FAQs - Conveyancing

What is "exchange"?
Once a Contract has been signed by a Vendor, and an identical Contract has been signed by a Purchaser, the Contracts are "swapped" between the parties and dated, and once this occurs the Contracts become binding.  This process is referred to as the "exchange" of Contracts.  Prior to the exchange of Contracts (or during the cooling off period - see below), Purchasers will need to obtain finance approval from their lender, carry out pre-purchase inspections (such as Pest and Building Inspections, if required) and pay the deposit.

Do all Contracts have a cooling off period?
No, they don't.  If the Contracts are exchanged by a Real Estate Agent (instead of via your Conveyancer), the Purchaser will be given the benefit of a cooling off period which is generally 5 days.  In these cases, the Purchaser will be required to pay a deposit equal to 0.25% of the agreed purchase price at the time of signing the Contract with the Real Estate Agent.  The Purchaser has the right to rescind (terminate) a Contract during the cooling off period, however the Purchaser will be required to forfeit the 0.25% deposit to the Vendor.

When purchasing a property at an auction, there is no cooling off period - Contracts will become legally binding between a Vendor and Purchaser on the day of the auction.

What is a Deposit Bond?
A Deposit Bond acts in a similar way to an insurance policy, by guaranteeing the payment of the required 10% deposit to the Vendor at settlement if the Purchaser does not have access to the funds for the deposit at the time of exchange of Contracts.  Terms and conditions apply for the issue of Deposit Bonds. 

What is "settlement"?
The day of settlement is when the conveyancing transaction is finalised, and the ownership of a property is transferred from the Vendor to the Purchaser.  The Purchaser can collect the keys for the property from the Real Estate Agent as soon as settlement has been completed, and can then move into their new property.

What is conveyancing?
Put simply, conveyancing is the legal process of transferring real estate property from one party to another.

If I use a Conveyancer, do I still need a Solicitor?
No!  Conveyancers are fully trained in the specialised area of the law regarding property transactions, and because Conveyancers only do conveyancing, they won't be distracted by other legal matters (eg, court attendances) like some Solicitors might.  Conveyancers are required to undertake continual education and training on an annual basis to ensure that they maintain a professional standard, and Conveyancers are required to be insured under a Professional Indemnity Insurance policy.

If I am selling my property, when do I need to instruct a Conveyancer?
Your Real Estate Agent cannot start marketing your property until they receive a draft Contract for Sale from your Conveyancer.  You should therefore instruct your Conveyancer to prepare your Contract as early as possible to ensure that your Contract is ready in time for your property to be "on the market".

If I am purchasing a property, when do I need to instruct a Conveyancer?
Generally a Conveyancer's role will begin once your offer to purchase the property has been accepted by the Vendor.  Some clients, however, may wish to seek advice from a Conveyancer before making an offer on a property, or may wish to have a Conveyancer review a Contract for Sale before they commit to making an offer (this is usually the case if the property is to be sold at an auction).

What will it cost to buy or sell a property?
SS Conveyancing charges an all-inclusive flat-rate fee for all standard residential sales and purchases.  If you'd like a quote, contact SS Conveyancing via the link on this site.

What are "disbursements"?
These are the fees or outgoing expenses incurred by your Conveyancer when ordering the required searches or certificates for the property.