Buying a property can be a daunting experience, particularly if you are not entirely familiar with the conveyancing process. At Think Conveyancing, we have experienced and capable practitioners who can look after the conveyancing process for you and guide you through the necessary steps to ensure that everything is smooth sailing up to settlement.
To understand how things are done at Think Conveyancing, below is a step-by-step guide on the conveyancing process for buyers so you know what to expect from pre-engagement with us to post-settlement.
Please speak to our customer concierge to get a free quote as well as some general information on the services we provide.
If you decide that you are happy for us to act for you, we will then email you an engagement letter for you to sign. The engagement letter sets out our legal fees, estimated disbursement costs and the type of services we will provide.
We will also send you a questionnaire for you to complete. It is important that you complete this questionnaire as it will provide us with all the information we need to prepare the relevant documents for settlement.
Once you have signed the engagement letter and submitted the completed questionnaire to us, your matter will be allocated to a practitioner and you will receive an email from your practitioner confirming that he or she has been assigned to look after you.
If you are interested to make an offer but have yet to sign a Contract, you may want your practitioner to review the Contract and Vendor’s Statement first before you commit to buying the property. If so, please provide your practitioner with a copy of the draft Contract and Vendor’s Statement for their review.
Once your practitioner has received the draft Contract and Vendor’s Statement, you should expect to receive a written review within 2 clear business days. Otherwise, if you need an urgent review, your practitioner may (subject to capacity) be able to make an exception and may, if necessary, conduct a verbal review over the phone.
If you have already signed a Contract with the Vendor and the 3 day cooling off period has already lapsed or the 3 day cooling off period does not apply (as is the case where you buy an auction property), you may skip this step.
Once you and the Vendor have both signed the Contract, please provide a signed and dated copy to your practitioner as soon as possible. The real conveyancing process begins when your practitioner receives a fully signed and dated Contract.
You will need to advise your practitioner if you are obtaining a loan. If your Contract provides that your purchase is ‘subject to finance’ and your loan is not unconditionally approved by the loan approval date stipulated in the Contract, you are entitled to terminate the Contract by giving 2 business days’ notice to the Vendor. As such, it is important that you keep your practitioner informed on the status of your loan application so that your practitioner may either request for an extension of the loan approval date or notify the Vendor’s practitioner that you wish to terminate the contract (whichever you prefer).
After your loan has been approved, your Bank will require you to sign the loan and mortgage documents. To ensure a smooth conveyancing process, please ensure that these documents are signed and returned to your Bank as soon as possible as the Bank needs time to process your documents in readiness for settlement.
Please also ensure that you provide the Bank with your practitioner’s contact details as the Bank will need to contact your practitioner to request for supporting documents.
As part of the services we provide, your practitioner will lodge a caveat to protect your interest in the property. What the caveat does is prevent any dealing affecting your property from being registered on the title prior to settlement.
Your practitioner will also prepare the necessary transfer documents for your signing, including forms for stamp duty concessions (if applicable). These documents will be emailed to you with clear instructions on how they should be printed and signed. Once you have signed these documents, you will need to post the original signed documents to your practitioner. Your practitioner will then send the original Transfer of Land document to the Vendor’s practitioner for the Vendor’s signing and will also email the transfer documents to your Bank (if you are obtaining a loan) in readiness for settlement.
You will also be advised to perform a Verification of Identity (VOI) Check as this is a requirement under the law. Your practitioner will provide you with information on how and where you can perform the VOI check.
Once your Bank confirms that they are ready for settlement, your practitioner will then be able to book in settlement at such time and venue as the Vendor’s practitioner may decide. It is also at this stage that your Bank will be able to advise on the funds available for settlement.
Closer to settlement, your practitioner will order updated property certificates and prepare the Statement of Adjustments. The Statement of Adjustments sets out the apportionment of rates, taxes and other outgoings between the Vendor and yourself. This ensures that the Vendor pays their portion of outgoings up to the date of settlement and you are liable for the remaining portion from the settlement date onwards.
Once the Statement of Adjustments have been confirmed by the Vendor’s practitioner, they will provide cheque directions to your practitioner who will then forward the same to your Bank. If the funds available from your Bank are insufficient to cover the amount required for settlement, your practitioner will advise you on the shortfall amount which you will need to pay. You may pay the shortfall amount either by making a deposit into your shortfall account (if you have one with your Bank) or providing us with a bank cheque for the shortfall amount prior to settlement. Alternatively, you also have the option of depositing the shortfall amount into our Trust Account subject to an administrative fee.
The day of settlement has arrived! Your practitioner will attend settlement on your behalf so you need not be physically present. Once settlement has successfully occurred, your practitioner will contact you to deliver you the good news. You can then make arrangements with the sales agent to collect the keys.
To conclude the entire conveyancing process, your practitioner will notify the relevant authorities including the Water and Council authorities of the change of ownership. You will also receive our Post Settlement Letter which sets out everything that took place at settlement together with the necessary enclosures for your records.
We have teams of trained lawyers who understand the unique process of conveyancing in every state and territory.