How Conveyancing Works

How Conveyancing Works

How Conveyancing Works

Conveyancing works through a combination of protocol, laws and tradition. To an outsider, it can be difficult to understand how a conveyance works.

Conveyancing refers to the process through which title of a property is transferred from the seller to the buyer. A typical conveyancing transaction will involve three stages:

  1. Before the contract comes into existence
  2. Before settlement (the date the property changes hands)
  3. After settlement

Most of a conveyancing lawyer‘s work is done in the second stage, before settlement, but there are still important steps to be taken in the other stages.

Conveyancing works differently in every state and territory due to different laws and different practices. This article will only look at how conveyancing works in Queensland.

How Conveyancing Works in Queensland

In Queensland, conveyancing works in the follow manner:

  1. The buyer and seller will negotiate and sign a contract for the sale of the property. In most cases, this will involve a real estate agent who acts on behalf of the seller. Sometimes it may involve a buyers agent as well, who acts on behalf of the buyer. The agent will usually prepare the contract and this will start the conveyancing process.
  2. The buyer and seller will usually each retain a conveyancing lawyer to handle the conveyancing process on their behalf. Although it is possible to act for yourself, the process can be complicated and so you are best served by engaging the services of a law firm with specialist conveyancing lawyers who know how conveyancing works.
  3. The conveyancing lawyer for the buyer will carry out searches on the property to find out whether there are any matters affecting the property which may be of concern. If there are any issues, the buyer may have some rights that include being able to terminate the contract and end the conveyancing process.
  4. If the buyer is obtaining finance, they will also need to speak with their bank or financier in order to complete their finance application. If the contract is subject to finance, then the contract and the conveyancing process will usually not proceed until there is approval of the buyer’s finance application.
  5. The contract may also be subject to the buyer obtaining a satisfactory building and pest inspection of the property. This is to ensure that any structure on the land has no significant defects. Usually, if defects are identified in the building or pest inspection report, the buyer may have a right to terminate and end the conveyancing process.
  6. The conveyancing lawyers will prepare and exchange the Land Titles Registry documents that will change the title once lodged and work with the buyer’s and seller’s banks to finalise the finance needed by the buyer and any release of mortgage needed by the seller.
  7. The buyer’s conveyancing lawyer will ensure that the correct amount of stamp duty (now called transfer duty) is paid by the buyer to the Office of State Revenue prior to settlement.
  8. The lawyers will attend settlement (sometimes called completion) to exchange the purchase price (minus any deposit paid by the buyer – usually to the agent’s trust account) for the title and the documents required to change the title.
  9. The signed documents to transfer the title will then be lodged with the Land Titles Registry and usually, within a week, the title will be changed to reflect the buyer as the new owner.

Each of these steps in the conveyancing process has many sub-steps and there are many legal issues and practices that are followed in carrying out the conveyance. By engaging a conveyancing lawyer, you hand over much of this work to a professional who knows how conveyancing works.

If you have any questions arising from this post, please contact one of our conveyancing lawyers by calling us on 07 3106 3016 or contacting us using the form on this page.

This article does not give legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. It is intended to provide general and summary information on legal topics, current at the time of first publication. You should seek professional legal advice before acting or relying on any of the content contained herein.