You finally found a plot to build your property. The entire process has been exceptionally difficult from saving for a deposit to searching for the ideal location.
And now comes the legal bit.
Conveyancing is the transfer of legal title from one person to another or where you actually buy and finalise the deal. Property law is extremely complicated. There are a whole mess of laws in different states and different places. Whilst it’s possible to do it yourself (there are even packages available to help you), it’s often advisable to get someone on board to help out.
This is where a conveyancer comes in.
A conveyancer is a licensed professional whose job it is to guide you through that process: they provide advice, draw up the necessary paperwork, and conduct the process. Conveyancers are often specialists, although solicitors also often take on this kind of work.
The services of a conveyancer may be required not only when buying land, but also if you wish to subdivide it or update a title. The system of conveyancing is designed to ensure that when you buy land, all the rights are passed on to you and you are aware of any restrictions.
Typically, the process will take between 4 and 6 weeks.
The Process: What Do They Actually Do?
A typical conveyancing process comes in three stages:
- Before contract
- Before completion
- After completion
The contract represents the passing of equitable title to the buyer, namely the right to obtain full ownership of the property. The moment when all the sale conditions have been met is completion, when full ownership including the legal title is transferred to the buyer.
Much of the process is taken up by title searches, the process of retrieving documents giving the history of a piece of real estate. Due to Australia’s three-tier governmental system, this can be a lengthy and complex process. It is, however, necessary to ensure that all relevant stakeholders are identified, as are any pertinent restrictions or regulations.
Other tasks undertaken by a conveyancer include ensuring the contract is fulfilled, arranging for the payment of fees and charges and drawing up the appropriate legal documents. They will carry you through finance approval and building inspection phases as well.
It’s important to note that conveyancing doesn’t end with settlement, the transfer of property has to be registered at the Land Titles Office. Even then there may be conditions in your contract (perhaps renovation work) which might be fulfilled after settlement.
Finding A Conveyancer
As with all legal processes, it’s a good idea to have an idea of which conveyancer you wish to work with before you get to a stage where you need one. This gives you the leisure to do your homework: check whether they are a member of the Australian Institute of Conveyancers, ask about any hidden fees and check their time frame.
Buying and building is a complex process, and here at FHOC we will try and do everything we can to make it as easy as possible.
First Home Owners Centre Contact Information
24/7 Sales Enquiry Line: (08) 6144 1088