What is Conveyancing
Conveyancing is the process of transferring or conveying ownership (or title) in a property from one person to another and includes all of the steps involved in the transaction.
Obtaining a copy of the Contract for Sale
Once a property has been decided upon, a Contract of Sale should be obtained such that legal advice may be sought in relation to the terms and conditions of the contract and to ensure that there is nothing adverse which is affecting the title.
Exchange of Contracts
This is arguably the most important aspect of the Conveyancing/property transaction and is the point where the parties enter into a legally binding relationship and the contract is formed. The term exchange of contracts is a literal exchange of contracts where two identical contracts, one signed by the vendor and one signed by the purchaser are exchanged ie the vendor (or their representative) hands the purchaser (or their representative) the vendor’s signed contract and the purchaser hands the vendor the purchaser’s signed contract. The purchaser also pays a deposit at this time which is normally 10% of the purchase price but which is commonly reduced to 5% by negotiation.
Payment of Stamp Duty
A purchaser’s solicitor is responsible for stamping the contract and transfer on behalf of the purchaser. Stamp duty is ordinarily payable within 3 months of exchange of contracts (12 months for off-the-plan purchases) or by settlement whichever is the earlier. At Bondi Conveyancing we have online facilities which enable us to electronically pay stamp duty on behalf of clients.
“Settlement” is the conclusion of the transaction between the vendor and the purchaser. While settlement normally occurs 6 weeks after exchange, the settlement period can be altered to suit the particular transaction or to suit the needs of the parties. For example, a vendor may wish to have a longer settlement period, such as 12 weeks, in order to allow a reasonable period of time for them to secure alternative accommodation or to allow sufficient time to find a new residential property to purchase.