Conveyancing Frequently Asked Questions

We explain all the complex terms so that you understand the property buying, selling and transfer process


Our Clients Ask Us

Here are some questions we are often asked about conveyancing.

Conveyancing is the process of transferring a property from a buyer to a seller. At the time of transfer, the buyer becomes the owner of the property, and the seller receives the rest of the money owing from the buyer for the transfer.

A conveyancer represents you when you buy or sell a property. They perform the legal work necessary to transfer the property from seller to buyer.

You can engage a conveyancer or a conveyancing lawyer. A lawyer can perform a broader scope of work than a conveyancer to provide you with a holistic service. That includes giving you legal advice and representing you if your circumstances change or a problem arises.

At Conveyed, your transaction is managed by an experienced conveyancing lawyer.

An experienced and reliable conveyancer makes the process of transferring property easy and simple. Even if it isn’t.

They will:

  1. Outline the steps in the conveyancing process upfront, so you know what to expect
  2. Provide an upfront estimate of the amount you need to pay at settlement, to help you budget
  3. Issue you settlement paperwork within a reasonable time and not last minute
  4. Work with your lender to prepare for settlement so that you don’t have to do it yourself
  5. Be transparent and open with you about conveyancing fees and when they are payable
  6. Be available to answer all your questions and guide you every step of the way through to settlement
  7. Provide a personalised and supportive service.

That’s exactly what we do at Conveyed. Because we care about you and your needs.

It is important to use a lawyer to draft or review a contract of sale and vendor statement. These are legal documents that a conveyancing lawyer should prepare or advise on.

A conveyancer is only trained, qualified and insured to transfer a property. A conveyancing lawyer can transfer property AND prepare legal documents AND represent you if your circumstances change or a problem arises.

If a conveyancer performs work they are not insured to do, and they do the work incorrectly that causes you loss, their insurer may not cover your loss.

An experienced conveyancing lawyer will prepare well-drafted sale documents. They are also able to deal with any complexities or legal issues that arise along the way up to settlement.

A contract of sale is an agreement that a buyer and seller enter into to buy and sell a property.

It contains all the essential terms and conditions of the transaction, including the settlement date, deposit amount, party details, purchase price and other rights and obligations that the parties have to one another.

Also known as a ‘section 32’, the vendor statement discloses what you need to know about the property by law. This includes restrictions or encumbrances affecting the title, rates and outgoings, permits issued etc.

The vendor statement is usually attached to a contract of sale. Together, they are the sale documents used to buy or sell a property in Victoria.

On average, it takes around 2 weeks for a conveyancing lawyer to prepare a contract of sale and vendor statement, also known as a ‘section 32’.

Your vendor statement contains disclosures about the property that the conveyancer gets from different authorities, which can take approximately 2 weeks to receive.

If it is taking longer for your contact of sale and vendor statement to be prepared, then you may need to consider using another conveyancing lawyer. A quick and reliable conveyancing lawyer will:

  1. Order the searches from authorities as soon as you hire them
  2. Give you an opportunity to review and approve the contract of sale and vendor statement
  3. Issue the contract of sale and vendor statement immediately upon completing all searches.

A buy back clause enables a developer to buy back your lot, in most cases at less than market value, if you do not comply with their build requirements under the Contract of Sale.

Some contracts take it a step further and require a buy back clause to be inserted into your mortgage contract. This could be the difference between whether you get finance for your purchase or not!

It’s these types of risks that make it ever more important to get an off-the-plan contract reviewed by an experienced property lawyer before you buy, so that you are buying safely.

In Victoria, the buying and selling of property is regulated by the Transfer of Land Act 1958. The process of transferring property ownership from one party to another is known as settlement. It is the responsibility of the buyer’s conveyancer. At settlement, the buyer must pay the purchase price and the seller must transfer ownership of the property to the buyer. After settlement, the buyer’s name is registered on the title at Land Use Victoria.

Settlement of a property enables you to become the owner of, or dispose, a property. It is the point in time that ownership of a property is transferred between a buyer and a seller of property.

The settlement date is therefore the most important date under the contract.

