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Most people have heard the term “conveyancing” but many do not know what it means. So what is conveyancing? It is a term that is used to describe the process by which the ownership of a property is transferred from one person to another person. It is a complex process that can be streamlined by lawyers who have experience and an effective understanding of the law.
Conveyancing in Queensland is different to most other states in Australia but is generally speaking the same throughout the state. Most of the difference involves different local Council areas and their requirements for the transfer.
What is involved in conveyancing?
Whilst no two conveyances are the same the process of conveyancing in Queensland is generally as follows:
- The buyer and the seller sign a contract for the sale of land usually including all of the improvements (such as buildings) on the land.
- The parties each appoint a separate lawyer to handle the conveyancing process.
- The lawyer reviews the contract and explains to their client the various obligations and rights placed on their client as a result of signing the contract and also explain what must be done by the client in order to ensure that the party is able to ‘settle’ the transfer of the property.
- The term settle is the time that the buyer actually pays the purchase price to the seller and the seller actually transfers the property to the buyer.
- The lawyer drafts all of the required legal documents to give legal effect to the transfer of the property. The lawyer also ensures that the legal documents are signed, as necessary, by the parties to the transaction.
- Ordinarily the lawyer acting for the buyer will also lodge a document known as a settlement notice on the title to the property. The purpose of this document is to prevent the seller from transferring the property to a third party behind the back of the buyer.
- Also the lawyer conducts searches of through the numerous government and body corporate records to ensure that the property is at it appears and ensure that there are no problems that need to be addressed pursuant to the terms of the contract. It is important that you engage the right lawyer so that they can properly review these searches to ensure that your rights are protected.
- The lawyer liaises with banks and other parties to ensure that everything and everyone is coordinated for the day of settlement
- On the day of settlement, each parties lawyer attends the place of settlement and settles the transfer of the property.
- Where required the buyers lawyer will lodge any document required to be registered with the Government to record the transfer of ownership in the property.
As can be seen from this very brief outline of the steps to be taken in the conveyancing process, the process is a complicated one. There is a variety of different steps required to ensure that both the terms of the contract and the legislation governing the process are complied with.
When to get help.
We strongly recommend that each party to the transaction appoint a lawyer to handle the process. Ensure that an experienced person is handling the transaction and nothing is missed.