When you’re buying an investment property, there’s a lot to keep track of. Your mortgage lender will constantly demand documents from you, and you’ll be choosing paint colors to update your property, downloading landlord software, and creating a marketing plan to keep your units filled.
The term “conveyancer” will probably come up, which may be a foreign concept to you. What is a conveyancer, and what is the role they play in closing on your home? Here’s what you need to know.
There are many legalities associated with purchasing a home. The sale would not be so complex if it weren’t for the high value in play and the many people involved, including the buyers, sellers, mortgage lenders, home insurers, realtors, appraisal agents, and more. With so many moving pieces, you need a legal process to smoothly put everything into place.
This process is called conveyancing. It’s the legal transfer of the property’s title from one person to another. Without the exchange of signed contracts between a buyer and a seller, overseen by a conveyancer, the sale is not legally binding. Conveyancing also differs based on where you live. Conveyancing in Brisbane will be very different from conveyancing services in London, for example. Local laws will impact the transfer of title, so it’s important to rely on the guiding support of a conveyancer during this process.
The conveyancer’s role
The conveyancer (or conveyancing solicitor) is integral in your home settlement process. Your conveyancer is the attorney that will handle all the paperwork and contracts to close on your home. According to the Real Estate Institute of South Australia, the conveyancer’s responsibilities include:
- Searching the certificate of title.
- Inquiring about titles, rates, and zoning.
- Adjusting taxes and rates to current levels.
- Researching local laws and regulations that might affect the transfer of the property.
- Working with the seller’s conveyancer to complete the settlement of the property.
- Preparing the closing statement, and attending the closing on your behalf if you’re unable to be there.
- Making sure special conditions of the contract are addressed before closing.
If you’re not an experienced real estate investor, some of these concepts can be somewhat confusing to you. You can contact a conveyancer at any time to discuss their job responsibilities and where you fit in. Your real estate agent or mortgage lender might also shed some light on the situation.
Working with the conveyancer
In most situations, you won’t spend much time with the conveyancer unless you’re selling your home without the assistance of a real estate agent. If that’s the case, contact a conveyancer early on to get the help you need for the settlement of the property. Otherwise, the conveyancer will work with your real estate agent or brokerage to complete the legal transfer of a property. Behind the scenes, they’ll factor in all the legal demands you’ve made to the seller.
For example, conveyancers will prepare the offer documents. When you offer a certain dollar amount to the seller, you might include stipulations like “leave the window treatments” or “have the property professionally cleaned before vacating.” These demands will be put into a contract, and if the seller accepts, they’ll be legally bound to comply before you buy the house. They’ll mark when the work has been completed and ensure that all obligations are met before drawing up the settlement contract.
They may also offer legal advice regarding the purchase of a home, pointing out restrictions or regulations that might impact your contract. They might also help you arrange a settlement with a bank or prepare mortgage documents.
As a new real estate investor, you’ll be grateful for conveyancers. Settlement of a property would be a harrowing ordeal without them. They do most of the legal legwork and make the transition easy and clearly understandable to you.