Author: Rakesh Gupta
Anyone new to home buying might not be familiar with the term “conveyancing”. Once you go through the enervating but exciting process of choosing your dream home, you will be required to deal with the legal matters associated with it.
Conveyancing covers all the legal aspects of the process of transferring the ownership of the property from one person or entity to another. Conveyancing starts after the offer on a home or property is finalized. It is a complicated, time consuming but a significant process and therefore it is necessary to know more about it.
Why is a written agreement necessary?
Buying or selling a real estate property will possibly be the largest and the most crucial transaction you would make in your life. Hence, a binding contract elaborating a purchase, sale, or mortgage of real estate is created in the written form.
In a real estate transaction, the probability of a disagreement between the two parties is quite high. So, it is necessary to be as precise as possible when it comes to the obligation arising out of a purchase or sale of a property.
Who is the right person to approach?
You can approach a solicitor, property lawyer or a licensed conveyancer to do the job for you. A conveyancer is a qualified professional who can advise you on the legal matters involved in the sale and purchase of a property including documentation and conducting the settlement process.
All solicitors are qualified to take up this work but some may lack experience. It is always advisable to hire someone who specializes in residential property transactions or a licensed conveyancer dedicated towards this. Your mortgage broker too can help you find an appropriate conveyancer.
What all will the conveyancer do for you?
A conveyancer comes to your aid in preparation, clarification, and lodgement of legal documents. A genuine conveyancer will explain clearly to you the meaning and significance of each step of the process. They will clarify all the legal terms for you and make you understand all the documentation you are signing. Here are a few things that are expected from a conveyancer.
A primary job of the conveyancer is to prepare legal documents as part of the transaction. The contract of sale is a crucial document which has to be prepared carefully by an expert. The contract consists of specific documents, certificates and disclosures.
Once the contract is ready and all the documents are received, the conveyancer will begin with due diligence. This involves conducting a thorough research on the property which includes reviewing the certificate of title, checking if there are any mortgages or outstanding taxes on the property.
Signing of the contract
On receiving the draft of the contract from your seller, your conveyancer will have a discussion with you regarding the terms. Before having the contract signed, the conveyancer will ensure that all enquiries have been returned, terms of the fixtures and fittings are the same as discussed and the completion date has been finalized.
Once both parties accept the conditions, they sign their copy of the contract. The contracts are then exchanged by the respective conveyancers.
The initial deposit is another important factor that needs to be negotiated. The payment of the initial deposit does not mean that the property is removed from the market. It simply indicates that you are serious about buying the property and is usually non-refundable.
After signing of documents by both parties, your conveyancer will order funds from your lender and have the rest of the funds deposited.
Transfer of property
Before transfer is completed, all documents are reviewed to check if everything is in order. The purchaser’s conveyancer prepares the transfer documents which will be signed by the purchaser. The document will then be registered by paying any stamp duty which is necessary. Both parties must sign the transfer document. Once this is accomplished and a post registration search is completed, the purchaser pays the proceeds to the seller and the keys to the property are handed over.
The entire sales process is considered settled when the buyer pays out the entire balance of the purchase amount adding or subtracting the adjustment. It is necessary to conduct a final title search to make sure if the property is clear of any restrictions. Your conveyancer will do that for you and also hand over the title documents.
Is it possible to handle it yourself?
You can consider handling conveyancing on your own, but it is much better to rope in a professional. A lot of complications arise during conveyancing which can lead to mistakes. If you do not want to go for hiring a professional, you must ensure that your research about what all is required and the risks associated is thorough.
When you decide to do the conveyancing on your own, you are totally responsible for the entire transaction complying to legal standards. This would require you to understand the process completely and all the intricacies of the legislation.
Keep in mind that you cannot expect any help from the conveyancer of the other party. If you happen to make mistakes during the process, it may lead to a delay in settlement. It may have serious consequences as the opposite party can decide to discontinue with the contract depending on the seriousness of the error.
Though it is not a legal requirement to have a conveyancer, it is always advisable to hire one who will help you to make your way through the maze of property contracts.
While hiring a conveyancer is important, getting the right one is more so. You can shortlist prospective conveyancers and interview them to know which one fits your requirements. Ask your friends and family if they have someone trustworthy in mind. Search online or ask other professionals. Once you have shortlisted a few good ones, let them know your requirements and see if they can fulfill them. Have a background check done on the conveyancer you find to know if they are legally allowed to do the job and you are good to go.
Bio: Rakesh Gupta is a Credit Advisor and Director, ARG Finance. Rakesh is an exceptional leader and innovator. With over 8 years of experience in the real estate consulting, Rakesh brings a wealth of knowledge to the table at ARG Finance. He works closely with his clients to fulfill their dreams of owning a home or investing in the property market. Rakesh is also a full member with The Mortgage & Finance Association of Australia (MFAA).