Property Transfer and Conveyancing Adelaide
Buying or selling your home or commercial property is one of the largest transactions you will undertake. To ensure the settlement process goes smoothly, it is important to choose the right conveyancer.
Scammell & Co. offer a highly qualified and experienced team of professional conveyancers whose primary focus is to take the stress and worry out of transferring property ownership. As a general law practice Scammell & Co. also have solicitors specialising in property law who can advise on any legal matters if required.
Our conveyancing fees are very competitive with a standard fixed-fee for residential properties which includes attendance at the Land Titles Office and Verification of Identity appointments.
Scammell & Co. have 6 offices located throughout South Australia including Adelaide CBD, Port Adelaide, Walkerville, Gawler, Renmark and Tanunda. Call or email us today to speak with a lawyer about your matter, or to book an appointment at an office convenient to you.
FAQs Click on the questions below to reveal the answer.
What is conveyancing?
Conveyancing is the process of transferring ownership of a legal title of land (property) from one person or entity to another.
What does a conveyancer do?
A conveyancer is a licensed and qualified professional who prepares the legal documents required, and conducts the settlement process.
When do I need a conveyancer?
The most common reasons you would engage a conveyancer is when you are buying or selling a property, subdividing land, updating a title (i.e. registering a death), and registering, changing or removing an easement.
Who do I need to notify of my conveyancer?
Once you have signed a contract and the cooling off period has expired the real estate agent will ask you who your conveyancer is so they can send all the necessary documents to them for the conveyancing process to begin.
You will also need to inform your lender/mortgage broker as they will be liaising with your conveyancer in the lead-up to and at settlement.
What are searches?
In South Australia when land is sold the agent or vendor has to serve on the purchaser a document called a Form 1. The Form 1 is a detailed document disclosing all information about the land so the purchaser is aware of what they are buying. Part of the Form 1 is what is referred to as “searches”. Searches form part of a “Property Interest Report” prepared by the Land Services Group – a government department whose information is current, up to date and guaranteed.
Searches detail all information in relation to the land that the purchaser needs to know about — including whether or not it is heritage listed, if there are Environmental Protection Authority orders, a highway acquisition order or any council approvals on the land.
Searches also include any court orders or charges over the land that would need to be discharged before the land can change hands. Searches also disclose local council rates and taxes so the purchaser is aware of all ongoing fees associated with the land once they take ownership.
Do I need searches when purchasing a property?
A conveyancer acting for a purchaser must also have access to the searches. If the vendor’s searches are used (which is common practice to reduce costs to the client), it is an expectation that the purchaser’s conveyancer will pay for half the cost of the search.
What is VOI?
VOI is an acronym for ‘Verification of Identity’. Recently introduced legislation requires all parties to a conveyancing transaction to have their identity verified. This process minimises the increased risk of fraudulent transactions. It also allows conveyancers to sign lodging documents on your behalf. VOI appointments can be face to face at one of our offices, or via other methods if more convenient.
What happens if my loan is not ready at settlement?
It is important to take all actions required to be able to effect settlement on the date stipulated in the contract.
If you fail to meet this date the vendor is within their rights to charge default interest – from the proposed date of settlement to when it actually settles.
It is important to seek advice from your mortgage broker or lender before you sign a contract. They will advise you of the time needed to secure finance approval. If extra time is required it can be factored into the contract (finance clause). If after signing a contract extra time is required, you will need to approach the real estate agent to request an extension (known as an addendum) to the date of finance or settlement. The addendum will need to be signed by all interested parties.
Do I need to pay stamp duty and when is it payable?
Stamp duty is payable on all property at the time of settlement and must be factored into the purchase price. Stamp duty calculators are available on the Revenue SA website. As a guide, stamp duty is approximately 4% of the purchase price.
What is Electronic Conveyancing?
Scammell & Co. conveyancers are proud participants on the electronic PEXA platform.* As a Vendor this means clear cash funds in your account on the day of settlement (as opposed to the standard 3 business days to clear a settlement cheque). As a Purchaser this means instant registration of ownership with the LTO at settlement (as opposed to the standard 3-5 weeks for LTO registration on title).
* Conditions apply.
Do I need to attend settlement?
