Buying or selling a property? At some point someone (probably the real estate agent) will tell you that you need a conveyancer. But what is conveyancing and what does a conveyancer do exactly? To understand this The Agent Finder had a chat with inner west mum, Merna Fraser owner of Direct Conveyancing Solutions.
A large part of what the conveyancer does is to put together the contract of sale for the property that is being sold. The contract of sale is a legal document which outlines the terms and conditions agreed by both the buyer and seller and it is the vendor’s (or sellers) responsibility to provide the contract for sale. Without a contract for sale the property cannot be sold. Sometimes buyers or seller will think about doing their own conveyancing, Merna urges caution if you are thinking of going down this path, she says if you are the vendor and do not disclose the correct information or documents then you could be in breach of the contract, which will give the buyer the right to end the contract if they choose to for non-disclosure. Merna suggests leaving the conveyancing to a properly trained conveyancer or solicitor as they have the knowledge to complete the job correctly.
Of course you can also use a solicitor rather than a conveyancer. The difference between a conveyancer and a solicitor is their education. Conveyancers are trained exclusively in conveyancing and they are licensed in their state to advise on all property matters. Solicitors hold a law degree and can practice across Australia. If you choose to use a solicitor to do your conveyancing Merna suggests to check that the solicitor specialises in this area ‘Property conveyancing can be a complicated area so it’s always good to have someone who understands this area thoroughly’. Merna also says that the perception that conveyancers are cheaper than solicitors isn’t always the case and that ultimately, conveyancer or solicitor, they are providing the same service.
If you are buying a property you’ll need to have someone look over the contract for sale which is where the conveyancer comes in. They will look over the contract and make or suggest changes on your behalf. Merna emphasises that it is important to ask for any changes to the contract (settlement time, deposit required etc.) before you sign the contact as it can be difficult, or impossible, to negotiate changes once the contract is signed as it is a binding document. Before signing ask your conveyancer to explain what exclusions (items that you may have seen at the property that are not included in the sale) are included in the contract. Merna says that a common exclusion is chandeliers and that it is important to understand what the exclusions are so the buyer does not get to settlement day and is then surprised by items that are now gone from the property.
If you are successful in buying or selling the property your conveyancer will ensure that everything runs smoothly up to settlement day. On settlement day the conveyancer will attend a meeting on your behalf with the other party’s conveyancer and a representative from the various banks that have a mortgage over the property or are providing finance. At this meeting everyone sights and exchanges the relevant documents and monies are handed over accordingly. Usually after all the sometimes frantic work leading up to this meeting it goes very smoothly, says Merna, and can last from anywhere between 15 minutes to over an hour depending on whether there is stamping for duty or clearance of land tax.
After the meeting your conveyancer will get in touch with you to let you know how the meeting went and if the matter has settled.
If you have any conveyancing questions Merna would love to have a chat. You can reach her on 0467 185 112 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Otherwise, if you are looking for a real estate agent that has experience selling in your suburb check Rebecca at The Agent Finder would love to hear from you.