October 17, 2018

How does Conveyancing Work: a State-by-state Guide

Conveyancing refers to the process of transferring property ownership from one entity to another. With all the different factors to consider during this process, it’s a good thing that there are qualified individuals who can guide us every step of the way. They are called property conveyancers.

If you already have a property conveyancer, it doesn’t mean that they will do all the work for you. The key is to understand how conveyancing works so you will know what is expected of you and ensure that you will deliver whatever documents are necessary. One of the things that you need to know about conveyancing in Australia is that it differs depending on the state or territory you’re in.

In this article, let’s find out how conveyancing works for different states and territories:

New South Wales

In NSW, conveyancing companies are run and owned by licensed property conveyancers.


The conveyancing process is similar to that of NSW. If you’re the seller, you are required to tell potential buyers about the property before receiving a binding offer. Be sure to review the contract and other conditions before signing.

Queensland and Australian Capital Territory

The law dictates that all conveyancing work must be done by a law firm, unlike in other states where licensed property conveyancers run the conveyancing process. Law firms should act in adherence to the Legal Profession Act. A solicitor oversees the work of licensed conveyancers and para legal employees of law firms who do conveyancing work.

South Australia

In South Australia, a property conveyancer is essential to represent both the buyer and the seller, to facilitate the transfer of property ownership.

Northern Territory

According to the legislation of this territory, a qualified individual is required to protect the interests of both parties.

In other words, should you happen to be a buyer or seller of a property, make sure to know and understand the conveyancing rules and regulations of the state or territory that you’re in. It can be overwhelming and time-consuming especially if you do not understand the end-to-end process. Seek professional advice or ask family members or friends who have firsthand experience in working with a property conveyancer to give you a better idea of how it works.

Do you have other ideas when it comes to conveyancing in Australia? Share your insights in the comments section.

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Understanding Easements and Boundaries

When buying or renovating a home, you will come across certain terms, such as easements and boundaries, which you may not be familiar with. That’s why it’s important to hire a qualified solicitor or conveyancer who will guide you through the process.

In this article, let’s take a look at the terms easements and boundaries.


This refers to the right to cross or use a part of someone else’s land. An easement on your property means that another entity can cross or use your land for a specific purpose. It could be a carriageway easement, where neighbours are allowed to use it to access their property.

In this case, maintenance of the carriageway will not be a responsibility of the owner of the land. It could be an easement for utilities or drainage, or where workers need to have access to install cables and pipes, or for maintenance or repair works.

An easement plays a role in providing access and services, and while the property owner is not in-charge of maintaining it, he/she needs to respect the easement. However, if the easement doesn’t provide access or service anymore, you may have the easement removed from your land title.


On the other hand, a boundary refers to the limits of an area. It’s also called a property line, and while it’s invisible, it’s a guideline on what you can and cannot do on or near your boundary. It also marks the area where your property ends and the public space, or your neighbour’s property, begins.

Knowing where the boundary lines are is essential when buying or renovating a home. In general, boundary lines tell neighbours that they need to share the costs of a boundary fence. If there’s a need to build a retaining wall on boundaries, you need to ask for the consent of your neighbours, and the wall should not affect the property next to it in a negative way.

If you’re buying or renovating a property, make sure to understand the easements and boundaries. You can check with your local council if there are any easements on the land or property that you want to buy. As for the boundary lines, seek help from a surveyor who can tell you where the boundaries are.

Do you have other ideas on easements and boundaries, as well as conveyancing in Australia? Share your insights in the comments section.

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Differences in the Conveyancing Process between QLD and NSW

Whether you’re a seller or a buyer of a property, you may want to consider hiring a property conveyancer who will oversee the transfer of property ownership. Conveyancing in Australia is highly regulated and scrutinised. Although it may look like a simple process, transferring property ownership involves a lot of steps. If you’re not careful, you may face legal problems later on. A property conveyancer is a qualified individual who will guide you throughout the process so you don’t miss anything important.

One consideration when it comes to conveyancing in Australia is that the process differs depending on the state you’re in. For instance, the conveyancing process in Queensland is different from the process in New South Wales. What are the differences? Read on to find out more:

Contract of Sale

  • New South Wales: the seller of the property needs to include copies of the property certificate, plan of the land, all registered documents that create easements on the property, town planning certificate, as well as a sewerage connections diagram to the Contract of Sale. This is in addition to the search conducted by the buyer.
  • Queensland: requires the buyer to conduct searches and ask questions to ensure that the property meets expectations. The seller needs to disclose certain aspects in the Contract of Sale. Otherwise, the buyer may have termination rights.

