Welcome to our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) section. We have attempted to categorise FAQ according to various topics, so that you can access your area of interest quickly.
What is Conveyancing?
Conveyancing is the legal process of transferring property ownership (or title) from one party to another.
In New South Wales, Conveyancers must be legally qualified, licensed by the Department of Fair Trading and have a minimum of two years experience in a legal practice and hold professional indemnity insurance. Conveyancers are also required to undertake professional education courses each year to keep their qualifications updated and ensure that they are familiar with the changes in legislation.
Unlike solicitors who specialise in many different areas of Law, Licensed Conveyancers specialise in Property Law only.
When should I give you instructions?
We strongly recommend that you advise our office of your matter at the very beginning so we can review the contract and give you any necessary advice before you sign any documents with a real estate agent.
What is the difference between exchange and settlement?
Exchange takes place at the beginning of a matter. The Purchaser and the Seller both sign a separate contract and the Purchaser pays the necessary deposit. Once both contracts are identical, the agent or Licensed Conveyancer/Solicitor dates them. This is when the Contract becomes legally binding on both parties.
Settlement takes place at the end of a matter. This is the legal process of handing the purchase monies to the seller in exchange for the title deed and transfer along with the hand-over of keys to the property.
What is a cooling off period?
When you sign a contract with a Real Estate Agent and pay a 0.25% deposit, you are entitled to a cooling-off period of five (5) business days. The purpose of the cooling-off period is to secure the property so that the Seller cannot sell the property to any other buyer and also so that you have time to arrange unconditional loan approval, Pest, Building, Strata Reports (where necessary), meet with a member of our staff to discuss the contract and make sure you are 100% happy before the contract becomes legally binding.
You can pull out of the Contract at any time before your cooling off period expires, however, you will lose your 0.25% deposit.
We always suggest asking for a ten (10) business day cooling off period before you sign with the agent.
Does a cooling off period apply to me if I am selling?
No, If you are selling your property and the contract has been exchanged under a cooling off period, only the Purchaser can pull out during the cooling off period.
What is a solicitor exchange?
A Solicitor exchange is different to having a cooling off period and signing with a Real Estate Agent. In this case, the property remains on the market until you pay your full 10% deposit and sign the contract, even though you may pay a “holding deposit”. This means that instead of the agent getting you to sign the contract, you will first obtain all of your enquiries, reports and loan approval and once you are 100% satisfied with the property you will sign the contract and you will be locked into the contract straight away without having a further cooling off period
I am looking at buying at an Auction. What do I do?
If you are looking at attending an Auction for a property, we strongly recommend that you forward a copy of the contract to our office for our perusal as early in advance as possible so that we can negotiate the terms prior to the auction.
We also recommend that you have unconditional loan approval in place and that you have obtained any necessary reports (and these reports are in your name) as once the property is sold under the hammer, the contract is legally binding.
You will also need to have your deposit monies available as a cheque on the day.
What is a final inspection?
A Final inspection should be carried out on your purchase property as close to settlement as possible, usually the morning of settlement or the day prior. The purpose of this inspection is to check that the property is in the same condition as it was when you first inspected it, that all inclusions still remain and that no damage has been caused to the property when the seller moved out.
We strongly recommend that prior to exchange you check that all appliances and inclusions are in working order as your Pest and Building inspectors do not check these and if you find an issue on your final inspection there is nothing we can do about this if it was not picked up prior to exchange.
Your final inspection does not cover cleanliness. This is a grey area of law and the seller only has to leave it in a reasonable condition.
Why is there a difference in Conveyancing fees for selling and buying?
When purchasing you receive legal advice on the contract and there are also more detailed and thorough searches that we obtain on your behalf, hence, both our professional fee and disbursements are higher.