When you buy your first property, you’ll hear many terms that you’ve probably never heard before. One of these is ‘conveyancing’.
It’s important to find a great property conveyancer who will ensure a smooth purchasing process – or advise you against buying a problematic property before it’s too late!
In this article, you’ll learn what you need to know about conveyancing.
Understanding property conveyancing
Conveyancing is the legal process of transferring land from one party to another. It can involve several steps, including contract exchange, offers, inspections, deposits, insurances, title checks and settlement.
A conveyancer knows the requirements for the transfer of land. Your conveyancer may be a solicitor/lawyer (such as Property Hub Conveyancing), and must hold a practising certificate and comply with the Legal Profession Uniform Laws.
In Victoria, conveyancers can also obtain a licence from the Business Licensing Authority and operate under the Conveyancers Act 2006. They are not lawyers and can only advise on matters relating to conveyancing; should complex or other legal matters arise they will need to refer you to a lawyer.
A conveyancer provides expert legal advice and has a vital role in the sales process, including:
- preparing documentation
- checking for covenants and easements
- calculating rates and taxes
- working on your behalf with lenders, agents, and seller representatives
- conducting the settlement.
Importantly, a conveyancing lawyer can review the contract of sale and Section 32 statement before you make an offer:
- The sales contract contains details about the property, purchase price, deposit, and special conditions.
- The Section 32 statement contains information about the property’s title, such as zoning, outgoings, easements, mortgages, and covenants.
Your conveyancer will check that these legal documents contain sufficient and correct information. If they find serious issues, they may advise you to withdraw from the sale or request certain conditions as part of your offer. This is where a conveyancer really pays for themselves – they can save you a lot of money and heartache down the track.
When you start researching conveyancers, you’ll see DIY kits that enable you to do your own conveyancing. This option is fraught with danger!
In Victoria, all conveyancers must have professional indemnity insurance. If you do your own conveyancing, you can’t get this insurance and you’re liable for any mistakes. You also risk missing out on vital information, which could lead you to purchase a lemon!
When to engage a conveyancer
Generally, you should engage a property conveyancer early in the process. If the property or contract has problems, you need to know as soon as possible.
A conveyancer can help you early on in various types of property purchases:
- Land purchases – They will ensure you have approval to develop or build the land as you wish to and check whether easements or other restrictions could affect you.
- Auctions – They will review the contract and advise on risks or issues before you bid.
- House purchases – They will check for any easements, caveats, or covenants on the title, and do research to give you all the information to make an informed decision.
A good conveyancer is worth their weight in gold, so get one as early as you can.
Finding a great conveyancer
Not all conveyancers are created equal, so do your homework to find a great one. Make sure they:
- are licensed and insured to work in your state or territory
- have a good knowledge of the area, including property sales
- have solid references.
Get several quotes that include a breakdown of all the costs, and make sure you feel completely comfortable with them.
Want to know more?
With Property Hub Conveyancing, you get an experienced conveyancing team with legal qualifications and expertise, and knowledge of the local area and property market. Read about our conveyancing team and how we can help you get into your dream home.