Time and Settlement

  • New South Wales: if one of the parties fails to settle on the settlement day, a notice to complete will be issued indicating the time for the completion of the contract. If the party who got the notice to complete fails to adhere to its terms, the other party may terminate the contract and ask for damages.
  • Queensland: conveyancing means both parties should be prepared to settle on the agreed-upon settlement date. If one of the parties fails to meet one essential aspect of the process, the other party may terminate the contract.

Building Inspection

  • New South Wales: they inspect the building for damages or pests needs to be done before the exchange of contracts.
  • Queensland: they indicate that both parties can make the contract conditional based on the building and pest inspection. This means that if the buyer is not satisfied with the inspection results, there will be termination rights.

Do you have other ideas on conveyancing in Australia? You can share your insights in the comments section.

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What Happens after Settlement?

In simple terms, conveyancing refers to the legal process of transferring ownership of a property from one entity to another. It entails several financial and legal aspects, and the consequences of making a mistake can mean a huge inconvenience and shelling out a lot of money. To ensure that the process will run smoothly, you need a qualified individual who will oversee the process from end to end. This person is called a property conveyancer.

On settlement day, your property conveyancer will meet with your lender and the representative/s of the seller to exchange required documents. This is also where they organise the balance of the purchase price that will be paid to the seller of the property.

Your lender will register a mortgage against the title of your new property and provide funds for purchasing it. On the other hand, your property conveyancer will ensure that any existing mortgage on the title to the seller is discharged and all clauses on the sales contract are met.

But what happens after the settlement day? Here are some of the things that you can expect:

If you are the seller of the property:

The balance of the sale proceeds will be deposited to your nominated bank account. These sale proceeds will be less than the funds needed to pay your mortgage as well as any adjustments. The remainder of the fee will likewise be paid. You will also be responsible for the rates as well as other council charges up to and including the settlement day.

If you are the buyer of the property:

You will be able to get the keys to your new property once that agent has been informed of the settlement. The transfer of land will be assessed for stamp duty and registered at the Land Titles Office to document that you are the new property owner. You will be in-charge of paying the stamp duty or land transfer duty. This is important since the property title will not be transferred to you unless you’re done paying this duty.

These are just some of the things that you need to know as a seller or buyer of the property. If anything is unclear, make sure to ask your property conveyancer to avoid any mistake or inconveniences later on.

Do you have other ideas when it comes to conveyancing in Australia? Share your insights in the comments section.

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What does a Conveyancer Do for a Seller?

What is conveyancing? It refers to the process of transferring ownership of property from one entity to another, and the individual who handles this is the property conveyancer. He/She helps with settling the property title transfer. Whether you’re a buyer or a seller, you may want to hire a conveyancer since both parties have their own obligations to fulfill.

So, what does a conveyancer do? Basically, he/she is in-charge of the end-to-end process of conveyancing. A standard process consists of several stages:

  • Sign the Contract of Sale.
  • Exchange contracts with the seller/buyer.
  • Answer/Fill up the Requisitions on Title.
  • Sign the Transfer of Land document.
  • Manage the mortgage discharge.
  • Handle the settlement.

They prepare the contract sale

One of the main responsibilities of a property conveyancer is to prepare the Contract of Sale. He/She should ensure that it covers all the special conditions, if any, needed for the title transfer. It’s better to have a complete contract than have to face issues and inconveniences later on. The conveyancer will also do all title and planning searches that come with the final statement, in accordance with applicable laws in your area or state. Ancillary documents may be prepared as well as part of the settlement process.

They give you legal advise

A property conveyancer will likewise give legal advice so you can make better decisions and understand the process. The legal advice will be specifically essential if there are any special conditions that the Contract of Sale should cover. He/She will also inform you about all legal documents that should be in place for the settlement. If necessary, the conveyancer can also reach out to your mortgagee so the property of the documents will be released on settlement day.

They arrange the final details of the Settlement 

Another crucial role of a property conveyancer is arranging the final details of the settlement. This includes coordinating with the conveyancer of the buyer (or seller, if you’re the one who’s buying the property) about the time of the settlement. While it’s indicated in the Contract of Sale, both conveyancers can agree on a time that’s ideal for both parties. After the settlement, the conveyancer will contact your real estate agent so the keys will be handed over to the buyer.

A property conveyancer plays a significant role in transferring ownership of a property. If you need to hire one, make sure to do your research and ask questions about their experience and other important aspects.

Do you have other ideas on conveyancing in Australia? Share your insights in the comments section.

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7 Questions that You should Ask Your Conveyancers

Buying a home is an exciting affair, but it can also be time-consuming, not to mention the many factors that need to be considered before signing the contract. Since it involves many considerations and a lot of money, it is best to seek the services of a qualified individual. For this process, you need a property conveyancer.

