Conveyancing: Protect your interests

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Conveying property as either the seller or the buyer can be an exciting time. Both parties have lives and plans that are changing. However, for the transaction to go smoothly for everyone, it is imperative that all of the necessary steps are taken with care and professionalism. Therefore, it can be extremely beneficial for both parties to hire a Conveyancer or a Solicitor. A well informed experienced Conveyancer or Solicitor can head off issues that could cause a sale to stall or fall through.

Persons able to act in the capacity of a conveyancer include; a licensed conveyancer or a solicitor. Conveyancers are required to be licensed by NSW Fair Trading. You can investigate and confirm the license of any conveyor with the commission. Those licensed to convey property are trained and experienced in the legal implications of the transactions and can prepare contracts and give legal advice limited to the subject of conveyance of property. A Solicitor can be used for property conveyance and, in addition to being able to give legal advice regarding the transaction, they can give legal advice pertaining to other issues that may occur outside of the transaction.  

A successful conveyance requires several steps, all of which must be executed within the legal requirements. These steps include;

  1. Viewing properties
  2. Choosing a property to purchase
  3. Negotiating a sale
  4. Entering into a contract
  5. Providing a deposit
  6. Obtaining loan approval
  7. Completing the loan application; including providing all the necessary financial documentation
  8. Pre-purchase inspections and reports
  9. Preparing transfer documents and filing the same with all proper agencies
  10. Final inspection
  11. Signing over of the property
  12. Receiving the keys

While the process of viewing and choosing a property to purchase can be done quickly and easily, the balance of the progression can take longer and involve additional parties. The first step after having found the property you want to purchase is to make an offer. The offer must be in writing and delivered to the seller.

The second stage is negotiating the sale. At some point, both parties must be able to agree on a sale price and the inclusion, or exclusion, of other specific wants and needs. Once the contract terms have been decided upon a deposit must be given and the inspection period begins. Simultaneously, the loan approval process must also be happening. The buyer is responsible for the majority of steps involved in both of these processes. The seller is responsible for making the property available for any and all necessary inspections and curing any defects found as a result of the investigations. In addition, the purchaser is required to pay stamp duty. The duty is due 90 days subsequent to entering into the contract for purchase.

It is important to note that the cooling-off period is part of all contracts and is in effect for 5 days after the contract is signed. During this time the buyer can renege on the contract for any reason. If the buyer elects to do this, they will forgo 0.25% of their deposit.

The final stages include the last inspection before the property officially changes hands, commonly known as the pre-settlement inspection. Thereafter, if no issues are identified, the process moves to settlement and the final papers are signed. The keys are then delivered to the new owner and the purchase is complete. It is at this final transactional point that the liability for the property and insurance risk becomes that of the buyer. Hence, it is imperative that the seller maintain the proper insurances until the sale is truly final.

It is important to remember that there will be many varied fees that need to be paid during the process of the transaction. Some of these fees include;

  • Title search
  • Fees for amenities; water, electricity, infrastructure, education
  • Registration fees
  • Inspections
  • Surveys
  • Loan application fees
  • Escrow
  • Insurances

Finally, there are agencies that can assist you in finding Conveyors, Solicitors, learning the processes and the terms of purchasing property. Some such agencies include Land Registry Services, NSW Fair Trade publications, conveyancer companies and legal offices.

It is highly recommended that both purchasers and sellers take full advantage of the array of professionals who are educated and experienced in helping land conveyance transactions to run smoothly and successfully.

For further information or inquiries, please contact the offices of Owen Hodge Lawyers. At Owen Hodge, we are always happy to assist clients in understanding the full ramifications of any and all of your legal needs. Please feel free to call us at your earliest convenience to schedule a consultation at 1800 770 780.

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