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What is conveyancing?

In simple terms, conveyancing is the process of transferring the title of a property from one person or entity to another.

Why should I use a conveyancer?

Due to the financial and legal aspects of transferring property, the consequences of making a mistake can be costly. By having a licensed conveyancer take care of your property transfer, their qualifications and experience can help protect your assets. Conveyancers focus entirely on property transfers, and are required by law to carry professional indemnity insurance.

What is the cooling off period?

A cooling off period is a purchaser's right to terminate the agreement within a certain “cooling off” timeframe, and notice must be served in writing to the vendor or the vendor's representative. Terminating a contract to buy a property during the 3 business day cooling off period will incur a penalty; being $100 or 0.2% of the sale price (whichever is greater).

What are disbursements?

Disbursements are expenses incurred when obtaining a certificate  for required searches about a property  (e.g. title searches, council rates fees, water fees, land tax).

When should insurance cover be taken out over a purchased property? 

According to common law, the purchaser has an equitable interest in the property from the day of sale. This should be protected by building insurance (unless vacant land). A purchaser should take out insurance cover immediately upon signing the contract.

What happens at settlement? 

Settlement is the final step of the sale/purchase process. Most of the time, there are four parties involved - the buyer and sellers' respective conveyancers, and the banks for the vendor and purchaser. At settlement, the purchaser's bank will provide cheques as per the instructions of the Purchasers conveyancer and in return, receive the Certificate of Title and the 'discharge of mortgage' (if applicable) from the Vendors bank. Once settlement has occurred, the keys are handed over to the purchaser and the deposit is released (from trust) to the Vendor. The buyer's bank registers the change of title and mortgage, and arranges for payment of stamp duty and other government fees.

Who notifies the authorities that I have purchased a property?

A Notice of Acquisition detailing the change of ownership is provided by the conveyancer to the relevant council and water authorities.

What are Adjustments?

Adjustments are prepared by the purchaser’s representative to calculate the monies that are owed on the property. Adjustable items include council rates, water rates, land tax, body corporate fees (if applicable) and rent (if applicable). Adjustments are apportioned so that the vendor pays for everything due on the property up to the date of settlement and the purchaser pays for everything due from the settlement date until the end of the rating period.

What is stamp duty and how much do I have to pay?

The greatest additional expense of purchasing a property is the payment of stamp duty. Stamp duty is a government charge, and it is calculated on a scale determined by the State Government. The stamp duty payable depends on the purchase price of the property. Rates of stamp duty that will be applicable to your purchase can be found on the State Revenue Office website at www.sro.vic.gov.au and clicking on the stamp duty calculator. Please feel free to contact our office if you are unsure of the amount and we would be happy to assist you.

How do I obtain a stamp duty concession or exemption if I am a first home buyer?

From 1 July 2017 first home buyers can obtain a full exemption of stamp duty if the purchase price is up to $600,000, and a reduced rate on a sliding scale for properties between $600,000- $750,000. We prepare all necessary documents to be submitted to your lender (or directly with the State Revenue Office) as required.

What is the purpose of the Section 32 Vendor Statement? What details must be disclosed?

The purpose of the statement is to disclose information to a potential purchaser prior to entering into a contract. A Section 32 Vendor Statement should contain information relating to:

  • A description of any easements, covenants and other similar restrictions affecting the land
  • The name of the planning scheme, the authority which administers it and the zoning of the property
  • The amount of any rates, taxes or charges affecting the land
  • Details of any notices or proposals affecting the land
  • A statement regarding the services connected to the land together with the authorities supplying such services
  • Details of any building approvals granted in the preceding seven years. Owner-builders must also provide a guarantee and warranty insurance details where specified

What do I need to provide my conveyancer for my Section 32 Vendor Statement? 

The following should be provided:

CERTIFICATES: Copies of your Title in your name (and subdivision plans, if applicable), council rates notices and water rates instalments should be provided.
Easements: An easement is any area on your property, which is available for access by the water authority, or any other authority.

WATER RIGHTS: Does more than one water authority affect your property? Do you have water rights affecting your rural or semi rural property?

SECONDARY TITLES: If there is a title for a car space, storage area, rear laneway or anything other than the land being sold please advise us.

CONSTRUCTION AND BUILDING PERMITS: If there is any type of dwelling or building construction under seven years of age on the land being sold, or structural modifications or additions to those buildings, you will need to provide a Building Permit, a Final Inspection Certificate and Home Owners Insurance documentation. For an owner-builder, you will also need to provide a copy of an Owner Builder’s Defect Report and Owner Builder Warranty Insurance documentation. You must also disclose any illegal building works that have been completed (without a building permit).

OWNERS CORPORATION: If you are selling a flat, townhouse or estate where an Owners Corporation (formerly known as a Body Corporate) is applicable, you will need to provide details regarding the Owners Corporation Manager, a recent invoice, and minutes from the most recent Owners Corporation AGM.

NOTICES: If you have received any notification from any authority, person or the like about anything that could affect a person’s decision to buy your property, you will need to disclose this information.

ZONING AND OVERLAYS: Please advise whether your property has been zoned i.e., as a residential, mixed or commercial zone.

TENANTS: If the property has been tenanted or leased in any form or fashion you will need to advise us.

LEVIES: Do you know if additional levies, such as street or construction levies, are applicable to your property?

SERVICES: You will need to inform us regarding the presence and availability of various services to the land being sold (e.g. electricity, gas, telephone, water and sewage)

CHATTELS: Always advise if you are including any items with the property for sale (e.g. a garden shed, dishwashers, electric light fittings, etc.), and provide a comprehensive list to your agent of what is excluded from the sale.

For more information please contact us.