In this article finance and mortgage broker TAYLOR KELLY explains the role a conveyancer plays when purchasing property and how to choose one that will successfully look after your needs. All importantly Taylor provides you with the questions you need to ask before engaging a conveyancer’s services.
A conveyancer plays a vital role in the home buying process and it is important that you understand how to choose the right conveyancer to suit your needs.
What does a conveyancer do?
Conveyancing is the term for the legal processes required to transfer ownership of real estate from one person or entity to another. Conveyancers will advise you on the contract, investigate the title of the property and make you aware of anything affecting the property such as proposals by government departments, illegal buildings, or outstanding rates.
When should I choose my conveyancer?
Customers tend to choose their conveyancer after they have signed a contract or put an offer on a property.
I would suggest you find your conveyancer first, prior to putting an offer or signing a contract for a property. This allows your conveyancer to check over the documents, provide advice and answer any questions you may have. It is better to be safe than sorry.
How do I choose my conveyancer?
During your research process for finding the right conveyancer, I would suggest talking to 2-3 different firms.
When discussing your situation with your conveyancer, ensure to explain your requirements, any concerns and special requirements for your transaction.
It is better to be upfront with your conveyancer straight away to ensure there are no surprises further down the track. To give you peace of mind, it’s also a good idea to ask your conveyancer what they will and won’t do for you and the costs involved before requesting they represent you.
Even if a conveyancer has been recommended to you, it is still wise to ask the questions so you feel confident you know how much it will cost and what to expect.
A good conveyancer will speak in plain language, not complicated legal terms, to help you understand everything.
What is the conveyancing process?
Until recently, the conveyancing process has largely been unchanged with bank cheques being drawn and conveyancers meeting in the afternoon to swap bank cheques for property titles. With new technology recently introduced, there has been a development in the way conveyancers manage the settlement process.
Property Exchange Australia (PEXA) is Australia’s online property exchange network. It assists conveyancers and financial institutions to lodge documents with Land Registries and complete financial settlements electronically and therefore more efficiently.
Taylor asked Lisa Dowie, Chief Customer Officer, PEXA to explain the process in more detail:
PEXA provides industry members, such as financial institutions, legal and conveyancing practitioners, and land registries, with an electronic method to more easily complete property settlements.
The aim is to deliver a fast, safe and efficient property exchange process that provides greater certainty of settlement success and increased transparency for the consumer. When utilising online settlement, sale proceeds are processed as cleared funds to your nominated accounts.
If the seller’s bank account is held with one of the major banks, the vendor’s funds are generally received in the seller’s account on the day of settlement.
Here’s some questions to ask your conveyancer:
- What’s the maximum I can expect to pay in fees and charges?
- What are your fees and what services are included in those fees?
- What will any additional services cost?
- What government fees and charges will I need to pay?
- How long will settlement take?
- How will you keep me up to date with what’s happening?
- Are you registered with PEXA?
Now you are armed with all the right information you should be able to find a conveyancer that suits your situation and requirements.
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General Advice Warning: The advice has been prepared without taking into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. You should therefore consider the appropriateness of the advice, in light of these objectives, financial situation or needs, before following the advice. We recommend that you speak to your accountant and financial adviser to help you determine whether direct property investment is right for you.