You’re probably aware that you’ll need the services of some kind of legal expert when buying or selling a property. You may have even heard of conveyancing in relation to your property transfer. But when you cut through all the legal jargon, you might be left with the question – what do conveyancing solicitors actually do? Let’s break it down.
What is conveyancing exactly?
Conveyancing is the process of transferring ownership of a legal title of land (a property) from one person or party to another. It sounds simple – but it’s quite the opposite. Conveyancing is a fairly involved and complex process, and one which most people don’t have the knowledge required to successfully undertake themselves. A conveyancing solicitor will carefully guide you through the process, making your property transaction straightforward, simple and smooth.
A conveyancing solicitor will help you meet your contractual, legal and financial obligations – a very important task. This is not something you can afford to get wrong. They will also manage the contract, timelines and all documentation, as well as helping you with negotiations.
Your conveyancing solicitor will help you understand the meaning and legal consequences of any of the terms of contract. In doing all these tasks, a conveyancing solicitor will be able to take all the stress, hassle and complexity out of the process of buying or selling a property. You’ll be left with peace of mind and confidence that your property transaction will proceed smoothly and easily.
Here’s exactly what conveyancing solicitors do.
A good conveyancing solicitor is an expert at communication. Your conveyancing solicitor will act as the “go-between” amongst a number of different parties, including:
- The seller or buyer
- Banks or lending institutions
- Building inspectors
- Pest inspectors
- Government agencies
- Real estate agents
Your conveyancing solicitor will liaise with all these different parties on your behalf – great news if you’re short on time like most people. As well, they will outline what is required of you in simple and easily understood terms. The conveyancing solicitor will clarify your rights and obligations under the contract so that you know what’s expected and when. They will also maintain regular contact with you so that you stay up to date with the progress of your sale.
Preparing the documentation for your conveyance is a time-consuming task, and one which a conveyancing solicitor will perform expertly. They will also help with the execution of transfer documentation and the payment of transfer duty.
Contracts can be tricky to negotiate, and to fully understand if you’re not well-versed in legal terminology and implications (which, let’s face it, is most of us). A conveyancing solicitor will review your contract with a fine-toothed comb. They will ensure that all information is correct and that you understand all your rights and obligations. Your conveyancing solicitor will also make you aware of any hidden third-party rights or stipulations (other than those disclosed in the contract) that may affect your property. These can include such things as:
- Outstanding rates or other charges over the property
- Whether or not there are government proposals in place that could affect the property
- Whether they are orders for certain work to be carried out on the property
Obviously, it’s important to know these things before you buy. A conveyancing solicitor will make sure that your contract is watertight and as advantageous to you as possible.
In a similar vein, a conveyancing solicitor will be able to advise you of any preconditions to the property purchase. These might include:
- Building inspections to uncover any building defects
- Pest inspections to uncover any pest issues
- Finance approval
- Any special conditions to the contract
Your conveyancing solicitor will also help ensure that the buyer fulfils all their obligations.
Once the property purchase has gone ahead, your conveyancing solicitor will facilitate the settlement of the purchase. This is the date on which the transfer of the property from the old owner to the new owner takes place. They will also coordinate the attendance of both party’s financiers and solicitors for settlement.
For the buyer, your conveyancing solicitor will help to ensure proper adjustment of the price to be paid at settlement. This will take into account water rates, council rates and other outgoings. For the seller, the conveyancing solicitor will ensure that the mortgage is properly discharged by working with your mortgagee and the buyer’s solicitor.
And the final step in the process – the property transfer. A conveyancing solicitor will ensure a lawful transfer of the property, so that the buyer becomes the registered owner of the property.
So, there you have it – the role that a conveyancing solicitor will fulfil during your property transfer. All this work adds up quickly and must be completed in a short window of time. A conveyancing solicitor will keep the whole process on track within the time limits and help you navigate the potential pitfalls of buying or selling a property. If you’d like to speak to someone about the conveyancing process, get in contact with us here.