Conveyancers’ duties

 

A buyer’s conveyancer

The duties of a buyer’s conveyancer include:

advising the buyer before the contract of sale is signed about special conditions that are included and the effect of signing the contract (only if the buyer seeks pre-contractual advice from their solicitor or conveyancer);

checking the contract and the vendor’s statement;

conducting searches and making applications for certificates, and reporting to the buyer – the buyer is expected to examine the property;

exchanging contracts with the vendor’s solicitor (if there is no agent involved in the sale);

preparing the transfer documentation;

advising the buyer about finance and providing all the information that the lender requires about the title to the land;

preparing a statement of adjustments and settlement statement showing payment directions;

arranging settlement on the buyer’s behalf;

notifying the authorities of the change of ownership by lodging a notice of acquisition of land at the SRO;

organising the lodgment, assessment and payment of land transfer duties, including any concession or exemption;

organising the lodgment of transfer documents for registration (unless there is a lender involved).

A vendor’s conveyancer

The duties of a vendor’s conveyancer include:

preparing a contract of sale that includes a vendor’s statement;

providing the contract to the selling agent;

ensuring a fully signed contract is exchanged with the buyer’s conveyancer or solicitor;

reviewing the transfer, statement of adjustments and settlement statement;

arranging for discharge of the vendor’s mortgages (if applicable);

attending settlement on the vendor’s behalf; and

notifying the authorities of the change of ownership after settlement.

Fees and charges

The buyer must pay:

Land Use Victoria’s search and certificate fees (it is common for a buyer’s conveyancer to pay these fees and then seek reimbursement from the buyer at settlement; this reimbursement is usually identified as a “disbursement” in their tax invoice);

registration fees to Land Use Victoria on all the instruments registered on the title (e.g. a caveat, transfer, and mortgages);

land transfer duty – the amount of duty is based on the purchase price (for current duty rates, see www.sro.vic.gov.au);

their conveyancer’s fee plus GST.

The vendor must pay:

the estate agent’s fee (which is usually deducted from the deposit);

the expenses of the sale, including advertising and marketing expenses;

the fees for certificates and searches necessary to complete the vendor’s statement;

the fees for discharging a mortgage and withdrawing a caveat, which are necessary to hand over a clear title to the buyer;

their conveyancer’s fee plus GST.