Conveyancing is the transfer of interests in a property from one person or entity to another. The process to transfer the legal ownership of property from one person to another involves three stages:
- Pre-completion (or settlement); and
- Post-completion (or settlement).
A standard conveyance has four basic components:
- The Title and goods;
- Restrictions and charges – which may or may not be registered on the Title;
- Contractual documents; and
- Settlement, stamping and registration of the title and transfer documents.
Conveyancing in Victoria is now completed electronically eliminating delays between settlement and registration of documents and receipt of the money paid at settlement to the Vendor. The Transfer of Land document is now electronically signed by your conveyancer or solicitor under the written authorisation of the client.
Your conveyancer or solicitor will prepare the legal documents required at each stage and oversee settlement. They will ensure that the steps required for each critical date are completed in a timely manner and will help to ensure that you are aware of and prepared for each step of the transaction.
While it can seem like a simple process conveyancing is filled with legislative requirements and the complexities can be difficult to navigate for the inexperienced.
How do I choose a conveyancer?
Not all conveyancers are created equal and unfortunately you can sometimes get what you pay for.
In Victoria, your conveyancing can be undertaken by a clerk in a law firm (often with minimal supervision from a solicitor), a licensed conveyancer or a solicitor.
To be a licensed conveyancer you must meet qualifications and experience requirements, pass a police record check and maintain professional indemnity insurance.
The Rules of professional conduct for conveyancers are set out in the Conveyancers (Professional Conduct) Regulations 2018. In addition to these Rules of Professional Conduct, conveyancers who are members of the Australian Institute of Conveyancers (AIC) must also adhere to the AIC Code of Conduct which requires ongoing professional development to ensure quality of service by a competent specialist. AIC (Vic Division) Members have been vetted and approved by the Committee of Management to ensure that the high standards of the AIC are met.
The costs of complying with the licensing and membership requirements can be substantial and as such, not all conveyancers are members of the AIC.
In choosing a conveyancer, simply looking for the cheapest option can cost you in the long run. Insist on your matter being handled by either a solicitor or an AIC member to ensure that your transaction runs smoothly and you are protected as much as possible in your property purchase or sale. Contact a professional conveyancing expert today!