You have found a perfect place to call your home – and it comes with an affordable price tag too, so you are already mentally unpacking, cooking dinners for two or sipping cocktails at the porch watching the sun set on the horizon in all its crimson glory. Stop right there! Before you get carried away daydreaming, there is one more matter you will have to take care of – the conveyancing procedure. If you are new to conveyancing, we have a quick guide right here to help you complete the process quickly, so check the list below and follow through each step before you proudly hang a plate with your family name on the front door.
ABC of conveyancing: What it actually is
Conveyancing is the administrative-legal transfer of property whereby the ownership over a house or building is reassigned from one person to another. The conveyancing procedure begins after the agreement on the price has been reached and the purchase/sale of the property has been settled in oral form, and it ends by formal exchange of contracts and transfer of funds required for the purchase. Conveyancing can be handled by a solicitor, property lawyer, licensed conveyancer or in some cases, by the seller or buyer themselves.
Conveyancing in practice: What it involves
Once the initial draft of the contract has been drawn up, the conveyancer will perform an inspection of your future home, raise relevant enquiries with the seller’s solicitor and carry out the necessary searches with local authorities, Land Registry and government departments concerning property titles, building plans for the locality, flood risks, existence of covenants, potential disputes over the property and overdue financial liabilities. This is especially important if you are buying or selling houses in Australia as many areas in the country are prone to flooding and similar environmental hazards. The purpose of the searches is to establish whether your purchase is a legally safe investment with no subsequent complications involved.
Moving on: From paperwork to completion
The conveyancer then conducts communication with the seller or their agent on your behalf, prepares and certifies the necessary legal documents and draws up the settlement statement. They will also go over the mortgage offer prior to formalizing the contract, convey necessary surveys, discuss completion dates with you, inform you about incurred costs such as stamp duty, prepare the completion statement and examine the contract in detail one more time before you sign it. Once the final contract is signed, the conveyancer will notify the seller’s agent thereon, prepare the transfer deed and schedule the date and time for the exchange of contracts. You or your mortgage company will be required to transfer the funds for the property purchase to the conveyancing provider, after which they will forward the payment to the seller’s solicitor and have them sign the transfer deed. Finally, the conveyancer will register you as the new owner in the Land Registry, submit the stamp duty land tax return, pay transaction duties and present you with the title deed, transfer deed and the keys to your new home.
Conveynancing is a complex process that involves a number of legal and administrative procedures but it is still an inevitable part of home purchase, so if you are set on getting a home to call your own, you must not skip it. After all, the property must be listed under your name in the Land Registry and other relevant documents, and that is precisely what conveyancing is all about – transferring the ownership title from the previous owner to your name.
This article was written by Zoe Clark, real estate and home decorator enthusiast. You can find her on Twitter.