Glenn Duker: What You Need to Know About Residential Conveyancing

by Glenn Duker

What differences exist between working with a lawyer and a conveyancer?

A conveyancer possesses the expertise necessary to help you draft all documents correctly. However, the conveyancer may not have appropriate experience for assisting you in the negotiation process. A lawyer, on the other hand, can help ensure that you receive the most favourable terms on the transaction.

Do benefits exist for first-time home buyers?

Yes, if you have never owned property in Australia before and intend to live in the residence you are purchasing, then you should be eligible for assistance under the First Home Owners Grant program.

What fees and taxes apply to the conveyance?

If you are selling or buying undeveloped land, you may need to pay GST (goods and services tax), depending on the specifics of the transaction. Any existing residential structure does not require GST to be paid by the purchaser. The government will charge stamp duty and registration fees upon the settlement of your conveyance.

What if I change my mind after signing the contract?

By law, all conveyancing contracts come with a five-day cooling off period, in which the buyer may cancel the contract for any reason. The buyer will hold responsibility for paying a penalty, however.

What if I do not reside in Australia?

You do not have the same rights to purchase or sell property as an Australian resident does, and you will be subrect to Foreign Investment Review Board requirements. In addition, you may need to secure an Australian visa. Contact a solicitor before signing any contracts.

Glenn Duker operates a legal practice which handles commercial and property matters. He works in Melbourne.