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Conveyancing in Tasmania - What do you need to know?

Found a home or block of land that is perfect for you? Or ready to sell your property? Then you need to know the steps involved in buying or selling property. This article explains the steps involved for the legal transfer of ownership (in legal terms this is referred to as a conveyancing.

Obtaining financial approval

If you have found a house or a block of land that you would like to purchase, you will need to ensure that you have the money required to purchase the land. If you don't have enough cash in the bank (which is most of us!) this means that you need to find a lending institution (banks, building societies, credit unions etc) that is willing to lend money to you so that you can proceed with your purchase.

The contract for sale

Once the buyer and seller have agreed on the purchase price, the parties will need to enter into a contract. This is essential as the law requires that an agreement to sell land must be in writing. The contract must accurately describe the property, the purchase price and contains the provisions that protect the rights and interests of both the buyer and the seller.

In Tasmania, if a real estate agent is acting for the seller they will normally prepare the contract. However, as a purchaser, you need to be completely happy with the contract before proceeding with the conveyance. A solicitor can ensure your contract contains all the necessary provisions to protect the purchaser so as to minimise the risk of any nasty surprises.

Buyer beware

In Tasmania if you are selling property, you are under no obligation to disclose to the buyer any defects in the property or title. This means that it is up to the purchaser to carry out all necessary inspections and be fully satisfied that the property is not, for instance, structurally defective, infested with creepy crawlies or in need of substantial works such as rewiring or underpinning. Whilst the new standard form of contract endorsed by the Law Society and REIT that was released on 1 April 2017 contains clauses relating to Vendor disclosure and cooling off periods, their is not legal requirement for these clauses and they can be contracted out of.

Signing the contract

Once both parties are happy that the contract contains all the agreed provisions, normally the buyer will sign first and provide it to the seller (or the seller's agent) and the seller will then sign and date the contract. The deposit is usually paid once the seller has provided the buyer with a copy of the signed contract. Once both parties have signed the contract they are legally bound under to comply with terms and conditions of it.

Conveyancing

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

Some of the tasks involved in Conveyancing are as follows:

  • Advice on the effect of the contract;
  • Searching the title to the property being bought or sold;
  • Searches of government departments and local authorities;
  • Liaising with financiers (banks and other financial institutions);
  • Preparation and certification of legal documents;
  • Calculation of adjustment of rates and taxes;
  • Preparing settlement statements;
  • Stamping documents that are required to be stamped; and
  • Attending settlement on your behalf.

Settlement

Settlement is where solicitors for the buyer and seller meet with respective financial representatives to transfer and conduct a final check of the relevant legal deeds, pay the balance of the purchase price and complete other payments such as stamp duties and outstanding council and water rates.

An experienced property lawyer will ensure that the essential steps that need to be taken prior to settlement are followed to ensure that the settlement proceeds in an orderly fashion.

Buying and selling property is an exciting and rewarding experience. However, in our experience if you do not seek the assistance of a solicitor to assist with your conveyancing, it may cost you substantial time and money.

Whether you are buying or selling property in Tasmania, Cormiston Legal can assist. Please contact us on 03 6332 9353 or use our Contact form - http://www.cormistonlegal.com.au/contact 

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