement on your behalf and meet the seller's appointed agent to exchange property transfer documents, applicable stamp duty forms as well as any other legal paperwork. Moreover, the sum owed to the vendor including the property buying price, adjustments as well as legal fees will be paid.
There are still a few things to take care of after settlement. Your conveyancer will help you register the property transfer papers with the Land Titles Office to officially change ownership of the property. Further, any existing mortgages are discharged, existing caveats are withdrawn and transfer of property title and mortgage to the latest mortgagee is done.
By hiring a property conveyancer, the conveyancing process becomes as smooth and hassle-free as possible for you because the conveyancer takes care of all the previously mentioned tasks on your behalf.