What does a conveyancer do? He/She will manage the transition of property ownership from the seller to the buyer. It’s a great responsibility, so it is essential that you know what a property conveyancer can and should do on your behalf. Make a thorough research, and ask the right questions so you will better understand the process and at the same time, ensure that the property conveyancer has the capabilities to handle the entire process.

Here are some questions that you can ask the conveyancer:

1. What are the documents that I need to prepare?

Having a property conveyancer doesn’t mean that you have nothing to do as a buyer or seller. Ask what documents that you need to prepare to keep the ball rolling.

2. How long does the process take?

In general, conveyancing takes about 8-12 weeks. Knowing this will help you set your expectations and see if the conveyancer is capable enough to deliver.

3. What’s in the contract?

We are always told to read the fine print of any legal document but some people just browse through documents and sign to get it over with. If there are terms that you’re not familiar with, the property conveyancer will be there to explain things to you. For instance, when looking at the specifics of the deed of sale, confirm if certain items are indeed part of the sale.

4. How much will the conveyancing service cost?

Know the cost of the service so you can include it in your budget. Make sure to ask this in advance so you will have enough time to prepare for all the expenses.

5. Do you provide assistance even after completing the process?

It is crucial to get support even after the completion of the process, as there may be other matters related to the sale of the home that need to be settled.

6. Is the zoning as advertised?

It goes without saying, but it’s better to be safe than sorry. Ask your property conveyancer to confirm that the zoning limits are as advertised.

7. Is it necessary to have Professional Indemnity Insurance?

Ask your conveyancer if there is a need to get a professional indemnity insurance. This states that when something goes wrong during the process, you are entitled to make claims for damages.

Do you know other questions that we need to ask our property conveyancers? share your ideas on conveyancing in Australia in the comments section.

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What to expect on the settlement day

When it comes to conveyancing in Australia, one of the official processes is the settlement. It is done between representatives of the buyer and seller of the property. If you’re the buyer, your property conveyancer will be the one to meet the representatives of the seller. Both parties agree on a time and place for the settlement day.

What happens on the settlement day? Here are the things that can expect on this big day:

  • The property conveyancer will receive the title. He/She will also register you as the new official owner of the property.
  • The lender will pay the balance of the purchase price to the vendor. This marks the start of the mortgage.
  • There will be an exchange of checks wherein the seller can claim the deposit from the real estate agent. The buyer is not required to be present in this exchange as it will be between the property conveyancer and the seller, although in most cases, the lender’s representative will be present.
  • Other fees and duties will be paid to the government.
  • After completing all documents, the buyer will receive the keys to the property.

Settlement day is a major event. If you’re a buyer, here are some things that you can do before the settlement day to keep stress at bay:

  • Check the property and make sure that everything is in good condition. This includes fixtures and fittings that are included in the contract. In case you only have time to do this on the actual settlement day, make sure to do the inspection in the morning so there will still be time to settle issues, if any, throughout the day.
  • Work with your property conveyancer in preparing documents for the transfer of ownership. These include stamp duty, transfer of land, etc.
  • Put the funds required over and above your loan into a legal trust account.  This will be helpful in case the bank encounters a transfer error.

Settlement day need not be a stressful one. In fact, you should look forward to it as it marks the beginning of your status as the official owner of the property. But don’t let excitement lead you into moving in on settlement day. All representatives must be present on that day, and it can get delayed even though it was scheduled in the morning.

Got other ideas on what to expect on settlement day and conveyancing in Australia? Share your insights in the comments section.

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Conveyancing for a Newly Built Home

Conveyancing refers to the process of transferring property ownership of a newly built home from one entity to another. The individual that does this process is called a property conveyancer. Bear in mind that the process for a newly-built property differs from that of buying one that already exists. For one thing, you need a lawyer who specialises in this kind of conveyancing. Here are some important things to take into account when it comes to conveyancing for a newly built home:

  • Secure the contract of sale. This is probably the most essential document that you need to get, since you are eyeing for a house that is not yet constructed. Discuss with your lawyer or property conveyancer other factors associated with the property. Some of these are the proposed floor plans, defects, date of completion, financing, as well as the cooling off period.
  • Check what’s included in the contract. Check the list of inclusions indicated in the contract. For instance, there can be a section which states that in case the original inclusions are not available, the builder is entitled to use those with similar features as a replacement. The contract should likewise come with warranties to provide protection in case the builder makes some changes.

