What is Conveyancing?


Conveyancing is the process of passing ownership of property (also called "real property") such that the title to the property is conveyed from the vendor to the purchaser.

There are many laws that have developed over time in relation to the conveyance of property in NSW.  The laws place certain obligations on vendors to disclose important information about the property to prospective purchasers, such as local council zoning and any easements affecting the property. All this information is bundled into the Contract for Sale of Land which your solicitor prepares and provides to the real estate agent, which allows the agent to begin marketing the property.

From the buyer's perspective, they need to know about anything and everything that may affect the property they wish to purchase.  The information contained in the Contract for Sale of Land is a starting point.  Your solicitor will make further inquiries of government agencies about the property, to ensure that no proposals will affect your quiet enjoyment of your new home.

What happens in the conveyancing process?


Throughout the conveyancing process, information and requests for information and documents passes between the solicitors for the vendor and purchaser, between the solicitors and their clients' banks and between the real estate agent.  This takes place during the settlement period, which is the time from when contracts are signed and exchanged, to when settlement takes place (the time when the money and title passes between the parties, albeit all electronically now).

Once both parties are satisfied that all necessary information has been gathered and everyone is ready, and hopefully by the time the settlement period is coming to and end (usually within 6 weeks in NSW), the settlement figures are prepared, such that any rates paid in advance by the vendor are taken into account, together with water usage to date and other minor adjustments.  The vendor, purchaser and their banks then settle the matter using an e-conveyancing platform (usually PEXA) which is an online settlement platform.  All manner of bank accounts, rates BPAY details, stamp duty amounts, loan payout figures and legal fees are loaded into the online space for all parties to see, together with all the documents required to convey the title from the vendor to the purchaser.  These documents usually include a transfer, a notice of sale, a discharge of mortgage, a consent document and the new mortgage, but they can vary.

What will it cost me?

What do the legal costs and expenses come to?  Most of our matters land somewhere between $2,400 and $2,800 which includes all searches, land titles office fees and PEXA fees.  There is a range because each property is different - a strata property for example, generally incurs more costs than a standalone house, as there is more information to obtain.  These costs are usually paid on settlement, although sometimes the initial costs to prepare a contract for a vendor are recovered shortly after issuing the Contract for Sale of Land to the agent.  Costs for pest, building and strata reports for purchasers are usually paid directly by the purchaser to the reporter, upon receipt of the report, although we do arrange for the reports to be carried out on your behalf.  These reports cost between $200 to $400 each.

How will you cater to my circumstances?

Each property and the parties to the transaction present their own special circumstances which require an individualised approach.  You may be selling to buy or you may need to stay back in the property after settlement; you may be selling an estate property and one of the executors lives in Queensland.  We take pride in finding solutions for clients with varying needs.

Fraud in conveyancing

You must protect yourself in the cyber world that is now conveyancing. Ensure you have 2 factor authentication (2FA) set up on your email account before submitting a query to any conveyancing firm.  2FA usually requires a code be sent to your phone for you to log into a new computer with your password, or you obtain a randomly generated to code from a trusted app to log in.  If scammers have hacked your email account, you will not know it, as they sit and wait for the right moment to act.  How fraud is often perpetrated in a conveyancing transaction is the scammer copies the firm's email format from emails previously sent to your inbox and at some stage send you a fake/spoof email and ask you to deposit money into the firm's trust account, but really you're depositing into their account.  Most people don't get that money back.  Scammers have been known to prepare fake bank account statements as proof of the bank account details and have even prepared settlement figures and sent them to you for review.  They might send you forms to fill out which gives them the details of how much you're borrowing and what the purchase price and settlement date is.  Usually the "From" email address is very similar to the firm's email address or contains the firm name, but you may not notice this tiny detail because it's a very busy time when you're buying a house - you're making all sorts of removalist arrangements, taking out insurance and getting utilities connected and disconnected.  You will not be covered for any loss in circumstances where your account has been hacked so get cyber safe today: change your password, make it a strong one with letters (capitals and lower case), numbers and characters (such as #%^&) but most importantly, implement 2FA on all your email accounts.  

Don't hesitate to call us at the office on 0416 691 411 if you want more information.