Why do I need to hire a conveyancer? Buying or selling property is one of the biggest financial transactions or decisions of your life. Because of the financial and legal implications of transferring property, the consequences of making a mistake can be both costly and tragic. If you have a licensed conveyancer to take care of your property transfer, their qualifications and experience can help keep your assets safe. A licensed Conveyancer who has a deep understanding and experience of the law concerning property transactions, is required by law to carry professional indemnity insurance and fidelity insurance, and unlike certain solicitors that offer conveyancing, can focus solely on property transfer instead of other legal matters. Hiring a conveyancer will protect your legal rights and money in case anything goes wrong.
What happens during settlement time? Settlement is the finalisation of the sale or purchase process. It is the day on which the representatives of all parties, including any financiers, meet to exchange documents. Final document checks are conducted to ensure accuracy and completeness, important legal documents are exchanged, and payment of the purchase price is made. There are usually four parties involved; the buyer and seller’s’ conveyancers and the banks for the vendor and purchaser. During settlement, the purchaser’s bank will exchange cheques as instructed by the buyer’s conveyancer and in return, receive the Certificate of Title and ‘discharge of mortgage’ from the seller’s bank. If prior to settlement the property in question has been damaged, there is a sufficient amount of time to take care of discrepancies prior to settlement. When the settlement date arrives, the keys can be handed over to the purchaser and the deposit is released to the seller. At this stage, the buyer’s bank registers the change of title and mortgage, and notifies authorities of the change.
What happens if I cannot settle on the settlement date? The Contract will specify what penalties, if any, are payable by you, either as the vendor or the purchaser as the case may be. These penalties will be fully explained to you by your conveyancer during the initial contract review. Generally speaking, purchasers are penalised by paying interest on the balance of the purchase price as well as compensating the vendor for any additional legal expenses they incur as a result of the delay.
What are the terms and conditions in my contract? Most property contracts have standard terms that are included with the intention of covering many of the most important aspects of a standard transaction. Because each transaction is different and the parties may have different needs, certain contracts may also have special conditions added. Special conditions are included by agreement and can override the standard terms, so you need to know what anything that is added to your contract means before signing. Read the contract properly and make sure you understand any special conditions clearly.
What are ‘searches’ in a conveyancing transaction? Searches are conducted to help a buyer evaluate their purchase and identify legal, ownership or property issues. The results also provide peace of mind that the property is not subject to any current or known future plans or licenses issued by government, or affected by inclusion on the registers such as heritage listing or environmental management. Searches also find out whether there are any issues over the title of the property that need to be solved before the settlement such as mortgages and any other agreements. If any of these are recorded against the title of a property you plan to buy or sell, we will inform you of your rights and obligations. After a contract has been signed, the parties to whom the contract have certain rights in relation to search results. Without the inclusion of additional special conditions, a buyer may not have any additional rights in relation to problematic search results and can suffer as a result.