Speaking of changes, the contract should also indicate that the builder can make minor changes to comply with the requirements of council planning. If there are changes that can greatly affect the build of the house, there should have a section which states that the buyer can cancel the contract.

  • Consider the stamp duty costs. Ask your property conveyancer about stamp duty as certain locations have grants or concessions such as the First Home Buyers Grant.
  • Know your legal rights. There are several things to take into account when buying a house that’s yet to be built. Make sure you understand what your legal rights are in case there’s a delay in the construction, or if you need to cancel the contract. These also include the fees associated with the cancellation.
  • What if you’re buying the property with someone else? If this is the case, it should be Joint Proprietors or Tenants-in-Common. Make sure to inform your property conveyancer, because if you don’t have a section in the contract which states that you’re purchasing the property with another individual, you may be charged Government Stamp Duty twice.

Got other ideas on conveyancing in Australia? Share your insights in the comments section.

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Everything You Need to Know About Capital Gains Tax (CGT) in Australia

Taxation is a broad topic. An Australian property investor would know the different taxes associated with assets and investments.  There’s investment property tax, income tax, and capital gains tax (CGT).

What is CGT? This is the tax you pay for capital gain or capital loss on an asset which is the difference between the amount you’ve paid for it and what you receive after selling it. While it is called capital gains tax, it is not a separate tax. It is actually part of your income tax.

Here are important things to know about capital gains tax:

  • As an Australian resident, the capital gains tax is applicable to your assets wherever they are in the world. As for foreign residents, a capital gain or loss occurs if it involves an asset that is considered taxable Australian property.
  • Keep all initial sale contracts, interest paid on related borrowings, receipts and records of expenses, as well as valuations. It is easier to know the amount that you need to pay if you have all the necessary documents.
  • When should you pay CGT? Since it is not a separate tax, you’ll pay it as part of your income assessment for the relevant income year.
  • Is there a chance that you don’t have to pay CGT? You shouldn’t pay CGT if you make a net capital loss in a given income year. Bear in mind that the net capital loss will not enable you to offset tax on any other form of income. What will happen is, it will be carried over to offset capital gains in the coming years.
  • CGT does not apply to personal assets such as your home, vehicle, furniture, and other items for personal use. Depreciating assets such as business equipment or fittings are also exempt from CGT.
  • You can get a 50% discount on your capital gain for any CGT asset that is held for more than a year before selling it. This is on the assumption that you don’t have other capital losses.
  • CGT rates vary among individuals and companies. For the former, the rate to be paid is the same as the rate of the income tax for that year.  As for a company, it is not entitled to any discount on CGT. Instead, it needs to pay 30% tax on any net capital gains.

Got other ideas on capital gains tax in Australia? Share your insights in the comments section.

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The Pros and Cons of DIY Conveyancing

If you’re into buying and/or selling properties, you’ve obviously heard of the term conveyance or conveyancing. It is the process of transferring ownership of property from one person or entity to the other. Conveyancing is usually done by a qualified professional called a conveyancer.

What does a conveyancer do?

There is a long list of tasks a conveyancer does to ensure that the transfer of property ownership will run as smoothly as possible. A conveyancer examines contracts and inspection reports, manages the property and land title searches, checks the property’s compliance with state and local laws, and answers all questions of the buyer or seller on behalf of his/her client.

Many hire conveyancers for their properties, but some people opt to do the process themselves. If you’re considering DIY conveyancing, make sure that you’re knowledgeable about the entire process. To help you better understand the roles of property conveyancers and conveyancing in Australia, let’s look at the benefits and disadvantages of conveyancing:


You don’t need to pay a conveyancing fee

Of course, hiring a property conveyancer comes with a price which can be at least $1,000 or more. But if you’re into DIY conveyancing, you can save money since you don’t have to pay a fixed fee.

You have full control over everything

You are directly involved in every step of the process, from reading through contracts to submitting all necessary documents.


A property conveyancer is knowledgeable about the industry

Conveyancing in Australia involves a lot of terms that you may not know about. By not hiring a conveyancer, you may find it hard to understand what these industry terms are and committing mistakes during the process is possible.

You have no protection

If you do the process yourself, you run the risk of missing an important step that can delay the settlement.

You may not be aware of the latest laws

A property conveyancer stays updated on conveyancing laws that change quickly. If there are changes in property and tax laws that you’re not aware of, the settlement process may be delayed.

These are just some of the pros and cons of DIY conveyancing. Should you decide to take the DIY route, make sure that you understand the ins and outs of the entire process. Do your research on what conveyancing in Australia entails. You may also want to seek feedback from family members or friends who have done DIY conveyancing.

Do you have other ideas about conveyancing in Australia? Share your insights in the comments section.

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