The Conveyancing Process
The date of contract is from when you first enter into the contract, and there is usually a period of 30 days between contract date and settlement. However, this time frame can be shortened or lengthened by mutual agreement of the parties at the negotiation stage.
The contract may include various terms or conditions such as finance approval and/or pest and building inspections, and your contract will remain conditional until these terms are satisfied.
Once both parties have signed the contract it is dated and becomes legally binding. In New South Wales this is known as “exchange”, while in Queensland the property is “under contract”. The deposit is also usually paid at this time and in most cases is held by the real estate agent pending settlement. Deposit Bonds are sometimes acceptable for a deposit rather than a cash payment.
Once the conditional terms of the contract have been satisfied, the Buyer must advise the Seller that the contract is unconditional.
In Queensland, there may be serious financial and legal consequences if the Buyer does not give the required notice. Because of this, we ensure that we communicate with your bank throughout the process and ensure that you are not in default by missing any important dates.
Preparing for Settlement
In the time period before settlement, we will act on your behalf to undertake searches and enquiries of both government and non-government authorities to ensure there are no outstanding interests or problems with the property. This is a crucial step in the process, and our professional conveyancing lawyers across Brisbane, the Gold Coast and Northern New South Wales are committed to safeguarding the best interests of everyone involved in the transaction.
A number of other steps must also be taken within this time period, including:
- Stamp duty must be paid to the government
- A buyers loan must be processed
- A sellers loan must be discharged
- A final inspection of the property should be carried out by the buyer just prior to settlement, to ensure that there is no damage or undisclosed issues and that they are happy and prepared to settle
At this stage, the settlement statement will be drafted. This is a statement showing the outstanding Council Rates and other charges and it calculates who is responsible for what proportion of the charge. The seller is responsible for the proportion up to the settlement date and the buyer is responsible for the proportion from the settlement date onwards.
On the day of settlement, the buyer pays the balance of the purchase price to the seller, and the keys and title deed are given to the buyer. A title deed is only available in New South Wales on every settlement; in Queensland there is a Register of Titles, which is an electronic record kept by the State Government, and a confirmation of registration will be issued, unless an additional fee is paid for the issue of a Title Document.
Attwood Marshall’s conveyancing solicitors will attend settlement on your behalf and ensure that all documents have been prepared and executed correctly, settlement figures have been adjusted accurately and that everything is in order to proceed. We will then contact you to advise that settlement has been completed successfully.
Registration of Transfer
After settlement, the agent is notified so that commission can be taken and the seller receives the balance of the deposit. If a bank is incoming, it will attend to the registration of the transfer at the Land Titles Office. If the property has been purchased with cash, your conveyancing solicitor will attend to the registration of the documents.
Once registration has occurred, the buyer will receive legal title and the seller will be released from any further obligations for payment of rates, land tax, etc. The conveyancing process usually concludes upon the successful registration of the transfer of ownership of the property.
In some cases, additional terms in the contract may require you or other parties to perform certain obligations after settlement, such as completing repairs to the property or removing items/equipment left at or in the property.
Every contract is drawn up individually to suit each case, and if any of the parties do not comply with their obligations either during the contract or following settlement, your conveyancing solicitor will assist with enforcing rights through the Court system.