Property Guideline

What Is Conveyancing and How Does It Work?

Conveyancing is essentially the legal process whereby the legal title to a property is transferred from the existing owner to a purchaser. The owner and buyer will normally be individuals for residential property but can be legal entities. Although the principle may seem simple, the process covers a number of steps and legal requirements that can be extremely complex.

For this reason, only a conveyancer is able to conduct the transaction. And it is always best to choose a conveyancer that has experience and know-how. Rather than choose a Conveyancer that works from home it is best to choose one that runs an office and has a large team to cover all the requirements and due diligence required when conducting a conveyancing transaction.

What is a Conveyancer?

A conveyancer is a licensed professional who can transact on your behalf to buy or sell a property. A land conveyancer specialises in dealing with anything to do with land and will have a greater and more up-to-date knowledge of the subject than a Solicitor for example who has knowledge in different areas of the law…

You should always appoint a property conveyancer if you are:

  • buying, selling or transferring a property
  • updating a title to the property, such as when the owner has died
  • sub-dividing land into two or more allotments or changing land boundaries
  • registering, transferring, or updating an easement on a property.

You should consider the appointment of a conveyancer as soon as you begin the process of buying or selling a property. When a contract is signed and the cooling-off period ends, the conveyancing process starts so you can’t afford to delay. Friends or family may be able to recommend a conveyancer they have used, or you may be able to read reviews to assess competence. Always choose a conveyancer you can trust to do the job since it is vital that settlement is completed on time. Before appointing anyone, therefore, ask questions about the service and make sure you believe they are capable, and you’ll be happy to work with them.

How Does Conveyancing Work?

Conveyancing applies for all types of property settlements, whether residential for houses and apartments, commercial where office, retail and industrial properties are transferred, or for business settlements where business assets, including possibly the intellectual properties held by a business, are transferred from the existing owner to a buyer. They also cover changes to land boundaries and the division of land into multiple plots, potentially leading to the development of those plots.

This process can cause a very stressful time and, if things don’t go smoothly, can also be extremely frustrating and lead to great confusion. Employing a professional conveyancer to do the work ensures that everything goes smoothly and will remove much of the stress. In addition, since most of the process is handled electronically these days and the transferring of large amounts of paper is avoided, the process is generally much quicker than it used to be.

Conveyancing is a legal and statutory process where the title to a property is transferred to a new owner. The process starts once the buyer and seller have entered into a contract and ends with a settlement when the title to the property is transferred for an agreed price.

The cost of conveyancing comprises a fee paid to the conveyancer plus any government searches required to clear the property of any outstanding liability. The overall cost will depend on the price of the property and the complexity of the transaction.

What Does a Conveyancer Do in South Australia?

A conveyancer acts for the buyer or the seller and endeavours to ensure the transfer of a property is completed successfully. Since this is essentially one transaction to complete the transfer, it might seem logical to have a single conveyancer handling the process for both parties. When acting for the seller, a conveyancer will:

  • prepare and complete legal documents,
  • ensure the settlement of the property is achieved and the required payment is made correctly
  • ensure clear title by discharging any mortgage registered on the title
  • advise when the property is settled
  • adjust rates to the property
  • resolve any problems in connection with the title and settlement date.

When acting for the buyer, a conveyancer will:

  • prepare, and lodge legal documents such as the Memorandum of Transfer
  • collect and pay Government Stamp Duty applicable to the purchase price
  • undertake searches to check the type of property title, any easements or encumbrances that may exist and restrictions on use
  • calculate any applicable adjustments for taxes and rates
  • ensure the settlement of the property, advise when this is complete and arrange the final payment.

Representing your Interests

Our aim as a conveyancer is to ensure the transfer of a property goes through smoothly and as quickly as possible with no hitches. We’ll always represent your interests, make sure critical tasks and dates are achieved and do everything possible to ensure you get what you need.

Blackwood & Belair Conveyancing will provide a comprehensive service for all types of property transactions and at every stage of the conveyancing process — pre-contract, pre-completion and post-completion. It is a complex process, and you can’t afford for it to go wrong because there’s far too much at stake. It’s best to engage our services early and we can peruse the contract for you and the vendor’s statement whilst you are still in the “cooling off” phase. So contact us today and we’ll ensure a smooth and stress-free settlement.

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