The ‘Whats', ‘Whys' & ‘Whens' of Conveyancing in Australia

Rose Lawyers on 5 February 2015

Conveyancing is the branch of law that deals with the transfer and ownership of property. A conveyancer, as such, is someone who will act both for and with you when it comes time to purchase, sell, transfer or subdivide real property.

But, why hire a conveyancer? Are they really necessary when dealing in real estate?

In short, the role of a conveyancer is to make the process run more smoothly for you and to ensure that - for instance - no inconsistencies in paperwork stand in the way of you and your property transfer. Conveyancing services can be invaluable when buying or selling property.

Why Are Conveyancers Important?

When you hire a conveyancer, it is their job to act on your behalf in your purchase or sale of real property. Some of their duties within this role include:

  • Reviewing your Contract of Sale;
  • Prepare a Section 32;
  • Ensuring that you are prepared for critical dates;
  • Liaising with banks;
  • Liaising with lawyers and conveyancers on the other side of the sale;
  • Ensuring that all of your relevant documents are prepared and in order (such as the Section 32 Vendor’s Statement and the Section 27 Early Release of Deposit form, if relevant);
  • If you have a mortgage, ensuring that your bank is ready for settlement – particularly important as your bank won’t release the Title to your purchaser unless the mortgage is paid.

Clearly, the purchase and sale of property takes a lot of organisation. To ensure you are fully prepared, you need a personal-assistant-meets-legal-advisor. A conveyancer is basically all of this in one, with a title that rolls off the tongue with a lot more ease. 

conveyancer handing over papers

Should you be on the buying end of the property transfer, your conveyancer will perform the additional duties of:

  • Helping ensure you make the relevant application to a bank for finance to fund the purchase;
  • Advising you whether or not you should consent to an early release of the deposit;
  • Reviewing the Section 32 to make sure everything is in order;
  • Liaising with your bank to ensure cheques for the correct funds are presented at Settlement;
  • Organising Settlement with banks and those on the other side.

Something that has probably been made clear at this point is that the transfer of property involves a lot of specialised knowledge that most people don’t possess. However, these areas where specialised knowledge is required are absolutely fundamental to ensuring the process runs smoothly – or runs at all.

Conveyancers are therefore important predominantly due to their expertise in the specifics of property transfer, as well as their capacity to organise on your behalf.

When Do You Require a Conveyancer?

It is not a legal requirement to hire a conveyancer, but they do make property transfer a lot easier than it would otherwise be.

Anytime you buy or sell a property – whether it be an auction or a private sale; a stand-alone house or a villa in a Retirement Village – you should hire a Conveyancer for their expertise and professional assistance.

The benefits of hiring a conveyancer to assist you during the buying or selling of a property are countless, and include:

  • Their familiarity with laws regarding the sale, purchase, subdivision & transfer of property rights;
  • Their ability to advise you of any potential benefits and pitfalls of the transaction after having reviewed Contracts & Section 32s;
  • Their experience dealing with banks and real estate agents, which will help to take a lot of the stress out of the transaction on your part;
  • Their knowledge of different requirements regarding different types of property transactions, such as auctions, private sales and Contracts for Retirement Villages.

A conveyancer will also be able to assist you in the preparation of documents that you are not familiar with. For instance:

When you are selling a property, you must disclose certain things about that property in a Section 32 Vendor’s Statement. Your conveyancer will be able to obtain the relevant information needed to do this.

If you are purchasing real property, you will need to prepare a Statement of Adjustments for Settlement. Your conveyancer will be able to do this for you.

If you are selling real property and you want to utilise the deposit monies before Settlement, you will need to prepare a Section 27 Early Release Deposit Statement. Your conveyancer will not only be able to prepare this document, but will additionally be able to advise you on the likelihood of the purchaser agreeing.

If you are purchasing, your conveyancer will be able to tell you if it is safe to release the deposit and if not, ensure that you object within the required timeframe.

So while hiring a conveyancer is not absolutely necessary, it is highly advisable for any individual involved in the buying or selling of real property to do so – both for legal reasons and to lessen the stress of the transaction. It is advisable to do so as early as possible in the sale process. 

conveyancer

How Much Does a Conveyancer Cost?

There is no one-size-fits-all costing mechanism for conveyancing services. In fact, the cost of conveyancers varies dramatically from business to business.

What can be assessed, however, is what you are paying for when you hire a conveyancer.

Part of what a conveyancer charges includes a fee for their services. You will also be charged for any disbursements which are out-of-pocket expenses for the conveyancer, such as the costs of applying for land certificates and the provision of bank cheques. There may also be a fee for the person who will attend Settlement on your behalf.

However, in order to determine the exact costs of conveyancing services, there is only one solution: go straight to the source.

Why Should I Choose Rose Lawyers as my Conveyancer?

Interestingly, many practising conveyancers have no legal training. This is because they are not lawyers; they are trained conveyancers. If they are not affiliated with lawyers, then they must be Accredited.

The benefit of choosing Rose Lawyers is that our conveyancing services are backed by our lawyers. If a problem arises during the process of property transferral, there will be a lawyer on-hand to provide assistance and advice to the conveyancer you have hired.

This is a huge benefit for you. For example, if Settlement is delayed but the purchaser needs to move into the property before the revised Settlement, a lawyer will be able to advise you of the benefits of a License Agreement – as well as being able to draft it.

On the other hand, if you hire an independent conveyancer and something goes wrong, you may be liable to pay substantial legal expenses to additionally engage the services of a lawyer.

Summary

While there is no legal obligation to hire a conveyancer during the buying or selling of property, their services can save a lot of unnecessary stress and potential expense.

The main benefit of hiring a conveyancer lies in their experience. Conveyancers are required as part of their role to be intimately familiar with all of the ins and outs of buying and selling property. They will know all of the documents you will need and can assist you in their preparation, they will be able to advise you on the benefits of certain actions, and they are experienced in dealing with banks, real estate agents and other individuals involved in property transfer.

In short, their knowledge and experience is highly valuable to ensuring a smooth transferral process.

Rose Lawyers provides conveyancing services that are valuable as a result of their ties with the legal side of the process. While many practising conveyancers aren’t legally trained, Rose Law conveyancers will be able to assist and advise you throughout the process with the backing of lawyers.

For more information on conveyancing – or if you are in need of conveyancing services – call Rose Lawyers on 03 9878 5222.