What is conveyancing?
Conveyancing is the legal process by which ownership of real estate is transferred from the person selling the property (the Vendor) to the person buying the property (the Purchaser).
At Lobb & Kerr, we aim to ensure that the conveyancing process is as simple and hassle free as possible. Your primary point of contact with our legal team will be our Conveyancing Clerk who will handle all the day-to-day matters of your transaction. One of our experienced lawyers also personally supervises all property related files for our clients.
Selling your property – what do I do first?
Once you have decided to sell your property, contact us as soon as possible so we can begin preparing the necessary Section 32 Vendor’s Statement and Contract of Sale. We will ask you to complete an Information Form telling us all the information you know about the property so we can get started.
Preparing the Section 32 Vendor’s Statement requires obtaining certificates from third parties such as your Council, your Water Authority, the State Revenue Office and your Owners Corporation manager. As these certificates can take up to 10 business days to obtain, we ask that you give us adequate notice to have the Contract of Sale and Section 32 prepared before you and the selling agent intend showing the property to potential purchasers.
Please also let us know if you intend selling the property privately or by auction as the format of the Contract of Sale and Vendor’s Statement will differ slightly.
Purchasing a property – what do I do first?
If you have a signed a Contract of Sale to purchase a property, we ask that you let us know as soon as possible and provide us with a copy of the Contract of Sale together with all of your information, contact details and the name of your lender (if you have one).
We will prepare and send you our initial letter of advice regarding the Contract of Sale and let you know the next steps to start the conveyancing process.
You should always keep in mind that if the Contract includes special conditions regarding building inspections or pest inspections you must immediately arrange for those inspections to be carried out. If you have also made the Contract ‘Subject to Finance’, it is in your best interests to immediately seek your lender’s unconditional approval in the time given. If you have any concerns about obtaining your lender’s approval before the expiry of the timeframe specified, please contact us urgently.
The purchasing of a property is often the single largest expenditure that you will make in your life. We strongly recommend that you obtain legal advice before signing a Contract.
If you would like us to review and advise you on a Contract of Sale before signing, we ask that you take into consideration that we cannot always provide you with this service urgently. We also advise that we charge a professional fee for reviewing and advising which is in addition to our fee charged to carry out the conveyance for you.
What are my likely conveyancing costs?
Where possible, we can offer a fixed professional fee for a standard conveyance.
We will also ask you to reimburse us for expenses we pay your behalf (known as ‘disbursements’). Common expenses may include title and property searches, lodging fees, registration fees, rates certificates, company searches and agent’s settlement fees.
If your matter changes after it has commenced, or additional work is required that is beyond the scope of our fixed-fee service, we may charge additional fees. You will be happy to know that the vast majority of all conveyancing matters do not require additional fees, and we shall always strive to ensure that the cost is kept to the fixed-fee price.
Further information regarding our costs will be provided to you in our Disclosure Statement and Costs Agreement.
What is an ‘off-the-plan’ purchase and how is it different from a standard purchase?
Purchasing a property ‘off-the-plan’ generally refers to properties that are not yet in existence – for example buying a unit or apartment that is not yet constructed or completed.
Before signing the Contract of Sale for an off-the-plan purchase, we are able to review the Contract for you and provide you with comprehensive legal advice in relation to the proposed plans and any potential issues that may arise. You should also keep in mind that some property developers may permit themselves some months if not years to complete the planned building project and you should seek our advice in relation to the options available to you.
Given that off-the-plan Contracts of Sale can vary from a simple 2 unit development to a massive apartment building with 100 apartments, we are unfortunately unable to provide you with an exact quote to review such a Contract until we can assess its complexity. For such matters we generally charge professional fees at the lawyer’s hourly rate.
What if I am overseas or travelling during the purchase or sale process?
If you warn us in advance that you will be travelling in Australia or overseas and will be difficult to contact and/or unable to sign original documents, we may advise you to execute a Power of Attorney appointing someone to act and sign documents on your behalf in relation to your conveyancing transaction.