No. A conveyancer attends settlement on the client’s behalf. Settlements take place at the Land Titles Office in Adelaide.
When do I get the keys to my house?
Keys are available from the real estate agent’s office once settlement has taken place.
What is the difference between property ownership as joint tenants versus tenants-in-common
If you and your spouse/partner have purchased a property as joint tenants then, on your death, the property automatically becomes the property of the surviving joint owner.
You cannot, in your Will, leave your share of the property to anyone else.
If you and your spouse/partner have purchased a property as tenants-in-common then your share in the property is held separately and, after your death, your specific share forms part of your estate and is distributed in accordance with your Will. If you do not leave a Will then your estate, including your share in the property, is distributed in accordance with the laws of intestacy.
What is my right to cool off?
In many cases (not all) you have two business days to cool off after signing to purchase a property. If within those two days you serve an appropriate Notice on the Vendor or the Vendor’s agent you may ‘cool off’. However, you need to be aware that this does not always apply.
I have purchased a house prior to auction and the selling agent has asked me to waive my cooling-off rights. What should I do?
Make an appointment to see one of our property law solicitors as soon as possible. We are able to advise you and provide you with the necessary lawyer’s certificate if you choose to waive your cooling-off rights. Either way, you should make an informed decision as to how to proceed.
I have sold my house and it looks like the purchaser will not be able to settle on the agreed settlement date. What should I do?
You should seek advice from one of our property lawyers as to what rights and / or entitlements you have under the contract and what the best option is in your circumstances. There will often be a number of legal as well as practical matters to consider if, for example, you may wish to terminate the contract.
I have recently separated from my spouse and we have agreed that ownership of the matrimonial home will be transferred to me. What should be my next step?
In most cases it is desirable for separated couples to seek advice from a family lawyer with respect to the division of assets of the relationship. This is because any informal arrangements you enter into may be overturned if one of the separated parties chooses to take the matter to court.
Separated parties are often not fully aware of their rights and entitlements following a separation. They should therefore seek advice and formalise in writing any agreement reached for the division of assets.
Formal property settlement agreements can also avoid payment of stamp duty on your spouse’s share of the house, saving thousands of dollars. Scammell & Co. have family law solicitors who can help you.
What is a Section 7 Statement?
A Section 7 Statement is a document from the Vendor to the Purchaser which provides the Purchaser with detail and information about the property that the purchaser is proposing to buy. The Vendor is legally required to complete and serve the document on the Purchaser and can be sued by the Purchaser if the document is wrong or misleading. Further, if the contract has not settled it may be possible for it to be cancelled if the form is inaccurate. It is a document which must be treated with great care and caution.
What is a Special Condition?
In negotiating a contract either party may require certain Special Conditions to be included in the contract. For example, the Vendor may wish to stay in occupation of the property after settlement for a short time or the Purchaser may require a condition that the contract is subject to finance, a soil report or a building inspection. If you want Special Conditions to be included they must be incorporated into the contract of sale before you sign it.
What is the insurance risk on sale of a property?
Usually the risk of a property being destroyed by earthquake, fire etc. and any other damage moves to the Purchaser immediately upon signing the contract. The Purchaser therefore needs to obtain insurance on the same day. However, the Vendor should not allow the Vendor’s insurance to elapse until after settlement.
What are Stamp Duty and registration fees?
On registering the transfer of a property at the Lands Titles Office, the State Government requires two payments, being:
- Stamp duty.
- Registration fees.
Both are charged on sliding scales which increase according to the value of the property. These payments are normally made by the Purchaser (but the government reserves the right to collect from both Vendor and Purchaser). As a rough guide you should allow 5% of the purchase price for these fees.
Does Goods and Service Tax (GST) apply?
In most cases the Federal Government’s GST does not apply to residential property but does apply to commercial property.
Scammell & Co.’s solicitors can advise you whether GST applies to your transfer. It is usually 10% of the purchase price.
Free legal advice.
If you have some questions, want some advice or want to get the process underway, contact Scammell & Co. to arrange a meeting. In many cases (not all) the first 30 minutes of your first meeting is free. This can give time to outline your matter and for us to give you preliminary advice.
235 St Vincent Street,
South Australia 5015
(08) 8447 4466
107 Walkerville Tce,
South Australia 5081
(08) 8342 0300