Conveyancing 101 – Buyer

A conveyance is just like baking a beautiful, rich chocolate cake. We start off well with good quality ingredients. Then we carefully measure everything, add the ingredients together in the right order, make sure the oven is pre-heated just right and that we time everything to perfection. That’s the best way to get a good result and make sure that we’re in a good position to manage any issues which arise. Here are nine basic steps, in order, to get a good result for your conveyancing recipe:

Step one Natalie sent us the draft contract for an apartment to review as soon as possible to see if it was balanced and her interests were protected. Are the details right including names, property and price? Any unreasonable special conditions? We know what to look for and we were happy to help.

Top Tip In Queensland the seller’s disclosure obligations are very limited (save for body corporate contracts) so there is an information asymmetry between sellers and buyers. It’s up to you to make any enquiries about the property.

Step two When the contract looked right, Natalie got it signed as soon as possible to bind the seller. The day everyone has signed is the ‘contract date’. In Queensland, generally speaking the seller is a ‘passenger’ in the process waiting for the buyer to drive the purchase forward.

Step three Sequence of critical dates:

  • Natalie arranged for a building and pest inspection to be done in the first three or four days. We know a great building and pest inspector and we were happy to provide their details. Then on the 7th day from the contract date, Natalie asked us to advise the seller that she was happy with her building and pest inspection.

  • We know an excellent finance broker and we were happy to provide Natalie with their details. 14 days after the contract date Natalie said her finance was approved and we sent a letter to the seller’s solicitor confirming finance approval. Top Tip A pre-approval is generally not an offer of finance.

  • Natalie wanted to make enquiries about the body corporate and we were happy to assist her.

Communication Although they will no doubt be friendly and professional, the real estate agent acts for the seller, not for the buyer. May we suggest that the chain of communications about building and pest and finance is through our office. We then contact the seller’s solicitor on your behalf.

Unconditional Once building and pest and finance were approved, Natalie’s contract was unconditional. That is, both parties are locked in and heading to settlement which is the final exchange of money and ownership of the property.   

Step four We carried out conveyancing searches for Natalie to make sure the seller paid their share of rates, water etc at settlement.

Step five We helped Natalie to make sure that she and her bank were ready to settle on the settlement date. Natalie had some funds so she also transferred money to her new loan account in plenty of time for settlement.

Step six We provided Natalie with our estimated settlement calculations so she was confident about her budget for the purchase.

Step seven We ‘booked’ settlement with Natalie’s bank, that is, we arranged the time and place for settlement as advised by the seller.

Step eight For Natalie, settlement was 30 days from the contract date. On the morning of settlement we told her bank which cheques to take to settlement and our town agent attended settlement on Natalie’s behalf.

Step nine In the afternoon after settlement Natalie picked up the keys from the agent and moved into her new property. Then she sent us some chocolate muffins to say thank you for making her purchase smooth and easy.

Disclaimer This page is not intended to provide legal advice and does not create a client-lawyer relationship. This post is provided for general information purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for legal advice. If you need help with legal advice for your particular situation, please contact our office (details below or on ‘Contact’ page) and we’ll be happy to assist you.

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