The steps during a standard conveyancing process are:
Seller: You will need to notify your bank if there is a mortgage over your property straight away so that they can begin the process of preparing the mortgage for release at settlement. This process takes some time as banks have internal processes which must be followed. The earlier you can undertake this process, the smoother your settlement will be. You should ask your bank for a form which is usually called “Request to Discharge / Release Mortgage”. This form should be completed and signed by all mortgage holders. You should note the details of your conveyancing lawyer on this form so that the bank has authority to liaise with your lawyer and organise settlement.
The agent will liaise with you to arrange access to the property for any building and pest inspection along with any pre-settlement inspection. You will also need to arrange removalists to ensure that the property is vacant at settlement.
The buyer’s lawyer will prepare transfer documents in preparation for settlement and you will need to sign those before settlement on the promise by the buyer’s lawyer to hold onto those transfer documents pending settlement.
Buyer: You have a 5 day cooling off period within which to consider whether the purchase of the property is what you had intended. You should seek legal advice about your rights and obligations during this time. As buyer you have much to do to satisfy yourself about the property. You should, if you haven’t already, organise a building and pest inspection to occur. This will be arranged with the Agent at the convenience of the seller.
You should, if you haven’t already, immediately provide a copy of the contract to your bank or finance broker to assist you with any finance requirements you have. You should arrange insurance for the property you are purchasing.
Your conveyancing solicitor will talk with you about searches which should be undertaken on the property. This process allows you to satisfy yourself that good title to the property will be available on settlement. Searches should be conducted straight away. Here you should search various government and body corporate records to ensure that there are no encumbrances or defects on the property that were not mentioned in negotiations or on the contract, and that the property is how it appears.
You will need to advise the seller, through your conveyancing solicitor, that you have satisfactory building and pest inspections and satisfactory finance if these are conditions on your contract.
Once your finance is approved you will need to urgently sign loan documentation with your bank, within plenty of time to allow settlement to occur in accordance with the contract terms. You should note the details of your conveyancing lawyer on any bank documentation so that there are no difficulties when it comes time to book in your settlement.
There will be transfer duty payable on the contract. This is payable by the buyer. Your conveyancing lawyer will advise you about the amount of duty payable and when the duty is payable.
Prior to settlement the buyer’s lawyer will prepare transfer documents in anticipation of settlement. These will be sent to the seller’s lawyer on the promise by the buyer’s lawyer to hold them pending settlement. Your lawyer will stamp the transfer documents in accordance with the assessed transfer duty amount.
There are likely to be other steps to be taken by either a buyer or a seller. Your conveyancing lawyer should point you in the right direction to make sure that your transaction goes as smoothly as possible.
All of these steps have certain legal requirements or sub-steps that further dictate the process. Missing any of the required steps or deadlines can cause delays in the conveyancing process and significant problems (including termination of the process). If you have further questions about the conveyancing process, please contact our office on (07) 3343 9522 or (07) 5446 1745 or through our contact us service here