Prior to Property Exchange Australia (PEXA) transforming the conveyancing process, settlements were tumultuous. Paper settlements were generally complex and inefficient. Despite having access to a digital-savvy solution, electronic conveyancing has not been mandated in Queensland, unlike other states and territories. This means that there are still many lawyers and conveyancers stuck in the past processing settlements the old-fashioned way. It is important to understand how PEXA works, how far the system has evolved, and how it can benefit real estate agents and homebuyers alike if they choose to work with a PEXA-certified property lawyer.
PEXA is Australia’s online property exchange network. It assists members, such as lawyers, conveyancers, and financial institutions, to submit documents with Land Registries and complete financial settlements electronically.
Electronic conveyancing was an initiative of the Council of Australian Governments which was proposed in 2008 and implemented in 2010. The intent was to roll out a single national electronic conveyancing system. The system allows all parties involved in a property transaction to connect in a digital workspace, transfer settlement funds and register documents. Thus, removing much of the unreliability of the paper process. The platform operators would be known as Electronic Lodgement Network Operators, or “ELNOs”.
PEXA was established in 2011, and by June 2013, the first e-Settlement transaction occurred via the PEXA program. Since then, PEXA has continued to develop the platform to include a variety of land registry settlements and lodgements, inclusive of mortgages, discharges, and caveats.
PEXA is currently operating in 5 states, with the ACT next in line to mandate e-conveyancing.
PEXA has revolutionised the sector by bringing down costs and time for lodgements and transactions and increasing flexibility. However, it may be viewed as a technically complex platform with a steep learning curve, and as a result, not all conveyancers and property lawyers have embraced the technology. At Attwood Marshall Lawyers, all our lawyers are “PEXA experts” and have in-depth knowledge of PEXA’s functionality.
PEXA in the current market
In 2021, the value of Australian dwellings bought and sold throughout the country skyrocketed. According to the latest settlements data reported by PEXA, the increase in the value of Australian homes equalled one-third of the national economy.
In conjunction with the significant demand for property and active marketplace, PEXA transactions have seen an increase of almost 32 per cent to 834,008 across the five states in which PEXA operates (QLD, NSW, VIC, WA and SA).
According to PEXA, 80% of all Australian property transactions are settled on the platform, with the majority of people taking advantage of its quick and efficient offering.
PEXA goes from strength to strength
PEXA’s initial focus is on remortgage products in England and Wales and launching its remortgaging platform in the autumn.
Remortgaging procedures typically take six to eight weeks in the UK. Still, the duration increased to up to 12 weeks during the pandemic, and the temporary changes to the Stamp Duty tax helped increase demand in 2021.
The chief executive of PEXA UK, James Bawa, has stated that the UK’s 150-year-old conveyancing system is on a journey to digitise. Replacing outdated and manual processes with a simple online exchange platform can markedly assist in increasing both market capacity and efficiency and take the stress out of buying and selling real estate.
Australia is the only country worldwide to have digitised settlement and lodgements after each state and territory government all agreed to digitise the settlement process, which is how PEXA evolved.
What’s next for PEXA? Although they currently have the monopoly in this space, there are other rivals intending to challenge PEXA towards the end of 2022. At this stage, other companies do not compete on a level playing field with PEXA and simply cannot do what PEXA can.
The benefits of using a PEXA certified law firm
As a real estate agent, it is important for your clients to have a great experience buying or selling with you and that includes the settlement process. PEXA is the online settlement solution to make the whole process smooth and simple.
The benefits of an electronic conveyance include:
- paperwork is reduced
- document lodgement occurs instantly
- electronic funds are transferred in real-time, saving buyers time and money, and phasing out the need for cheques to be physically exchanged – Commission is received FAST!
- clients can track settlement from beginning to end, with vendors able to receive constant notifications and remain informed every step of the way
- Automatic confirmation of settlement, making release of keys and deposits seamless
- The platform is safe and secure – unlike paper-based conveyancing, electronic transfers are safe with the system’s security constantly being reviewed and updated so all parties can have peace of mind.
e-conveyancing is the most efficient and fastest way to help clients move into their new home as quickly as possible.
For these reasons, when it comes to settlement, be sure to recommend a PEXA certified law firm to your clients so that you reduce the risk of unexpected surprises or delays.
Attwood Marshall Lawyers – ensuring your client’s property transaction proceeds smoothly without delay
Whether you need advice in relation to the sale or purchase of property, or if you require help drafting terms and conditions or reviewing a contract, our property lawyers can provide expert advice for all property-related matters.
We understand the process can be stressful when buying and selling property and it is our goal to take the stress out of the transaction.
At Attwood Marshall Lawyers, we perform electronic conveyancing for both residential property transactions and commercial property transactions and take full advantage of the fast and secure platform.
For help and advice relating to a property matter, contact our Property and Commercial Department Manager, Jess Kimpton, on direct line 07 5506 8214, email firstname.lastname@example.org or mobile 0432 857 300.
With conveniently situated offices at Coolangatta, Kingscliff, Robina Town Centre, Brisbane, Sydney, and Melbourne, you can meet with a lawyer near you. Our Robina office is also open Thursday night until 9pm and Saturday morning until 12noon.