Finding your dream home can be a trying journey. There are highs and lows and through it all, it is a process of education. Homebuyers learn a new vocabulary during their search. They learn the fine line between cozy and cramped. A starter home is different from a fixer-upper. Although a Victorian is exactly what it seems, a Ranch house doesn’t come with a barn and horses. Just when a homebuyer thinks they have mastered real estate jargon, the transaction process begins an entirely new conversation. Discussions become peppered with terminology like equity, closed-end mortgage or conveyancing of property. Many people are familiar with different types of mortgages and what equity is. But what does conveyancing of property really mean? Here are the answers to the top 10 questions most frequently asked when conveyancing enters the home buying conversation.
1. What is conveyancing?
Answer: Conveyancing is the process of transferring ownership to another person by means of a legal title to property, such as land.
2. How is conveyancing of property performed?
Answer: Conveyancing takes place through 3 stages. One stage occurs before a contract is drafted. The second stage occurs just before contract completion. The third and final stage of conveyancing occurs after completion of the contract.
3. What are a conveyancer’s credentials?
Answer: The highest credentialed professional to manage conveyancing would be a licensed solicitor with particular experience in the State where the property is located.
4. Is a conveyancer necessary for any other real estate transaction other than sale of property?
Answer: There are other reasons for engaging in the services of a conveyancer other than buying a home. Such as:
- Buying or selling any property, whether or not a structure is present
- When subdividing land
- To update a title in order to register the death of a previous owner
- To register, remove or amend an easement
- When adding a name on a title of property given as a gift
- When removing a name on a title of property, such as in divorce
5. Does a conveyancer only represent the interest of the buyer in a property transaction?
Answer: Each side of a transaction, the vendor and the purchaser, should have their own conveyancer lawyer who represents their particular interests. For example:
When a conveyancer works on behalf of a buyer, the following services will be performed:
- Prepare legal documents, advise and clarify their language for the buyer, then lodge them with the proper authorities. Managed documents can include items such as contract of sale or memorandum of transfer
- Research of a property and its corresponding certificate of title to determine the status of things like easements, what type of title exists and any other issue that might need to be resolved
- Deposit money into a trust
- Calculate the adjustment of related rates and taxes
- Upon settlement, advise the buyer and act as intermediary with the buyer’s financial institution that is managing final payment.
- Represent the interests of a buyer with any vendor or agent involved in the transaction
When a conveyancer works on behalf of a seller, the following services will be performed:
- Ensure that all legal documents are properly sorted and completed
- Represent the interest of the seller with the buyer or agents representing the buyer
6. How does one employ a conveyancer?
Answer: Qualified conveyancers can be found through personal recommendations, advertisements or online searches. A buyer or seller should interview potential conveyancers just as one would when selecting a realtor, solicitor or any other professional who provides a valuable service. After a background check, ask candidates these helpful questions:
- What are your credentials?
- Do you have a specialty in particular types of property?
- What are your fees and charges?
- Are other fees due at time of settlement?
- Are there hidden costs I should be aware of?
- By what means will we communicate with one another?
- How often should I expect to hear from you?
- In order to coordinate with movers (and, possibly, contractors), can you please outline an expected time-frame for settlement day?
7. Can a buyer or seller act as their own conveyancer?
Answer: Although it is legal to perform conveyancing work for yourself, it demands technical skill and special expertise. If a buyer or seller enters into a transaction without the assistance of a qualified conveyancer, the other party’s conveyancer is not obligated to correct errors that could be very costly with regard to time and/or money. A conveyancer is there to represent your best interests and is well worth the investment.
8. Do I need a solicitor if a I hire a licensed conveyancer who is not an attorney?
Answer: No. A licensed conveyancer has completed the necessary technical education to perform the work required. However, an attorney will have more in-depth experience than a licensed conveyancer. Such expertise can be invaluable in the high stakes of purchasing property.
9. Can a buyer and seller use the same conveyancer?
Answer: Although it is legal, and may seem convenient, for both parties to use the same conveyancer, the general recommendation is to hire your own conveyancer who will be committed to your personal interests in the transaction. If a conflict of interest arises, and they often do, a conveyancer must cease the performance of services as an advocate on behalf of both parties until the buyer and seller resolve their conflict. To avoid this kind of delay, it is better to have your own conveyancer.
10. When should I hire a conveyancer?
Answer: Once a buyer or seller is ready to enter into negotiations, a real estate agent will request contact information for the representative conveyancers. It is best to already finalize the search and interview process with a final candidate selected to be your conveyancer before you reach the final transaction point.
With the support of online services, securing the services of a qualified conveyancer has never been more convenient. Buying a new home can be an exciting experience. But it entails a complex transaction process riddled with complicated legal documents. All a buyer or seller really needs to know in their search for a conveyancer, is Titlexchange. Partner with a group of professionals who are committed to making the conveyancing experience simple and painless.