News & Insights

What is conveyancing?

Posted on Tuesday, June 19, 2018 by de Mestre and Company

Have you tirelessly saved for a deposit and found the perfect property? Or are you thinking it is time to downsize from the family home and move into something smaller? 

Regardless of whether you intend to buy or sell a home, land or investment property in Australia, it will be necessary to complete a series of legal steps to make this happen. These steps, including the preparation of documentation such as the sales contract and mortgage, is called conveyancing. Whilst it is possible to do your own conveyancing, most people engage the services of a solicitor or a licenced conveyancer who can guide them through the legalities of the buying and/or selling process and essentially undertake these steps on their behalf. 

What is the conveyancing process? 

There are three main stages in the conveyancing process:

1. Pre-contract period
2. Contract exchange
3. Property settlement. 

1. Pre-contract period 

During this period, the following steps may happen: 

  • Assessment of the initial contract for sale 
  • Arrangement of building and pest inspections 
  • If the property is in a strata scheme, a strata inspection report is obtained 
  • Checks to ensure the title deeds are in order 
  • If the property has a pool, checks on whether swimming pool compliance documentation is required.

2. Contract exchange 

This phase of the conveyancing process includes: 

  • An exchange of contracts 
  • The payment of the deposit 
  • Checks on whether there are outstanding rates and charges on the property, such as land tax 
  • Checks to determine if there is information about the property that was previously undisclosed, such as illegal building work 
  • Checks on whether any government authority has a vested interest in the land, such as a water easement on the property 
  • Determining final financial amounts including stamp duties 
  • Calculating adjustments for council and water rates 
  • Preparing and assessing the mortgage agreement 
  • Completing a final inspection on the property before settlement.

3. Settlement 

This is the final stage in the conveyancing process and marks the changeover of the property from one party to another. During this phase: 

  • The balance of the property purchase price is paid 
  • The property transfer and mortgage is registered with the relevant government authority, such as NSW Land Registry Services in New South Wales
  • Keys and other devices used to access the property are handed over to the buyer. 

Conveyancing help 

de Mestre and Company Solicitors can assist with your conveyancing needs. We have more than 20 years of experience helping people buy and sell residential, commercial and rural property. As solicitors we can also provide legal advice on the contract for sale and contract terms. de Mestre and Company Solicitors is registered with PEXA, the new Australian electronic conveyancing platform which means we can conduct all transactions with financial institutions and land registries online. 

For more information about our conveyancing services, please contact Bruce Lum, Executive Lawyer at de Mestre and Company Solicitors at bruce.lum@demestre.com.au or by phone at (02) 9233 6233.