Short for electronic conveyancing, e-Conveyancing is the process of streamlining key aspects of the home conveyance and settlement process by moving them online. With the help of e-Conveyancing, buyers, sellers, lawyers, conveyancers, land title registries, and banks can all save time, money, and worry.
A service of PEXA
Property Exchange Australia (PEXA) grew out of an initiative from the Council of Australian Governments (COA) to create an e-Conveyancing platform that lawyers, conveyancers, and banks throughout Australia could use to improve the efficiency and convenience of the settlement process. The initiative formally gave rise to PEXA in 2010. PEXA subscribers, such as property lawyers, home conveyancers, and banks can now collaborate together in an online environment to perform key settlement tasks, such as preparing and lodging land title dealings electronically with the state’s Land Registry.
A new digital era
Many have felt that the real estate industry has been behind the times in recent years, still fumbling through mountains of paper contracts while the rest of the world, including the banking industry, has embraced the digital age. But that’s finally changing, and rapidly. PEXA now has five states participating in e-Conveyance: NSW, Queensland, Western Australia, Victoria, and most recently South Australia, which joined PEXA in 2016.
For buyers: better title lodgement and more
PEXA is changing the landscape of home conveyance in Australia by integrating with each state and territory’s land title registries. One of the greatest benefits of PEXA‘s integration is their system’s capacity for electric lodgement and registration of title dealings. While the lodgement and registration process can be painfully slow in a manual settlement process, it is accelerated under e-Conveyance. This greatly reduces the buyer’s anxious wait for confirmation that their title is safely lodged with the Land Registry. Further, PEXA‘s e-Conveyancing platform can also eliminate the risks of a lodgement gap.
The lodgement gap is the period between your settlement and your title’s lodgement with the Land Registry. During this period, which tends to be much longer during a manual settlement process, there is always the risk that a third-party will lodge a conflicting notice or instrument with the Land Registry that could either hold up or even block your land title registration. Although it is possible to buy a lodgement gap cover in a manual transaction, with e-Conveyance the gap cover comes free. If for some reason PEXA is unable to connect with the Land Registry right away, leading to a lodgement gap, electronic settlement can nonetheless proceed, subject to your lawyer or home conveyancer’s settings in the PEXA system. During the limbo of the lodgement gap period, PEXA has you covered and will lodge your title dealings with the Land Registry as soon as it restores its connection.
It’s happening: simultaneous settlements
In January 2017, PEXA completed its first “simultaneous settlement” of two properties, one sold and one bought, by a single client: Regan Baines of Melbourne. This was an important milestone, as it proved that PEXA‘s e-Conveyance platform could synchronise the sale of one property with the purchase of another. When a buyer needs the proceeds from their former home’s sale to complete their new home purchase, as is often the case, any delays can frustrate everyone involved. In the case of Ms. Baines, thanks to the speed and coordination of e-Conveyance, she received the proceeds from the sale of her house immediately, and thus was able to pay the seller immediately, satisfying all parties in the transaction.
For sellers: faster settlement funds
As a seller involved in perhaps the largest financial transaction of your life, all the hard work probably doesn’t feel like it’s paid off until the money is in the bank. However, in a conventional, manual settlement process, you may have to wait for several days for the bank cheques to clear. On the other hand, with PEXA‘s online settlement process, there are no bank cheques to worry about, and the proceeds from your sale can clear right away.
Benefits for both buyers and sellers
The manual settlement process, by its very nature, can lead to costly errors. PEXA, on the other hand, greatly reduces the risk of error in e-Conveyance by performing online document checks. The result is greater confidence and peace of mind for both buyer and seller.
A little app called SettleMe
PEXA also offers an online settlement tracking app called SettleMe that makes it possible to track your settlement’s status from a custom dashboard on your computer or on-the-go on your tablet or smartphone. SettleMe provides a personalised checklist of settlement tasks that PEXA automatically updates as the settlement process moves through each progressive stage toward completion. The Web app also alerts you of key events in the settlement process, such as when your settlement date and times changes, as well as when your settlement starts and completes.
For lawyers and conveyancers: a virtual settlement office
With e-Conveyancing, it’s not necessary for lawyers, home conveyances, land registries and banks to travel to a brick-and-mortar establishment for settlement to proceed. Rather, all professionals involved can meet in a virtual settlement office to complete the transaction. So far, more than 3,500 property lawyers, home conveyancers, and banks have joined PEXA‘s network of members completing settlement transactions in a virtual environment to simplify their lives while helping their clients.
A service of PEXA, e-Conveyancing finally brings property transactions into the digital age. Home buyers, sellers and the professionals that help them can all benefit from the cost and time savings, not to mention the worry-free accuracy, that digital transactions provide.
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