Frequently Asked Questions

What is conveyancing?

Put simply, conveyancing is the legal process of transferring the title of a property from one person to another.

Why should I use a conveyancer?

Buying or selling property is one of the biggest financial transactions of your life. Due to the financial and legal aspects of transferring property, the consequences of making a mistake can be both costly and heartbreaking.
By having a conveyancer take care of your property transfer, their qualifications and experience can help protect your assets.

A conveyancer has an in-depth understanding of the law concerning property transactions, is required by law to carry professional indemnity insurance, and can offer you their experience on other matters related to your property transaction that may arise.

What is a cooling off period and how does it affect me?

A cooling off period is the right of a purchaser of property to cancel the agreement within 5 working days. from the date the Contracts were exchanged. It offers some protection to purchasers that may have rushed into a contract to purchase property and can be used to finalise financial arrangements or perform relevant property inspections. Cancelling the agreement (or rescinding, as it is known) will cost the purchaser 0.25% of the total purchase price.

The cooling off period does not always apply (at auction, for example) and can be waived providing a S66W certificate is signed by a solicitor or conveyancer who has briefed his or her client with regard to the implications involved in waiving the cooling off period.

What is a disbursement?

A disbursement is an expense incurred on behalf of you related to the purchase or sale, and includes the costs of obtaining certificates from local government authorities or local councils and agency settlement fees.

What happens at settlement time?

Settlement is the finalisation of the sale or purchase process. There are usually four parties involved – the purchaser and vendors’ conveyancers or solicitors and the banks for the vendor and purchaser.

On settlement, the purchaser’s bank will exchange cheques as per the instructions of the purchaser’s conveyancer and in return, receive the Certificate of Title and ‘discharge of mortgage’ (if applicable) from the vendor’s bank.

Once the settlement has been effected, the keys can be handed over to the purchaser. The deposit is released by the depositholder (usually the agent) to the vendor or as directed by the vendor. At this stage, the purchaser’s bank registers the change of title and mortgage, and notifies authorities (such as the water company) of the change.

Who notifies the authorities that I have purchased a property?

When your transfer papers are lodged for registration after settlement, the council, water and Registrar General are automatically notified of the new purchase. Other providers, however, will need to be notified.