Understanding conveyancing: How and what it is

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After endless inspections, your dream home is yours. And it’s more than you could have possibly imagined. Your kids’ school is close by, and it comes with a gorgeous backyard that can be enjoyed without breaking the bank. Life is bliss.

Your next step is to find a good conveyancer and take care of the paperwork.

To ensure you get through all the complicated steps in the settlement process – from financial to administrative responsibilities – you will need to enlist the help of a conveyancer. When it comes to ensuring everything goes off without a hitch, the investment in this kind of service is always well-worth it.

But first: What is conveyancing?

Conveyancing involves the transfer of ownership of land from a single individual or company to another. Because it’s a complex legal process, we recommend hiring an expert.

In order to transfer ownership of a property, many steps need to be followed carefully and stringently. Any errors or delays can be detrimental to the buyer and the seller.

Your conveyancer will handle all the necessary paperwork and stay on top of important dates throughout the process. In addition, because they are Licensed Conveyancers, they are well-equipped with crucial skills to navigate any legal issues.

The majority of forms can be filled out yourself, and you don’t have to spend hundreds of dollars on fees. Nonetheless, we advise against this, as doing everything right requires careful attention and understanding of how it all works.

What is a conveyancer?

These professionals provide information and advice on the sale of real estate. Not every conveyancer needs to be a solicitor, but they are often called upon to perform this function.

Engaging a conveyancer is highly recommended whenever you:

  • Undergo a property sale or purchase
  • Go through subdivision of land
  • Update a title after death
  • Register, modify or remove easements.

How does a conveyancer help you?

In addition to overseeing the settlement process, a conveyancer assists in negotiation. Despite its apparent simplicity, it takes a great deal of detail, paperwork, and effort to legally transfer property ownership.

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The process of finding and lodging legal documents can be lengthy for a person who does not know what they are doing.

A conveyancer will do the following for the buyer:

  • Creating, confirming and submitting contracts of sale and memoranda of transfer as well as other types of legal documents
  • Look for easements, the type of title, and any other information that needs to be taken into account
  • Set up a trust account for the deposit money
  • Make the appropriate adjustments to taxes and rates
  • Deal with final payments of the property and notify your bank as soon as the final payments have been made.
  • Assist vendors or their agents in representing your interests.

Typically, a conveyancer will do the following for the seller:

  • Obtain all legal and necessary documents
  • Assist you in negotiating with the buyer, for example, extending dates, asking questions about the title, etc.

How to find the right conveyancer for you

Before selecting a conveyancer to oversee your settlement process, you should sit down and interview multiple agents, just as you would with real estate agents.

The best place to start is to ask your friends and family for recommendations. Once you’ve done your research, ask your accountant, lawyer, and real estate agent for suggestions.

Make a list of potential conveyancers and call each one. Get a sense of which one will work for you by asking a few questions (see below). You may be able to narrow your search by choosing one who specialises in a particular type of real estate.

After you’ve found the one you’re comfortable with, it’s prudent to check their background to be sure they’re legally qualified to perform the services and have no complaints lodged against them.

You may want to ask potential conveyancers the following questions:

  • Do you belong to the Australian Institute of Conveyancers?
  • Do you specialise in any particular type of property?
  • Can you tell me how much it will cost? Are there any fees or charges to pay? Are there any settlement fees? Is there anything else that is involved?
  • In what ways and how frequently will we communicate?
  • What is the approximate length of time it will take to settle everything on settlement day? (Before calling movers or other parties, make sure you’ve gathered this information.