Conveyancing & Property Law
Buying or selling a residential or commercial property is a big decision and a significant matter for most people. We offer many years of experience with property law and have represented both buyers and sellers of property for all legal matters.
Our team can offer assistance with property law in the following ways:
- Help you fully understand the issues involved in purchasing or selling property
- Information about the costs involved (including tax)
- Negotiating real estate contract terms and conditions
- Advice for meeting lender requirements
- Arrange searches and land enquiries
- Help you with settlement
For further information on conveyancing and property law services contact us on 02 9517 2300.
Transaction, Settlement & Post Settlement
The basic elements of a conveyance (purchase) are as follows:
- Obtaining finance;
- Reviewing the contract;
- Doing your due diligence;
- Obtaining any precontractual searches (e.g. building, pest and survey reports but this is by no means definitive or exhaustive);
- Entering into the contract and paying the deposit;
- Conducting post contractual searches;
- Arranging payment of stamp duty;
- Liaising and arranging loan with your mortgagee if you have one (wouldn’t it be nice not to need to borrow money);
- Having the transfer executed.
- Attending settlement.
Not all conveyances are the same and additional matters, searches and issues may need to be taken into account. For example buying off the plan or a strata unit will involve more things.
The conveyance is completed (this is referred to as “settlement”) on the day:
- the balance of purchase money is paid to the vendor strictly in accordance with their instructions; and
- The vendor has handed over all documents necessary to enable the change of ownership to be recorded with the Land and Property Information Office.
There are certain matters which need to be satisfied before the money is paid over, particularly ensuring:
- The title is not encumbered by unexpected mortgages, charges or other dealings which will continue to burden the property and may likely become your problem.
- The relevant documents including the original certificate of title, transfer form and (more often than not) discharge of mortgage are received from the vendor.
- Your bank is satisfied with the arrangements so that it will hand over the loan money to be used on settlement.
It may surprise people that legal title of the property DOES NOT pass at settlement. Legal title is only perfected on the registration of the transfer of the property from the vendor to the purchaser. If you have a mortgagee who has lent you money against the security of the property, they will insist on controlling this process so that they can also register the mortgage granted to them over the property and also hold the certificate of title once the transfer is registered.
If you are fortunate enough not to need to borrow money to buy the property, then the transfer of the legal title should be attended to at the earliest possible opportunity as there may be consequences if that process is delayed.
Various notices also will be sent to the local council and water authority to register the change of ownership.
What do I need to look out for?
Like most things in life, preparation is very important in a conveyancing transaction, particularly where you are buying. You need to have your ducks in order both from a financial and legal perspective. If these 2 things are done right, then you can hopefully look forward to a stress free purchase.
So if you find yourself at a Saturday morning auction for a property you really know little about, the contract for which you have not seen and you expect to see a mortgage broker first thing Monday morning, then you are leaving yourself exposed to unnecessary stress and financial risk.
Although more often than not, a conveyancing transaction will end up fine, it is better not to leave anything to chance. The only way to do this is to ensure that everything is done in a definite order.
Is Stamp Duty an additional cost?It is also worth noting that stamp duty is a significant cost on top of the purchase price and should also be addressed prior to signing any contract.