Conveyancing checklist for home buyers and sellers

By Mark Rosanes

Conveyancing is the process of transferring ownership of a property from one person to another. It is one of the most important steps in the purchase and sale of a home – and though the definition may seem straightforward, conveyancing actually entails a slew of a legal and administrative tasks that require proper knowledge and sufficient attention to successfully navigate.

For homebuyers and sellers who have a deep understanding of the market and procedures involved, taking the DIY route has several potential benefits. But for those who do not have the time and capability to deal with the complex work and possible issues that may arise, enlisting the services of an accredited conveyancer may be a better option.

Regardless of whether you are a first-timer or boast years of industry experience, however, having a clear outline of the procedures involved can help a lot in ensuring the process goes as smoothly as possible. Your Mortgage has prepared a checklist of the different conveyancing tasks to guide you through the process.

Conveyancing checklist for homebuyers

The conveyancing procedures vary depending on whether you are purchasing or selling a property. If you plan on buying a home, these are the things you need to tick off your list.

1. Financing

Getting your finances ready is the first step in the home-buying process. This step includes:

2. Contract of sale

To avoid regretting your homeownership decision, make sure to comb through the fine print before signing the contract of sale. Here are the other things you need to do before inking the deal.

  • Go through the contract with your solicitor.
  • Make sure you comb through the Section 32 statement as well.

What is a Section 32 Statement?

A Section 32 Statement, also called vendor’s statement, aims to provide the buyer with relevant information about the property – including details of the title, recent renovations, zoning, upcoming developments, outgoings, and easements – that may affect their purchasing decision. It is different from the contract of sale, which lists all the details relevant to the selling of the property.   

For the document to be valid, it must be signed by the seller or their legal representative. Buyers are not legally required to sign the statement, but many real estate agents often ask for the purchaser’s signature as proof that they have received the document before signing the contract of sale. 

  • Arrange a building and pest inspection. It is also advisable to make the contract conditional upon obtaining an inspection report.
  • Make sure any additional conditions that you and the seller have agreed upon are included in the contract.
  • Sign the contract.
  • Once the contract is signed, notify your mortgage broker so they can prepare the loan application.
  • Your conveyancer will prepare the necessary paperwork and arrange the settlement on your behalf. You will need the following documents:
    • 100 points of ID. These include your driver’s license, passport, birth certificate, Medicare card, and credit cards.
    • Income details. At least two of your most recent payslips and pay summary. If you are self-employed, you need to prepare personal and business tax returns.
    • Details on your assets. These include other properties under your name and the income they generate, vehicles, term deposits, and shares.
    • Details on your liabilities. These include outstanding debts from credit cards and other loans.

If you are a first home buyer, you may be entitled to several government-sponsored benefits. Make sure to discuss your potential eligibility for these grants with your conveyancer before executing any contract.

3. Settlement

  • Arrange for utility service providers to install connection to your new home.
  • Contact an insurance provider to arrange for coverage. Some banks make this a requirement prior to settlement.
  • Arrange for professional removalists to transport your personal belongings to your new home.
  • Schedule a final inspection of the property with the real estate agent.
  • Once settlement is completed, get your keys from the agent and prepare to move in.

Conveyancing checklist for home sellers

Meanwhile, these are the steps in the conveyancing process that you need to perform if you are selling your property.

1. Initial steps

  • Prepare all legal documentation. These include title documents, drainage diagram, and current planning certificate issued by the local council.
  • Have your solicitor prepare contract of sale and Section 32 Statement.

2. Offer accepted

  • Forward the signed vendor statement to the buyer.
  • The buyer may arrange for a pre-settlement inspection.
  • Once you and the buyer have an agreement on the conditions of the sale, you can sign the contract.
  • Your conveyancer will prepare all the necessary paperwork and arrange the settlement with the bank on your behalf.
  • Prepare for identity verification.

3. Settlement

  • If you are moving to a new address, set up mail redirection with Australia Post after the settlement date.
  • Arrange for professional removalists to transport your belongings that may still be inside the sold property.
  • Contact utility providers and arrange final water, electricity, and gas meter readings, and for disconnection after settlement date.
  • Allow the buyer to complete a final inspection before settlement. This is often organised by your real estate agent.
  • Leave the keys with your agent.
  • Congratulations! You have sold your home.

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