Conveyancing refers to the process of transferring the legal title for a property from one party to another.
Before a property is sold, the vendor is required to provide the purchaser with a Section 32 statement, which is prepared by our firm.
The information that the Section 32 Statement must contain is set out in Section 32 of the Sale of Land Act 1962. It is also known as a vendor’s statement.
The vendor signs the Section 32 statement, a legal document that must be factually accurate and complete. If it contains incorrect or insufficient information, a purchaser may be able to withdraw from the sale or take legal action.
Usually, the agent makes the document available to prospective buyers before the sale or auction. A prospective buyer may have the statement checked by his or her own legal practitioner or conveyancer before purchase. We provide this service of checking and advising on the vendor’s statement prior to the contract being signed.
The Section 32 statement contains information about the property’s title, including:
•Mortgages on title
• outgoings (for example, rates)
• bushfire prone area report if located in a bushfire-prone area.
If the property is part of an Owners Corporation then an Owners Corporation Certificate will need to be included in the Section 32 Statement and we can contact the Manager of the Owners Corporation to arrange this for the vendor.
A property is sold when both the vendor and the purchaser have signed the contract of sale.
The contract of sale can also be used by prospective purchasers to make an offer on a property.
• details of the property
• The names of the Vendor and Purchaser
• the name of the estate agent, if the Vendor is using one
• details of legal practitioners or conveyancers that have been engaged
• the price
• the deposit paid
• balance owing at settlement
• any special conditions, such as a clause ‘subject to finance’ or subject to a pest and building report.
The contract must clearly specify whether the price includes or excludes the goods and services tax (GST) and, if included, how the amount will be calculated.
Our services include drafting the Vendors Statement and Contract of Sale whether your property is being sold by Auction or private treaty.
The Vendor sets the date of settlement in the contract of sale. The settlement period is usually 30 to 90 days.
Settlement is the date when the buyer:
• pays the balance of the purchase price to the seller
• receives the property title and become the registered owner
• takes possession of the property, unless otherwise arranged.
At settlement, all outgoings such as rates and other charges are adjusted between the vendor and the purchaser in the Statement of Adjustments prepared by the purchasers solicitor. The vendor is responsible for rates up to and including the day of settlement. The purchaser is responsible from the day after settlement.
Even though the vendors insurance may cover the property up to the date of settlement, the purchasers lender will recommend they take out building and contents insurance effective from the date the vendor signs the contract. This is to safeguard the lender’s interest in the property, as well as the purchasers.
Purchasers are entitled to inspect at any reasonable time during the week before settlement. Contact the selling agent to arrange an inspection. The contract of sale requires the vendor to hand over the property in the same condition as when it was sold.
Once settlement is completed, the purchaser usually collects the keys from the agent and takes possession of the property.
The purchaser is responsible for paying land transfer duty (formerly known as stamp duty) on the sale. Duty is calculated as a percentage of the purchase price or the market value of the property, whichever is greater. Duty applies to the GST-inclusive price of a new property. It is usually paid at settlement but the purchaser has up to 30 days after settlement to pay. The purchaser cannot receive title to a property until they have paid the duty.
There are generally two duty rates:
• a general rate that applies to all types of property including residential, commercial, industrial and rural
• a lower rate for a property that will be the buyer’s principal residence.
For other land transfer duties and concessions see land transfer duty concessions below.
This document transfers ownership of the land from the vendor and the purchaser and will be prepared by our firm if we are acting for you, as the purchaser. We will also lodge the transfer of land if you are providing all funds. If you are obtaining finance from a lending institution, an agent for the lending institution will lodge the transfer and take payment for land transfer duty and land registration fees from the loan.
If two or more people are buying the property together, the land transfer document sets out how they will hold the property; jointly or as tenants in common.
• Jointly-held property: If one person dies, ownership of the property automatically transfers to the survivor(s).
• Tenants in common: Tenants in common effectively hold shares (equally or otherwise) in the property and each has the right to dispose of their interest as they see fit.