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Conveyancing refers to the official process for transferring real property.  The conveyancing process differs from state to state.  This article explains the conveyancing process in South Australia.  Largely, the conveyancing process can be divided into several main steps:


  1. Contract Review and Advice;
  2. Review of Statutory Searches
  3. Preparation of Settlement Statement
  4. Preparation of Transfer Documents
  5. Settlement


Step 1: Contract Review and Advice

The first step is a usually a face-to-face meeting with your conveyancer.  This meeting has several purposes.  The first is to allow your conveyancer to review your contract for the sale or purchase of land.  From the contract, your conveyancer can then advise you on key points such as deadlines or any special conditions.  The meeting is also where your conveyancer will verify and obtain your authority to deal with the property.


Step 2: Review of Statutory Searches

Your conveyancer must then search the property register.  If you are buying a property, the purpose of this search primarily is to ensure that you will be buying it with free and clear title and that you will not have undue restrictions on your ownership.  If you are selling your property, the purpose of this search is to ensure you sell it with clear and free title so the person who buys it will not have any undue restrictions on their ownership


Step 3: Preparation of Settlement Statement

Having obtained the necessary searches, your conveyancer can then calculate the final settlement price.  Conveyancers will take into account the payment of utilities, council rates and taxes to ensure that they are paid up to the day of settlement and that neither party has to pay more than their fair share. 


Conveyancers can then liaise with the banks to arrange your finances for the sale or purchase.  In the case of a purchase, this would entail ensuring the bank provides the correct loan amount by the correct date.  For a sale, arrangements would include obtaining from your bank the amount necessary to pay out your mortgage liabilities.


Step 4: Preparation of Transfer Documents

These highly technical forms are the official instruments used to effect the property transfer.  They must comply with strict regulations and must be prepared exactingly. Failure to do so could result in problems such as delays or the failure to settle. 


Step 5: Settlement

Settlement refers to the meeting of conveyancers acting for both purchaser and vendor to exchange money for title and transfer documents.  Conveyancers must ensure that all details match and the correct amount of money changes hands.  Any restrictions on ownership must also be removed by lodging the correct forms. 


Once settlement has occurred, title to the property is taken to have effectively been transferred.  Conveyancers must at this point notify all relevant authorities of the change in title, such as councils and utilities providers.  This is the final step.  If you would like assistance with your conveyancing, Straits lawyers would be happy to assist.


If you are preparing to sign a contract or have a plan to sell your property, we are here to assist you. Come to our office to have consultation or call us on (08) 8410 9069.