Q: What is conveyancing?
A: Put simply, conveyancing is the legal process of transferring the title of a property from one person to another.
Q: Why should I use a conveyancer?
A: Buying or selling property is one of the biggest financial transactions of your life. Due to the financial and legal aspects of transferring property, the consequences of making a mistake can be both costly and heartbreaking.
By having a licensed conveyancer take care of your property transfer, their qualifications and experience can help protect your assets.
A licensed Conveyancer has an in-depth understanding of the law concerning property transactions, is required by law to carry professional indemnity insurance and fidelity insurance, and unlike certain solicitors that offer conveyancing, can focus solely on property transfer instead of other legal matters.
Q: What is the cooling off period and how does it affect me?
A: A cooling off period is the right of a purchaser of property to cancel the agreement within 4 working days. It offers some protection to buyers that may have rushed into a contract to purchase property and can be used to finalise financial arrangements or perform title searches. The purchaser is entitled to cancel the agreement (or rescind as it is known).
The cooling off period does not always apply, at an auction or where the Conveyancer drafts the contract. In the case of auction we suggest you contact a Conveyancer prior to discuss your obligations at the fall of the hammer. Where a Conveyancer drafts the contract they are exchanged at a time mutually suitable to the seller and buyer.
Q: What is a disbursement?
A: A disbursement is one of the expenses incurred during the process of searching and obtaining a certificate from local government authorities or local councils etc. They also include governement charges on transfer of land. A full list of possible costs is available on request.
Q: What happens if either party cannot settle on the due date?
A: Either party can issue a ‘Notice to Complete’ which means the other party has 10 working days to settle the matter.
If left unsettled, the buyer has the right to terminate the contract and is eligible to receive their deposit back. The buyer may also apply to the Court to have the vendor complete the agreement and hand over possession.
The seller is entitled to charge the buyer interest for the number of days settlement is delayed. The contract usually stipulates the applicable interest rate. After the required notice, the seller may terminate the contract and keep the deposit, and can legally place the property back on the market to sell. They can also take legal action for the buyer to complete the agreement or pursue damages.
Q: What happens at settlement time?
A: Settlement is the finalisation of the sale or purchase process. There are usually four parties involved – the buyer and sellers’ conveyancers and the banks for the seller and buyer.
On settlement, the buyer’s bank will exchange cheques as per the instructions of the buyer’s conveyancer and in return, receive the Certificate of Title and ‘discharge of mortgage’ (if applicable) from the seller’s bank.
After settlement, the keys can be handed over to the purchaser and the deposit is released (from trust) to the seller. At this stage, the buyer’s bank registers the change of title and mortgage.
Q: Who notifies the authorities that I have purchased a property?
A: When your transfer papers are lodged for registration after settlement, the council and water providers are automatically notified of the new purchase. Other providers, however, will need to be notified.