The contract used to buy or sell a property will contain an agreed settlement date. Most commonly, settlement dates in Victoria are between 30 to 60 days, sometimes 90 days, after the contract date.

Settlement is the point in time that ownership of a property is transferred between a buyer and a seller of the property.

Your conveyancer will attend settlement using an online platform called PEXA, which is where settlement happens.

Settlement usually takes anywhere 15 to 30 minutes to happen on PEXA, at which point the title is transferred to the incoming buyer.

When settlement happens, the title is updated in real-time with the incoming buyer’s details as the new owner of the property. Your conveyancer will notify you and the real estate agent when settlement is complete.

The real estate agent will then release the deposit to the seller and the property keys to the buyer.

Your conveyancer will also notify rating authorities, such as the Council, water authority and the owners’ corporation (if any) that settlement has occurred so that all future bills are issued to the buyer. Give us a call, and we can talk you through the settlement process so that you know what to expect on the settlement day.

The timeframe for settlement is unique to each transaction. It is up to the buyer and seller if they want to settle in 30, 60 or 90 days, or longer after the contract date. The buyer and seller will agree to a settlement date before they contract to buy or sell a property.

The settlement itself takes anywhere between 15 to 30 minutes on average to complete. During that time, payments are being processed and ownership is being transferred.

At Conveyed, we make sure your transaction is run smoothly to ensure we are ready to settle the property on time.

PEXA stands for Property Exchange Australia. It is the online platform used by conveyancers to settle property on behalf of buyers and sellers of property across Australia.

Each party pays a small fee at settlement for PEXA to settle the property. In 2023, the fee is approximately $150 per title transfer and is subject to change.

The PEXA fee is charged in addition to your conveyancing fees, as it is charged by PEXA and not your conveyancer. Your conveyancer will prepare for and attend settlement in PEXA on your behalf.

To sell a property in Victoria, you will need two documents drafted by a conveyancing lawyer. A contract of sale and a vendor statement, also known as a ‘section 32’.

It is important to have these sale documents prepared in time to issue to prospective buyers.

Prospective buyers want to inspect sale documents when your property is being advertised. If the sale documents are not ready, prospective buyers may become disinterested and move on to the next property. If market conditions are tough, you cannot afford to lose any prospective buyers.

Engage a conveyancing lawyer at least 2 weeks before your advertising campaign starts. This will give the lawyer the 2 weeks necessary to prepare the contract and vendor statement.

Your vendor statement contains disclosures about the property that the conveyancer gets from different authorities, which can take approx. 2 weeks to receive. So giving your conveyancer 2 weeks to prepare before advertising your property is ideal.

At Conveyed, we aim to issue sale documents within 1 week on average. We order searches ASAP and keep both you and your local real estate agent updated every step of the way. That’s just one way we give our clients value for money.

If you’re planning to buy a property in Victoria, budget for the following costs:

  • purchase deposit, which is usually 10% of the purchase price
  • Stamp duty, if you are not otherwise entitled to an exemption. Get an estimate of your stamp duty using this calculator
  • Transfer registration fees. Get an estimate of your transfer registration fees using this calculator
  • PEXA fee. In 2023, the fee is approx. $150.00 per title transfer and is subject to change
  • Conveyancing fee
  • Loan application fees, if you are getting a loan to fund your purchase
  • Lenders mortgage insurance if you are taking out a home loan above 80% of the purchase price
  • Your portion of rates and outgoings that you will pay at settlement. This includes water rates, council rates, land tax and any owners corporation levies
  • Funds that you will need to pay towards the purchase price and the above costs, if your loan amount is less than the purchase price. Before buying a property, it is important to get your loan pre-approved through a mortgage broker and breakdown the above costs with him or her to know how much and where you can afford to buy a property.
  1. It can help you decide if you want to purchase the property or not based on the extent of defects or pest infestation disclosed in the report.
  2. An inspection report is a useful bargaining tool. It can help you decide on the offer you would be prepared to make based on what is disclosed in the report.
  3. It helps to prove the condition of the property on the day of sale, so that if the condition materially changes before settlement, you can prove the change using the inspection report, as it will contain picture of the property condition before it changed.

Get your quote today.

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