Frequently asked questions
Please take a moment to browse our frequently asked questions to learn more about conveyancing and Settle Easy. If you don’t find an answer to your question, please get in touch with our friendly and professional team and we will happily answer your question for you.
What is conveyancing?
Conveyancing is the process of moving the legal ownership of property or land from one person or entity to another.
What is a conveyancer?
A conveyancer is a property transfer specialist. They prepare the legal documents that form part of real estate transactions such as the purchase and sale of properties, settlements and title transfers
When do I need conveyancing assistance?
The best time to get help with conveyancing is as soon as you decide to buy or sell real estate and BEFORE you sign anything.
I need conveyancing, do I need a lawyer?
The simple answer to this question is no, you don’t need a lawyer, but at Settle Easy you’re in luck – we have experienced property lawyers and expert conveyancers to help you with all your conveyancing needs.
How much does it cost?
Whether you are buying or selling, your conveyancing transaction will cost $880 (including GST) plus disbursements until 30 June 2022.
That’s 20% off our regular professional services fee.
Disbursements are out of pocket expenses that relate specifically to your property and are things we need to know in order to complete your conveyancing transaction.
What types of conveyancing does Settle Easy do?
Our experienced team specialise in all types of conveyancing including:
- residential properties
- large scale off the plan property developments
- retirement village residences
- commercial properties
- properties within trust structures
- properties for self-managed superannuation funds (SMSFs).
What locations do you service?
We offer conveyancing services throughout Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland and will soon expand into other Australian states and territories.
How will I know what’s happening?
At Settle Easy, we are committed to keeping you updated every step of the way.
As a registered customer, you will be able to track each stage of your transaction and you will have a dedicated conveyancer to guide you through the process and answer any questions you may have.
When do I pay?
Fees are generally paid on settlement.
Can you tell me a bit more about out of pocket expenses?
Every property transaction in Australia will incur some out of pocket expenses that are an everyday part of conveyancing transactions. At Settle Easy, we’ll provide you with an estimate of what these out of pocket expenses are likely to be for your property.
Local councils and government bodies have different fee schedules for these searches which vary from state to state.
These expenses may include:
- council and water rates searches
- planning and heritage searches
- title and encumbrance searches
- water meter readings
- road authority certificates
- land tax clearance certificates
- Environment Protection Authority (EPA) certificates
- owner’s corporation/body corporate/strata title certificates.
What are third party expenses?
- transfer duty (formerly known as stamp duty)
- land title registration fees
- verification of identity (VOI) fees
- PEXA fees
- optional extras such as title insurance.
What are land title registration fees?
These are fees charged by land titles offices which vary from state to state. They apply to documents including the transfer, mortgage and discharge of mortgage.
There are no reductions, concessions or exemptions available on land title registration fees.
What is transfer duty and how is it calculated?
Transfer duty (commonly known as stamp duty) is payable when you acquire property even if you receive that property as a gift.
This duty is calculated on either the purchase price or market value of the property, whichever is highest. You can use this transfer duty calculator to calculate an estimate of transfer duty that may apply to your transaction.
What is a Contract of Sale?
This is a legally binding agreement between two parties outlining the terms of purchase or sale of real estate.
Who signs the Contract of Sale first?
The buyer usually signs the contract first.
The buyer submits their offer to the seller, which includes a price and any additional conditions.
What are chattels, fixtures and fittings?
To avoid disappointment and disputes, it’s important to know the difference between chattels, fittings and fixtures and to clarify what items are being included in the sale of the property.
The Contract of Sale will normally list what chattels will remain with the property and if any fixtures or fittings will be removed from the property prior to settlement.
Chattels are usually goods that are not fixed to the land or property by anything other than their own weight. These might be things like furniture and appliances that belong to a current property owner.
Fittings and fixtures, on the other hand, refer to items that are generally attached to the land or property by means other than its own weight and where damage may be caused to the property if they are removed. Some typical fixtures or fittings would be things like fixed floor coverings, hot water systems, built-in wardrobes, cooktops, ceiling fans and ovens.
When buying property, the best way to ensure all items you want left at the property is to include them in the Contract of Sale before it’s signed.
Why is home insurance so important?
If you are selling property, we recommend you maintain home insurance right up until the time of settlement.
Things can (and sometimes do) go wrong between signing the contract and final settlement. A current home insurance policy can protect you against all sorts of accidental damage and legal liability.
We also strongly recommend you insure property you are buying as soon as you sign the contract because the Contract of Sale might specify that the property becomes your risk from the contract date.
This protects you in the event the seller does not have any or enough insurance in place to protect the property in the event of damage. If you need a loan to purchase the property, your financier will usually insist that the property is insured with their interest noted on the insurance policy prior to settlement.
What are adjustments?
Adjustments refers to the ‘splitting’ of the costs of certain land charges on a property, such as rates, land tax, water charges and body corporate levies. The process ensures that neither the buyer or seller are paying for these charges when they do not own the property.
What is a settlement?
If buying or selling property was a marathon, think of the settlement as the finish line. Settlement is the part where legal possession of land or property is transferred from one owner to another.
How long does settlement take?
Generally, settlements take either 30 or 60 days according to the terms set out in the Contract of Sale. If all parties agree, longer or shorter settlement terms can be arranged.
After settlement, how long will it take to receive the proceeds from the sale?
Most settlements are now conducted electronically, so funds are made available the next business day.
Who attends settlement?
At Settle Easy, conveyancing transactions are settled electronically in an online environment.
Your conveyancer will liaise with all parties involved and advise you when settlement is complete.
When will I get access to my property?
We will let you know as soon as your settlement has been successful so you may collect the keys and start moving in.
If you have sold a property, we’ll also let you know when settlement is complete and when the buyer will collect the keys.
What is a utility provider and who is responsible for notifying them about a change of property ownership?
A utility provider is an organisation that supplies electricity, gas, telephone and water usage.
It is the responsibility of buyers and sellers to notify all utility providers of a change in property ownership.
Settle Easy will let the authorities responsible for water rates, council rates, land tax and owners corporation/body corporate/strata management know that a property has changed hands once settlement is complete.
How will Settle Easy protect my privacy?