Conveyancing FAQs for consumers
Conveyancing is the process of transferring ownership of a legal title of land (property) from one person or entity to another.
Most common reasons you would engage a conveyancer or lawyer is when you are:
- buying or selling a property
- subdividing land
- updating a title (i.e. registering a death)
- transferring the title between related parties (i.e. spouses)
When you buy or sell a property you need a qualified person to transfer that property’s title from the seller to the buyer. There are two types of people that can do this:
- a ‘conveyancer’ is not a lawyer and can merely transfer the title from the seller to the buyer; or
- a legally qualified lawyer who specialises in conveyancing can not only transfer the title, but they can also provide you legal advice on the transaction.
A person who is not a lawyer (i.e. a conveyancer) cannot provide legal advice.
The cooling off period is the time given before the sale is finalised and the contract becomes binding; giving you the opportunity to stop the legal agreement. If you decide to terminate the contract within this period, a fee may apply depending on the state legal ruling.
This period of time varies between states, with Tasmania not recognising them at all.
- In Victoria, the cooling-off period is three business days. A termination fee of 0.20% will apply (Note, this does not apply when you buy at auction).
- In New South Wales, the Australian Capital Territory and Queensland, the cooling-off period is five business days. A termination fee of 0.25% of the purchase price applies.
- In the Northern Territory, the cooling-off period is four business days. No termination fee will apply.
- In South Australia, the cooling-off period is only two business days. A flat termination fee of up to $100 will apply.
One of the major benefits of Titlexchange™ is that we set a fixed fee and the conveyancer allocated to you will not charge you any more. Check out our Prices page here. Note, disbursements ma be charged in addition to our fixed prices – please see an explanation of these below.
We require you to make payment before the conveyancer starts their work. This is because we start working for you straight away and provides you comfort that you know what fees you’re up for.
To provide you comfort, we refund you half the price of your chosen product (less any disbursement costs incurred to that date) if your property transaction does not proceed for any reason.
A disbursement is a payment the conveyancer makes to a third party, such as the Land Titles Office for a title search. This is where you will see a ‘Professional Service’ fee ‘Plus Disbursements’ on your bill.
What information do I need to provide Titlexchange™ for the conveyancer to commence working on transferring my property?
If you are a purchaser, you need to provide us the following:
- a copy of your Contract of Sale;
- a copy of your Building Contract (if you’re building a house on a block of land you’re purchasing).
If you are selling, we need you to tell us about your Property so the conveyancer can prepare the Contract of Sale. We will send you a checklist of things that we need to know.
Once a price is agreed and the terms are finalised for the sale of a property (usually this is coordinated by a Real Estate Agent) the contracts are sent to lawyers/conveyancers to transfer the property from seller to buyer. Transfer documents and forms are prepared for stamp duty payment and lodged with the state authorities. All the rates and payments against the property (i.e. Council rates, utility rates etc.) are adjusted between the buyer and seller and final payments are made. Banks and Statutory Authorities all finalise the sums owed to them for the Transfer. Once these payments are made the conveyancer updates the Titles Office and the new owners are recorded on the property Title.
Technically not, but you need to have access to the various government and property systems and databases to transfer your property, which only a conveyancer has access to. We highly recommend you do not try to convey the property yourself.
We advise you to secure your conveyancer earlier in the process for a few key reasons: (a) there may be a cooling-off period in your contract which only lasts a few days; (b) you only have a limited time to make changes to a contract or terminate it if you are unable to proceed; (c) no Contract of Sale is standard and as a matter of good practice you should never sign anything until you’ve had legal advice; (d) settlement delay is commonly caused by conveyancers not starting their work early enough; and (e) you can rest easy knowing that it’s one thing you don’t need to worry about.
How is the conveyancer referred to me by Titlexchange™ different to the conveyancer I have used before?
For both buyers and sellers of property, Titlexchange is a marketplace that matches those needing conveyancing services with a local conveyancer and provides a flawless experience for the key stakeholders to the property transaction. For more detailed information on who we are, please have a look here.
The conveyancers on the Titlexchange marketplace are from all over Australia; we’ve got you covered.
Titlexchange™ is part of the Law&Co group of companies that was formed by a collection of three business people that have decades of experience: one is a lawyer with more than 10 years’ experience, one is a well-known property family with over 60 years’ experience, and one is an experienced business person with over three decades of business experience. Titlexchange™ qualifies each conveyancer on its marketplace and ensures that they each have at least three years conveyancing experience.
