Things to Know About Conveyancing

Whether you're the buyer or seller of a property, you can't obtain or get rid of the title to a piece of real estate without the use of a conveyancer. This professional is responsible for ensuring that a property is passed from a buyer to a seller, but there's more to the process than that, so to help you understand what you can expect, here are some important things to know.

It's All About the Title — No property can be bought or sold without the title being transferred from the seller to the buyer. In fact, the title to a property is the only legal document that specifies the owner of that property, and the process of conveyancing is all about making sure that title transfer goes through in the most efficient manner possible. Conveyancing is initiated when a buyer signs a contract with a seller, but isn't completed until the property transfers and the Land Titles Office receives the revised title document.

Buyers Pay More Than Sellers — Property conveyancing fees are usually higher for a buyer than a seller, because conveyancers who work on behalf of a buyer, must ensure that a property does not have any legal restrictions that would prevent a sale. For example, a property that is under a lien of some kind would not be eligible for sale until that lien is resolved. In addition, a conveyancer has to confirm that the person listed on the title is the person who is selling the property. In some instances, there is more than one registered name on the title deed, which requires the conveyancer to ensure that everyone is agreement about selling the property. If you are a buyer, you are also responsible for paying a transfer duty, calculated as a percentage of the overall sale price of the property.

Most Conveyancers Are Not Lawyers — Although some lawyers provide conveyancing, most conveyancers work in the real estate field, and are not legal professionals. Legal questions are referred to solicitors, some of whom are on full-time staff with a conveyancing firm, and some of whom work on a case-by-case basis. By and large, the principle aspects of conveyancing don't require an extensive knowledge of the law, although conveyancers are experts in title transfer, as that is the most important part of the entire process.

It's important to remember that legal ownership of a property isn't official at the signing of a contract, but only after the title transfer has been delivered and registered at the Land Title Office.