Conveyancers’ duties


A buyer’s conveyancer

The duties of a buyer’s conveyancer include:

reviewing and advising on the contract before it assigned and recommending amendments;

advising on how the property should be owned and stamp duty treatment;

conducting a verification of identity;

liaising with the incoming mortgagee to satisfy their requirements;

ordering and reviewing the searches and certificates needed for the statement of adjustments and comparing them against the vendor’s statement;

advising on any section 27 deposit release statement;

reviewing the GST withholding notice and capital gains tax clearance certificate;

preparing the duties online documentation to enable the purchaser’s stamp duty to be assessed;

setting up the PEXA workspace;

preparing the statement of adjustments;

calculating what funds are needed for settlement and making sure that these are available from the lender and/or buyer, and directing where funds are to be transferred;

advising the authorities of the change in ownership.

A vendor’s conveyancer

The duties of a vendor’s conveyancer include:

taking detailed instructions to enable preparation of the vendor’s statement and contract;

ordering the searches and certificates needed for the vendor’s statement;

preparing the vendor’s statement and contract of sale;

providing the contract to the selling agent;

conducting a verification of identity;

preparing a section 27 deposit release statement and agitating for early release of the deposit;

preparing the GST withholding notice and assisting a vendor to order a capital gains tax clearance certificate from the ATO;

preparing the duties online documentation to enable the buyer’s stamp duty to be assessed;

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

reviewing the transfer, statement of adjustments and settlement statement;

directing the buyer how the sale proceeds are to be applied;

setting up the PEXA workspace and coordinating electronic settlement on the vendor’s behalf.

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) – see the calculator here: www.propertyandlandtitles.vic.gov.au/forms-guides-and-fees/fees/transfer-of-land-fees-calculator-2019-20;

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 (this is usually deducted from the deposit);

the expenses of the sale (e.g. advertising, marketing);

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.