Conveyancing FAQs

Below are some frequently asked questions about conveyancing as well as useful links.
For more information, contact McDonald Conveyancing (NSW) Pty Ltd.

What is conveyancing?

Put simply, conveyancing is the legal process of transferring the title of a property from one person to another.

A conveyancer has an in-depth understanding of the law concerning property transactions, is required by law to carry professional indemnity insurance, and can offer you their experience on other matters related to your property transaction that may arise.

Why should I use a conveyancer?

By having a conveyancer take care of your property transfer, their qualifications and experience can help protect your assets.

Buying or selling property is one of the biggest financial transactions or your life. Due to the financial and legal aspects of transferring property, the consequences of making a mistake can be both costly and heartbreaking.

What is a disbursement?

A disbursement is an expense incurred on behalf of you related to the purchase or sale, and includes the costs of obtaining a certificate from local government authorities or local councils and agency settlement fees.

What is the cooling off period and how does it affect me?

Cooling Off Period

A cooling off period is the right of a purchaser of property to cancel the agreement within 5 working days. It offers some protection to purchasers that may have rushed into a contract to purchase property and can be used to finalise financial arrangements or perform title searches. Cancelling the agreement (or rescinding, as it is known) will cost the purchaser 0.25% of the total purchase price.

How does it affect me?

The cooling off period does not always apply (at auction, for example) and can be waived providing a 66W certificate is signed by a conveyancer who has briefed his or her client with regard to the implications involved of waiving the cooling off period.

What happens if either party cannot settle on the due date?

The vendor or seller can issue a ‘Notice to Complete’ which means the vendor or seller has 14 days (including weekends and public holidays) to settle the matter. If left unsettled due to the vendor, the purchaser has the right to terminate the contract and is eligible to receive their deposit back (depending on the circumstances). The purchase may also issue a ‘Notice to Complete’ if provided for in the Contract. The purchaser may also apply to the Court to have the vendor complete the agreement and hand over possession.

If the vendor is ready to settle by the settlement date and the purchaser is not the vendor is entitled to charge the purchaser interest for the number of days settlement is delayed. The contract usually stipulates the applicable interest rate. When a ‘Notice to Complete’ is issued, the vendor may terminate the contract and keep the deposit, and can legally place the property back on the market to sell.

What happens at settlement time?

The Settlement

Settlement is the finalisation of the sale or purchase process. There are usually four parties involved – the buyer and sellers’ conveyancers and the banks for the vendor and purchaser.

On settlement, the purchaser’s bank will exchange cheques as per the instructions of the buyer’s conveyancer and in return, receive the Certificate of Title and ‘discharge of mortgage’ (if applicable) from the seller’s bank.

On the Settlement Date

Once the settlement date arrives, the keys can be handed over to the purchaser. The deposit is released by the deposit holder (usually the agent) to the seller or as directed by the seller. At this stage, the buyer’s bank registers the change of title and mortgage, and notifies authorities (such as the water company) of the change.

Who notifies the authorities that I have purchased a property?

When your transfer papers are lodged for registration after settlement, the council, water providers and the Valuer General are automatically notified of the new purchase. Other providers, however, will need to be notified.

Useful Links

Australian Institute of Conveyancers

Endeavour Insurance Broking Group Pty Ltd – specialists in Home Owners Warranty Insurance

Office of State Revenue