What is Conveyancing?

Conveyancing refers to the transfer of legal title of real property from one person or entity to another. Transfers occur for lots of reasons including, but not limited to buying or selling a residential property or a vacant block, transferring property for family law reasons, or for estate planning or deceased estate purposes.

What does a Conveyancer do?

A conveyancer is a qualified professional who provides advice regarding property transactions and who guides their client through the settlement process.

This may include:

  • preparing documents
  • meeting legislative and statutory requirements
  • liaising with third parties
  • conducting financial settlement

 Do I need a conveyancer to buy or sell a property in South Australia?

You are not legally required to engage a conveyancer in South Australia however, it is widely recommended. Property transactions can be very complex. Failure to satisfy legal and statutory requirements can have serious consequences, including remedial penalties, losing your deposit, or even your home.

Can parties to a transfer share a conveyancer?

Yes, parties to a property settlement can share a conveyancer. This is referred to as dual representation by a conveyancer. While cost advantages usually result from sharing a conveyancer it is important to be aware that the conveyancer may need to cease acting for both parties if a conflict arises.

Joint Tenant and Tenants in Common –  what’s the difference?

Joint Tenants share an equal interest in the same property. This form of ownership is often preferred by couples as it encompasses the ‘right of survivorship’. This means when one owner dies the other automatically becomes the owner of the deceased person’s share and can lodge an application to register this change with Land Services SA.

Tenants in Common own distinct shares of the same property, often based on their contributions to the purchase price of the property, for example 50:50, 60:40, 75:25. This form of ownership is often preferred where buyers pool resources to purchase a property, there are multiple purchasers, or for specific financial or personal reasons. There is no ‘right of survivorship’ so the individuals shares of the property are dealt with distinctly upon the death of the legal owner.

What is a Form 1?

A Form 1 is a Vendor Disclosure Statement. It is required under Section 7 of the Land and Business (Sale and Conveyancing) Act 1994 to provide potential purchasers with important information about the property. This may include any encumbrances, easements, or other legal issues that may affect the sale. It must be served on the purchaser and encompasses ‘cooling off rights.’

What are ‘cooling off’ rights?

A ‘cooling off’ period is a short period of time in which the purchaser can back out of a contract. Under legislation, in South Australian real estate transactions purchasers are entitled to a 2-business day ‘cooling off’ period. This is only waived under auction conditions or if agreed by the parties.

The ‘cooling off’ period allows the purchaser time to conduct pest and building reports, and any due diligence investigations into the property before becoming bound by the contract.  Notice of a purchaser’s decision to ‘cool off’ and cancel a contract must be provided to the vendor in writing prior to expiration of the ‘cooling off’ period.

How long does it take to transfer a property after I sign the contract?

The length of time required for settlement varies, however 30 – 90 day settlement periods are common. Settlement periods are by agreement and can be shortened or extended by the parties involved. Common factors affecting settlement periods include finance requirements, statutory and legislative requirements related to the title, and the number of parties involved in the settlement chain.

When do I engage a conveyancer?

You can engage a conveyancer as soon as you begin contemplating a property transaction. A purchaser can then rely on their conveyancer for information and advice to help them select a property which they will be able to enjoy unencumbered and without unforeseen issues.  For vendors, early engagement of your conveyancer ensures you can meet your financial, statutory and legislative requirements as vendor and ensure your sale and settlement are not compromised by unmet obligations.

Will my conveyancer liaise with my bank?

Yes, in preparation for settlement of your property transaction your conveyancer will liaise with your financial institution and broker.  This is done to ensure finance for your purchase or payout of an existing mortgage are ready by the agreed settlement date.

Give one of our experienced Conveyancers a call today to find out how they can help you.