CONVEYANCING

What is Conveyancing

Conveyancing is the term used to describe the legal process of transferring ownership of property. This involves such things as the preparation and lodgement of legal documents, verification of identities and settlement of funds.

A Conveyancer is a licensed and qualified professional that handles the Conveyancing process on your behalf. They liaise with all relevant parties, conduct property related research and prepare and lodge all documentation to ensure the settlement of the property runs smoothly.
It is your right to engage a Conveyancer of your choosing.

Work undertaken by a Conveyancer includes:

  • Certificate of Title searches
  • Government Department and Local Council searches
  • Advice on contractual obligations
  • Preparation and certification of legal documents
  • Stamping required documents
  • Calculation of adjustments of rates and taxes
  • Preparation of settlement statements

  •  Liaise with mortgagees and financiers
  • Attendance at settlement
  • Verification of Identity and Authority
  • Document storage
  • Preparation of private contract
  • Form 1 preparation
 
 

What we do for the Purchaser?

Buying a home or investment property can be exciting and rewarding; it can also be frustrating, and even intimidating. It requires the preparation of a legal contract. The contract is usually based on a standard printed form. It should contain all of the terms of sale (including the price) as negotiated between the seller and buyer. Often the contract will also include additional conditions (called ‘special conditions’) required by either the seller or the buyer.

Contracts are usually prepared by your real estate agent. However, Conveyancers also prepare contracts and are trained and skilled in drafting special conditions.

It is wise to speak with your Conveyancer before you sign any contract prepared by the agent. Your Conveyancer may be able to alert you to specific matters that need to be addressed in the purchase of the property.

Undertaking a conveyance (attending to the transfer of a property) may seem a simple process that takes little time. Nothing is further from the truth! Conveyancing is a complex series of tasks that require both knowledge and skill – this is the reason that Conveyancers must hold special qualifications and be registered by the Government.

Below is a list of tasks required to fulfil a Conveyancer’s legal obligations to you. Because this task list reflects the commonly accepted legal requirements for a conveyance, all fee estimates must be benchmarked against this list.

Occasionally a transaction involves more work than usual. Time may also be required to advise a purchaser (e.g. in relation to documentation or rights or liaising with your lender) or a transaction may involve extra tasks (e.g. liaising with a GST expert or dealing with an encumbrance or contractual breach). In such cases, your Conveyancer is entitled to charge an additional fee unless the work has been allowed for in any fee estimate.

Basic Tasks

  • Take initial instructions from Purchaser and advise Purchaser to obtain insurance cover immediately.
  • Send letter of engagement to client to sign and on return, formally open matter and set up file.
  • Carefully peruse the contract, Form 1 and any ancillary documents.
  • Ensure purchaser is obtaining the correct property.
  • Obtain appropriate statutory searches. Check contract and Form 1 against searches. Obtain instructions if appropriate.
  • Diarise date conditions due and settlement date.
  • Ascertain if Property to be owner occupied or for investment purposes.
  • Consider if client needs GST or other tax, legal or professional advice and obtain instructions.
  • Ascertain if there are any stamp duty concessions available to client.
  • Ascertain if Purchaser is a first home buyer.
  • Ascertain the manner in which joint Purchasers are to hold the Property.
  • Confirm conditions of contract are fulfilled by parties by the due dates.
  • Ensure that any encumbrance on the title is dealt with appropriately & get purchaser sign off that they understand.
  • Confirm finance arrangements with Purchaser and deal accordingly with Lender.
  • Obtain ACN from ASIC for any corporation.
  • Prepare Transfer and any other required documents (eg Applications).
  • Send copy of Transfer to lender for preparation of Mortgage documents.
  • Arrange for Purchaser to sign Client Authorisation.
  • Confirm amount to be provided by Lender at settlement.
  • Advise Purchaser to liaise with Agent to arrange collection of keys after settlement.
  • Advise Purchaser to arrange for utilities and telephone to be put in Purchaser’s name
  • Order SA Water special meter reading certificate.
  • Adjust rates and taxes and any community or strata levy.
  • Prepare Purchaser’s settlement statement.
  • Undertake trust account reconciliation calculations.
  • Send settlement statement to Purchaser requesting balance of funds.
  • Receive funds from Purchaser and bank into trust account.
  • Receive cheque details from Vendor’s Conveyancer.
  • Calculate cheques required for settlement.
  • Advise cheque details to Lender.
  • Book settlement with Vendor’s Conveyancer and Lender.
  • Stamp and certify Transfer.
  • Draw bank cheques from trust account (if required) for settlement.
  • Check search Certificate of Title immediately before settlement.
  • Attend and complete settlement at Lands Titles Office.
  • Advise Purchaser by telephone of completion of settlement.
  • Send settlement confirmation letter to Purchaser.
  • Notification of change of ownership Council and SA Water and any community or strata corporation.
  • Confirm Vendor’s Conveyancer has paid rates and taxes unpaid at settlement.
  • Calculate usage from special meter reading and confirm payment of appropriate amount to SA Water to put Purchaser into credit.
  • Enter trust account journal entries and reconcile.
  • Prepare final account for fees & trust account statement and send to client.
  • Check search Certificate of Title to confirm registration of Transfer.
  • Obtain copy of confirmation of registration showing Purchaser as registered proprietor and send to client.

What we do for the Vendor?

Selling a home or investment property can be exciting and rewarding; it can also be frustrating, and even intimidating. It requires the preparation of a legal contract for the sale. The contract is usually based on a standard printed form. It should contain all of the terms of sale (including the price) as negotiated between the seller and buyer. Often the contract will also include additional conditions (called ‘special conditions’) required by either the seller or the buyer.

Contracts are usually prepared by your real estate agent. However, Conveyancers also prepare contracts and are trained and skilled in drafting special conditions.

It is wise to speak with your Conveyancer before you appoint a real estate agent and before you sign any contract prepared by the agent for you. Your Conveyancer may be able to alert you to specific matters that need to be addressed in the sale of the property and can advise you on any special conditions whether required by you or requested by the buyer.

Your Conveyancer plays an important role in the selling process, offering advice and assistance on matters including:

  • Your legal obligations including your insurance responsibilities
  • Understanding special conditions or “subject to?” clauses
  • The buyer’s cooling-off rights
  • Your rights to withdraw from the sale
  • Circumstances in which a party can avoid settlement
  • Calculation of adjustments of rates and taxes
  • Preparation of adjustment statements and settlement statements
  • Discharging any mortgage liabilities
  • Payment of outstanding property accounts
  • Change of ownership notifications
 

The specific Conveyancing services involved in a sale include:

  • Searching with government departments and local authorities for anything affecting the property
  • Advising on the information in Form 1
  • Compliance with all special conditions and time limits
  • The preparation of documentation
  • Liaising with existing mortgagees and financiers
  • Discharging existing mortgages and ensuring a clear title is available
  • Calculation of adjustments of rates and taxes
  • Preparation of adjustment statements and settlement statements
  • Properly accounting for all monies expended or held in trust
  • Attendance at settlement on your behalf