What Is Conveyancing?

If you’re buying or selling a home, chances are you’ll need to deal with a conveyancer to complete the transaction. The primary purpose of conveyancing is to transfer the title of ownership in land from one owner to another.

What does a conveyancer do?

In broad terms, a conveyancer takes care of the entire conveyancing process. Your conveyancer is responsible for ensuring you meet all of the legal obligations associated with your property transaction and protecting your rights throughout the entire process.

Depending on how complex the property transaction is, the scope of work completed throughout the conveyancing process includes:

  • Document preparation: A contract to buy or sell a home is a legal document that needs to be prepared correctly so that the property is legally and properly transferred from one owner to another. The conveyancer’s task is to ensure the Contract of Sale and Vendor’s Statement both comply with your state’s legal regulations.
  • Conveyancing advice: Some contracts contain conditions that need to be met prior to settlement. Your conveyancer is also able to provide advice on other legal documents that may be required to complete the transaction.
  • Searches: As part of the property transaction, your conveyancer needs to conduct title and planning searches to determine whether there are easements, encumbrances, caveats, or any other restrictions placed over a property’s title. The conveyancer will also conduct searches of various government departments and local authorities.
  • Financial transactions: When you buy or sell a property, the money isn’t usually handed directly to you by the other party. Instead, your conveyancer coordinates the financial transactions, including ensuring the buyer has sufficient funds from cash, mortgages, grants, or other sources to complete the settlement transaction. Your conveyancer will also ensure the vendor receives the right amount of money after the sale is completed, including ensuring the vendor’s bank receives the correct funds and drawing a cheque to cover any amounts remaining to be paid to the vendor.
  • Payment adjustments: When a vendor sells a home, it’s likely they may have paid a portion of the property’s council rates or water rates in advance. A conveyancer will calculate the amount paid by the previous owner and adjust it accordingly so that the new owner pays the appropriate portion of fees for their component of ownership.
  • Coordinate settlement: The conveyancers acting for the vendor and the buyer coordinate a settlement date that is convenient to both parties. The conveyancer acting on behalf of the buyer will contact and liaise with the bank to ensure funds will be available on the appointed settlement day.
  • Lodge the title: Any changes to a property’s title are lodged with each state’s Land Titles Office (LTO). Your conveyancer will attend settlement personally to ensure the funds are disbursed properly and the title is transferred.
  • Preparation of settlement statements: The buyer and the seller will receive settlement statements prepared by the conveyancer. Settlement statements clarify all the costs and financial transactions associated with each side of the conveyancing transaction.

When Do You Need to Engage a Conveyancer?

The primary reason you would need to engage the services of a conveyancer is when a property’s title is being transferred to new ownership. Common situations include:

  • Buying or selling a property
  • Subdividing land
  • Updating a title (e.g. removing one owner after divorce or registering a death)
  • Registering, changing or removing an easement over the property.

Before you buy, sell or amend the ownership of any property, take the time to contact a professional conveyancer. The earlier you speak to a conveyancer, the easier it is for them to begin providing advice that could protect your rights throughout the transaction.

Your Assured Home Loans Consultant can connect you with an experienced conveyancer to make sure everything runs smoothly during your property transaction.

The information in this article is of a general nature only and does not consider your personal objectives, financial situation or particular needs.