Conveyancing: The process of legally transferring property ownership from the seller’s name to the buyer’s name.
Conveyancing is the act of transferring the legal title in a property from one person to another. The buyer must ensure that he or she obtains a good and marketable ‘title’ to the land; i.e., that the person selling the house actually has the right to sell it and there is no factor which would impede a mortgage or re-sale. A system of conveyancing is usually designed to ensure that the buyer secures title to the land together with all the rights that run with the land, and is notified of any restrictions in advance of purchase.
A typical conveyancing transaction, whether a sale or purchase, contains two major ‘landmarks’, which are exchange of contracts (whereby equitable title passes) and completion (whereby legal title passes), plus the three stages: before contract, before completion and after completion.
Conveyancing in Australia is usually completed by a solicitor or a licensed conveyancer. There are also kits available if the buyer wishes to complete the process themselves, but due to the complexity of varying state and council laws and processes, its usually not recommended.
A common conveyance by a solicitor or licensed conveyancer usually takes 4-6 weeks. Most firms offer fixed price services which usually include costs of property searches, legal advice and other outlays (disbursements).
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