Purchasing a house in Australia is a significant milestone, and while the process may seem daunting, it follows a well-defined legal path to ensure the smooth and secure transfer of property ownership. This legal process is known as conveyancing, and it involves the transfer of real estate from the current owner/s to a new owner/s. The conveyancing process typically comprises five distinct stages, each with its own set of requirements and responsibilities.

  1. Pre-Contract

The initial step may involve speaking with a Broker and/or an Accountant to discuss finances and whether the Buyer will be purchasing an investment property or home to live in.

Once Finances have been dealt with the Buyers will generally engage either a Real Estate Agent or Buyer’s agent to assist with finding a property. 

The agent will show buyers prospective properties and can assist with price negotiations, inspections, and ensuring that the property aligns with the buyer’s expectations.

  1. Contract preparation

Once the Buyer finds a property they like they will make an offer to the Seller. Once the offer is accepted the Seller’s real estate agent will usually prepare a contract for the sale of land, which sets out the terms and conditions of the transaction. The contract may include special clauses or conditions, such as finance approval, building and pest inspection, or due diligence. 

We would encourage you to have our qualified Property Lawyers review your contract to ensure it reflects your negotiations. 

Once both parties are happy with the terms of the contract it will then be signed by all parties and the initial deposit becomes payable. 

  1. Following signing 

 If the condition is applicable, you will need to engage a building inspector to conduct your building and pest inspection and work with your broker to ensure your finance application is in order. If any issues arise from the contract conditions, the parties may need to negotiate to resolve them. For example, the buyer may request an extension of time to finance, a reduction of price because of a building and pest issue, or a termination of the contract. All negotiations must be communicated between the parties’ solicitors, and any agreed changes are recorded in writing. The agent cannot satisfy conditions on your behalf.

  1. Pre-settlement 

The next step is to conduct optional property searches, these can be used to ensure there are no outstanding debts or legal issues affecting the property.

We will provide a list of optional searches which include body corporate records search, contaminated land search, land tax, PPSR and more. You must advise your solicitor when you require these optional searches to be done.

Additionally your solicitor will order standard searches, usually once the contract is unconditional, meaning you have satisfied any conditions of the contract.

Your Lawyer will require a title search, rates search, land tax search, and if buying in a Community Titles Scheme, a copy of the Information certificate that shows all the levies and levy period.

These are used to make adjustments to the purchase price so that each party is paying fees in accordance with their ownership, the Seller is liable for any rates/levies up to and including the Settlement date, and then it becomes the responsibility of the Buyer after Settlement.

The searches are usually ordered by the buyer’s solicitor, and paid by the buyer

  1. Settlement 

The final step is to arrange settlement, this is the day when the property ownership is transferred from the seller to the buyer.

The settlement date is usually specified in the contract, and is generally between 30-90 days from the Contract date. 

Settlement is usually done by the parties’ solicitors, in conjunction with the parties’ banks or lenders via an online Settlement platform called PEXA.

PEXA or the use of eConveyancing in Queensland was mandated on 20 February 2023. PEXA must be used and unless an exemption applies, for example the client does not have a last name.

PEXA helps everyone using this service such as property lawyers, conveyancing solicitors and lending institutions lodge documents at the final stage of a property settlement and facilitates settlement funds all in one place.

Once Settlement occurs the title is electronically transferred to the new buyer and the buyer’s Solicitor will authorise the agent or deposit holder to release the Deposit to the Seller and release the keys. 

Reid Legal Group has a dedicated Property Law department that will ensure your property transaction runs smoothly, so you can enjoy your new home with peace of mind.

We will be available to provide you advice throughout each stage of the process from reviewing your contract, reminding you about critical dates and deadlines, discussing your negotiations and ensuring the release of your keys.

Contact our team today.

E: info@reidlegalgroup.com.au

T: (07) 5677 0552

W: www.reidlegalgroup.com.au