In short, conveyancing is the process of transferring a property title from one owner to another. In practice this also includes:

  • liaising with the purchaser’s and vendor’s mortgagee
  • preparing the transfer documentation and associated declarations
  • conducting searches on the property
  • calculating adjustments for outgoings (such as council, water, owners corporation and land tax) and many other tasks.

Franchisees in Victoria must either be a licensed conveyancer or registered lawyer. All of our franchisees undergo a stringent selection process; conduct extensive training in conveyancing systems, customer service and other business skills and must adhere to extremely high levels of professionalism, ongoing training and customer satisfaction levels.

All of these terms are interchangeable and relate to the written statement (prepared by your conveyancer or solicitor) which must be provided to a prospective purchaser before a contract of sale is entered in to. It is a form of disclosure document and normally provides such details as the zoning, title boundaries, encumbrances and outgoings (e.g. council, water, land tax and owners corporations fees).

If you are a vendor you would typically appoint a conveyancer at the time you decide to list your property for sale. This is to enable the conveyancer/solicitor time to prepare the vendors statement (and contract) before there is an interested party wanting to make a written offer for your property.

Under Section 27 of the Sale of Land Act, in limited circumstances you can access the deposit (less the agent’s commission and advertising) monies prior to settlement. Typically this will involve your conveyancer or solicitor obtaining written confirmation from your mortgagee of the outstanding loan amount and other particulars of the loan (such as whether or not you are in default) and preparing a Section 27 Statement. Generally, if you are up-to-date with your loan repayments and do not owe more than 80% of the sale price of the property, you will be able to have access to the deposit within 28 days of serving the Section 27 Statement on the purchaser.

Even if the property is advertised as going to auction, you can make an offer to purchase the property at any time. You should make contact with the selling agent and tell them you want to make a formal offer. This will normally be done by completing the particulars (such as your name/s, address, price, deposit you wish to pay, your preferred settlement date and any special conditions such as ‘subject to finance’ or ‘building and pest inspection’) of sale on a contract prepared by the selling agent or the vendor’s conveyancer.

A deposit is normally taken from you by the agent (and held safely in trust) before the offer is taken to the vendor for their consideration.

Should the vendor agree with the terms of your offer they will counter sign the offer and a contract is then made between the parties.

At an auction the selling agent will expect you to have a 10% deposit. Should you not be able or willing to pay this much, you must discuss this with the agent before you start bidding to see if the vendor is agreeable to a smaller deposit.

When purchasing by private treaty (i.e. not at auction) you can offer any deposit you wish. However a 10% deposit is typical and will offer the vendor substantial security and make your offer more attractive to them. Some agents will accept a small deposit (say $1,000 or $5,000) until the vendor has accepted the offer, when the remainder of the deposit (say 10%) is payable.

In Victoria, you are able to ‘cool off’ (i.e. change your mind) from a property purchase within three clear business days of making the written offer (not the date the vendor accepts that offer). The main exceptions to the cooling off provisions are:

  • if you purchased at auction (or three business days before or after an auction)
  • the property is not residential
  • you purchased in the name of a company
  • you have previously signed a contract for the same property

In cooling off the vendor will keep 0.2% of the purchase price (e.g. $800 for a $400,000 property).