Conveyancing Guide – Selling Real Estate

When you engage us to complete your conveyancing, the matter will ordinarily proceed as follows:

(If at any stage you do not understand any underlined term, please click on the term to see a full explanation. You will also find definitions and explanations for numerous other terms in our comprehensive Real Estate Dictionary).

Stage 1

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Pre-Sale Matters
  1. The Sale of Land Act requires a vendor (seller) of real estate to provide specific information about the property being sold to a prospective purchaser. This requirement is set out in Section 32 of the Sale of Land Act 1996, and is provided in what is known as a “Section 32 Vendor’s Statement“. We will prepare this document on your behalf on the basis of information provided by you, together with information we obtain from the Land Titles Office and other authorities.
  2. We will also prepare the Contract of Sale of Real Estate, inserting any special conditions required by law, or required by you. We will advise you as to any conditions that may be required to protect your interests. The Section 32 Vendor’s Statement is incorporated into the Contract of Sale of Real Estate to form one complete document, and is provided to you in duplicate.
  3. The Contract of Sale of Real Estate, including the Section 32 Vendor’s Statement is always sent direct to the client and never direct to the estate agent. This is to ensure that the client has the opportunity to check the documents and to sign the Section 32 Vendor’s Statement as required by law.

Stage 2

Exchange of Contracts
  1. The sale of a property is not complete until there has been an “exchange of contracts“. This is where the purchaser has signed a copy of the Contract by way of an offer, and handed it to the vendor in exchange for a Contract signed by the vendor by way of acceptance of the offer.
  2. The exchange of Contracts must always take place through the parties’ lawyers. While it is common for estate agents and licensed conveyancers to involve themselves in the contract exchange, problems can arise if the matter is more complex than they may appear. Neither the estate agent nor the licensed conveyancer are trained to identify legal issues beyond those encountered in the most simple of transactions. Exchange is not complete until such time as the vendor has signed the purchaser’s offer to accept it, AND the purchaser has been formally informed that the offer has been accepted.
  3. When we have received the fully signed Contract we will check it to ensure that it is in order, and to determine if any new obligations have been created by the addition of special conditions. We will then proceed with the conveyancing process to ensure the proper passing of ownership from the vendor to the purchaser in return for payment of the full purchase price at settlement.

Stage 3

  1. The conveyancing process involves contact with the purchaser or the purchaser’s representative, the execution of formal documents associated with the transfer of title, and adjustment of rates and other outgoings chargeable against the property. We will also endeavour to secure early release of the deposit by way of a Section 27 Deposit Release Statement. (We warn, however, that you should not rely upon early release of the deposit, as mortgage redraw facilities make it extremely difficult to confirm mortgage details at a given time.)
  2. If there is a mortgage over the property we will make arrangements with your bank to have the balance of your loan repaid and the mortgage over the property discharged.
  3. Settlement will be co-ordinated between the purchaser’s representative, the purchaser’s lender, our office, and our client’s lender. All representatives will meet together on “settlement day” to exchange documents and cheques, thereby finalising the matter. When settlement has been effected the matter is complete.
  4. After Settlement we pay the balance of funds into an account nominated by you, or deliver the funds to you by way of a bank cheque sent by registered mail. We will advise rating authorities that you no longer own the property.

If you are buying a property at the same time, we will co-ordinate both matters so that they settle simultaneously. This way, the proceeds of your sale can be used pay for your purchase, with the one set of cheques.

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