I’m looking to purchase a property. Why should I get a lawyer on the Titlexchange™ marketplace to review the Contract of Sale?
Each Contract of Sale will have different terms and it is a legal contract which binds you to certain obligations. Purchasing a property is a significant investment and as such, it is recommended that you have a qualified conveyancer review it before you sign it. Also, there may be a cooling off period which applies and if you sign the document before having someone review it then your right to cool off may have expired.
I’m looking to build a new house. Why should I get a lawyer on the Titlexchange™ marketplace to review the building contract provided to me by the builder?
Each builder will have different terms and your building contract is a legal contract which binds you to certain obligations. As such, it is good practice to have a lawyer review it before you sign it. Also, you need to ensure that its terms accurately reflect the house you’ve chosen to build and that it complies with the guidelines provided by the property developer.
I understand my conveyancer will utilise Titlexchange's technology in the process of transferring my property, but can I speak to them if I need to? How will they communicate with me and how often?
We love technology and find it’s a great way to get things done quickly and efficiently in your own timeframe, but otherwise feel free to pick up the phone and call your conveyancer. Regardless, we require your conveyancer to update their Titlexchange portal so we know what’s going on…
I’m not comfortable using technology and want someone to transfer my property the ‘old fashioned way’. Can I still use a conveyancer on the Titlexchange™ network?
Of course, we are still happy to help you but would love it if you gave our system a try as its really easy to use.
If you are a Purchaser and you have caused the delay, the Seller may charge you additional fees until you are ready to settle.
I have a fixed settlement date that I need to transfer my property. What can cause this to be delayed?
Delays can be caused by many thinigs, including but not limited to banks not being ready on time, documents not being signed and loans not being approved on time.
I’ve heard something about a new aspect of the conveyancing industry called ‘PEXA’ (Property Exchange Australia). What is this and how does it affect me?
PEXA is Australia’s online property exchange network and a part of ‘e-conveyancing’. It assists members – such as lawyers, conveyancers and financial institutions – to lodge documents with Land Registries and complete financial settlements electronically.
Using a conveyancer who adopts e-conveyancing practices streamlines your property transaction. In the manual world, there is a lodgement gap risk, meaning that a late dealing on the title between settlement and lodgement could impact registration.
Here is a link to a PEXA brochure which outlines the benefits to you.
The conveyancer on the Titlexchange™ marketplace advises all the authorities of the change in ownership and makes sure that all the charges made against the property have been paid. You will separately need to connect all your utilities to the property including gas, electricity and internet.
All conveyancers on the Titlexchange™ marketplace have Professional indemnity Insurance so that you’re covered if mistakes happen.
Legal advice can only be provided by lawyers with current practising certificates. As Titlexchange is not a law firm, the information we provide is of a general nature. You should always seek advice from a lawyer on any of the information or products you use on the Titlexchange site to ensure it’s relevant and suitable for your specific needs.
Simply, Titlexchange retains a percentage of the conveyancing fee paid by the consumer.
You can speak to our customer support team at any time of the day with our 24/7 live chat available on the Titlexchange website. During business hours you can speak with us by calling 1300 776 775.
There’s heaps of reasons you should use Titlexchange, but here are the key ones. Firstly, we’ve vetted all the conveyancers in the Titlexchange marketplace to ensure they’re appropriately insured, qualified and experienced. No shonks allowed…. Secondly, each conveyancer must maintain a star rating in the marketplace to remain in it. This ensures you’re receiving a great service. Thirdly, our innovative payment system motivates your conveyancer to progress quickly through your property transaction, ensuring you settle on time. Finally, there’s huge price variation for conveyancing services. However, we’ve set the price for you so you know what you’re up for. Click here to get started.
We’ve got a very robust and independent process around all payments within our marketplace. The conveyancers fee we receive from you is deposited into an escrow account managed by an independent third party with an Australian Financial Services Licence (AFSL). Those monies are then released to the conveyancer as they complete your conveyancing work and only once you approve.
We’ve set transparent, fixed-prices for our customers, usually at a discounted rate from what you would receive if you went directly to the conveyancer you’re allocated to. We provide Titlexchange customers with these advantages because we ensure our conveyancers don’t have to chase payment for the work they do. When you make a payment, Titlexchange holds the fees and only transfers the funds to the conveyancer once they reach certain milestones in the job and you’ve approved them. This way if there is ever a dispute, or you are unhappy with the work, we can provide you with a refund in accordance with our Refund Policy.