June 18, 2021

What Is Conveyancing?

Conveyancing is a term used to describe the whole of the process of putting a property on the market, executing  an agreement to sell and buy and then transferring ownership of the property from the vendor to the purchaser.

Mortgage Broker What If We Finance’s guide is general information only and should not be treated as a substitute for legal advice.


What is Conveyancing?

Conveyancing is the process of transferring the legal ownership of real estate from one person to another.

Conveyancing Is About Real Estate Interests

Real estate is permanent. It cannot be moved, hidden or destroyed. These features make real estate extremely valuable, and they also mean that real estate represents one of the best forms of security. If a bank lends money and accepts real estate as security for the loan in the form of a mortgage, it doesn’t matter if the owner of the real estate flees the country and refuses to repay the loan. The bank has an “interest” in the land, and is entitled to sell that interest in order to recover the loan money.

A mortgage is just one form of interest a person can have in real estate but there are many others.  It is part of the role of person providing the conveyancing services to ensure that the property is transferred or “conveyed” to the new owner free of any other interests. If the property cannot be conveyed free of other parties’ interests, then the purchaser or transferee of the property should be alerted to the interests as part of the conveyancing service.

As mentioned above, conveyancing can be a very simple process when everything is simple and straight-forward, and anyone can complete the processes and procedures necessary to effectively transfer ownership of a property. However, the real skill in conveyancing is not so much a knowledge of conveyancing procedures or even conveyancing law. Rather, the real skill in properly completing a conveyancing transaction is in anticipating potential problems, both legal and procedural, and addressing them before they materialise.

Conveyancing Does Not Start Until There Has Been A Sale

Given that conveyancing is the process of transferring ownership of real estate from one person to another, there is no need for conveyancing services until such time as a sale has taken place. It is only after the sale has been conducted that the purchaser acquires the right to require a transfer of ownership.

client and broker discuss their options

Who Can Do Conveyancing Work?

You have three options for the completion of conveyancing transactions:

  • Engage a lawyer to attend to legal work as well as conveyancing work;
  • Have a licensed conveyancer represent you; or
  • Use a do- it- yourself Conveyancing kit

Factors to Keep in Mind Before Conveyancing

Before you start organising your conveyancing, it's important to do your homework. While your conveyancing matter may at first seem simple and straight-forward, you may find that there are important legal implications for the way in which you transfer ownership of the property, and these may have ripple effects into other areas of law.

For example, if you purchase a property in two names there may be tax and liability implications that warrant the property being owned by one person only, or in unequal proportions. If a property is owned jointly there will be survivorship implications in terms of being unable to pass the property to a beneficiary through your will. Advice from a lawyer, financial adviser or tax consultant may be crucial to the making of a good decision about your ownership of the property.

As each person’s circumstances are different  independent mortgage broker What If We Finance recommends you consider all options to determine the most appropriate conveyancing method.

For more information and enquiries, don’t hesitate to contact us today.

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