Found your dream home within budget? It’s time to find a conveyancer to help you navigate the settlement process. Here’s what you need to know about this stage of the home buying journey.
If you’re a first-home buyer, you may not have come across this term before. You’re not alone. To help, we’ve explained what’s involved in the process, so you’re prepared when the time comes.
What is conveyancing?
Conveyancing is the legal process of preparing and organising documents to transfer property from one person to another. In Australia, the conveyancing process begins after your offer has been accepted. It ends once final contracts have been signed and the money transferred.
What does a conveyancer do in Australia?
Now that we know what conveyancing is let’s look at what a conveyancer does. A conveyancer’s job is to oversee the legal aspects of property transfer. They’re there to provide you with confidence that this exchange will run smoothly. In more specific terms, some of their responsibilities include:
- Overseeing your Contract of Sale. They can make suggestions for any inclusions (or exclusions)
- Reviewing the Vendor’s Statement to ensure all details are correct. A Vendor’s Statement is a document that covers the land ownership history.
- Sourcing the Certificate of Title, which is an official record of land ownership. Liaising with government and local council to enquire about any future planned land development on your property
- Checking to see if there are any outstanding council rates or water bills
- Getting your finances in order. They’ll let you know where your deposit needs to be at settlement, plus they can handle the stamp duty payment on your behalf.
- Arranging a property inspection. This could be for big-ticket items like a pest or pool compliance inspection.
- They can be present on the day of settlement to represent your interests and complete the settlement with the other party.
Do I need a conveyancer to buy a house?
If you’re carefully managing your costs, you can do this step yourself, but be aware of potential mistakes. Conveyancers are covered by professional insurance if any errors are made. If you go for a DIY approach, you won’t be covered by this same level of insurance and become liable for any mistakes.
If there are inconsistencies or failures to comply during the lodgement of legal documents, the property transfer can fall through, and you risk forfeiting your deposit. So, to avoid the risk of a legal mishap, it may be worth considering the service of a conveyancer. Conveyancers know what to look for in a Contract of Sale and any inclusions that you should add.
How do I find a conveyancer?
A great place to start is to ask your home loan specialist if they know of a trusted conveyancer. You can also find a registered conveyancer in your area by searching the Australian Institute of Conveyancers.
But what if you want to take this process entirely online? That’s where e-conveyancing can help!
How does e-conveyancing work?
As the name suggests, e-conveyancing is the conveyancing process completed online. With online conveyancing technology, your documents can be completed electronically, with information being automatically input and cross-checked. This can reduce the risk of errors and fraud.
Doing everything online also means you save a stack of time and need to make fewer visits to your lawyer/conveyancer. You’ll also get real-time updates, so there’s less time spent waiting for a callback or on hold.
Engaging a financial institution or conveyancer who uses a digital conveyancing platform like Property Exchange Australia (PEXA) can reduce the third-party conveyancer cost associated with settling your home loan. Tic:Toc, for example, use PEXA because it saves clients so much time and simplifies the process for everyone involved.
Tic:Toc is an online home lender with Australian-based home loan experts. The Tic:Toc platform strips time and cost out of the home loan process, making decisions about your application as you complete it online in real-time. Tic:Toc loans are backed and funded by Bendigo and Adelaide Bank.