Conveyancing in Melbourne — Everything you need to know.
Our Melbourne property lawyers can assist you in any legal matters relating to the purchase or sale of property. We focus on delivering prompt assistance at a competitive price, Victoria wide. We service all types of conveyancing transactions, from small investment apartments, land subdivisions, family homes, rural property, commercial premises, industrial sites, office and retail properties, and off the plan properties. Our turnaround times for delivering section 32 statements are record-breaking, and you can rest assured that your document will be completed by a highly qualified and expert property lawyer.
The conveyancing process involves several key steps, such as:
1. Preparation of Contract of Sale and Section 32
These documents are usually prepared the conveyancer, or the vendor’s solicitor. A Section 32 must contain specified certificates, documents, and disclosures pursuant to the Sale of Land Act 1962.
We strive to ensure that the conveyancing process is as stress free as possible for our clients, from the time they sign the contract of sale right through to the time of settlement, we also ensure that any necessary post-settlement steps are carried out.
Contacting us before you sign a contract of sale could potentially save you from making a costly mistake by ensuring that you are properly advised of your rights during the process of buying or selling property.
2. Buying property at auction, or making an offer to buy property
A purchaser can either bid for a property at auction or make an offer during a private sale. If purchasing property through a private sale, both parties (purchaser and vendor) may enter into a contract following negotiations. Upon signing this contract, the purchaser will be required to pay an initial deposit. This deposit is usually ten percent of the total purchase amount and is held by the real estate agent or a solicitor/conveyancer.
When purchasing a property at an auction, it is vital that you review your contract before the auction and that your finance has been arranged. You should also ensure that you have undertaken all required property inspections. Upon concluding the auction, the successful bidder usually signs a contract of sale and pays the ten percent deposit.
3. Cooling off period
In Victoria, the cooling off period begins when the purchaser signs the contract and does not apply if:
• The property was purchased at a public auction, or within three business days of an auction
• The property is primarily used for commercial or industrial purposes
• The property covers an area of more than 20 hectares and is mainly used for farming or agricultural purposes
• The purchaser previously signed a contract for the same property which contained the same terms
• The buyer is a corporate body or estate agent
Up until settlement, the vendor is responsible for damage to the property. It is advisable that the purchaser insures the purchased property from the time contracts are exchanged just in case the vendor has not taken out appropriate insurance cover. From the time of settlement, the purchaser is responsible for damage to the property.
5. Transfer of property title
A document detailing the transfer of the property is prepared by the purchaser’s conveyancer or solicitor, and then sent to the vendor after the contract of sale has been signed.
Adjustments may be made in accordance with any required contributions or rates such as water rates, council rates, land tax, body corporate rates and rent (should the property be leased when settlement is made). Adjustments are made for the purpose of reimbursing the vendor for advance payments made towards rates and contributions recorded from the time the contract of sale was exchanged.
Settlement involves the meeting of the solicitors, conveyancers, and mortgagees to exchange payment and title documents. The title ought to be reviewed on settlement day to check whether or not any interests have been recorded from the time the contract of sale was exchanged.
8. Post settlement
Following the settlement, transfer documents will need to be registered with the Land Titles Office, and other relevant authorities such as the water authority and local council will need to be informed that the property has a new owner.