You may have heard of the term electronic conveyancing or e-conveyancing before but perhaps don’t really understand how it affects you. In this article, we’ll explain what PEXA, e-conveyancing and electronic settlements are and how they work in Victoria. So, what is e-conveyancing? E-conveyancing means that you can sell or buy a property completely online. In the past, a lot of paper documents needed to be signed and transferred between law firms, banks, the State Revenue Office (SRO) and the… Continue reading

Buying a property can be a stressful experience, not only for first time buyers but also for seasoned buyers and sellers. When moving or investing in residential or commercial property the many steps involved in the process can be overwhelming. During the different stages in a purchase transaction, buyers may be required to complete tasks urgently. This is due to actual imminent tasks as well as those which are ‘hyped-up’. For example, selling agents can create a sense of urgency… Continue reading

It is 2018 and believe it or not, there is still confusion about whether or not contracts and agreements can be signed electronically (and rightfully so). There are a number of Acts and legislation which govern this area (the most noteable being the Electronic Transactions (Victoria) Act 2000) but despite this, not all stakeholders in real estate transactions recognise the use of electronic signatures due to uncertainty. The law recognises the enforcaebility of contracts entered into using electronic signatures instead… Continue reading

The term encumbrance refers to instruments or agreements burdening or affecting a property. Encumbrances can restrict how owners deal with their land. They can be registered or unregistered; most registered encumbrances appear on title’s register search statement (an electronic search of the title). An example of an encumbrance is a mortgage. A mortgage is a registered instrument on the title securing the lender’s (usually a bank) right to have a loan repaid and to take further action against the property… Continue reading

As the Victorian Government moves to cut stamp duty for first home buyers, find out what it means for you. 1 July is here, and it brings good news for first home buyers across Victoria: stamp duty will be completely abolished for properties valued under $600,000. For properties valued between $600,000 and $750,000, first home buyers will receive a variable concession (applied on a sliding scale). There is currently no stamp duty concession for first home buyers on properties valued… Continue reading

How to read a planning certificate? A planning certificate is intended to inform a purchaser about town planning rules and restrictions that apply to a property. In practice, it doesn’t achieve this. This is because: ­The actual rules that apply aren’t included in the certificate ­ just the name of applicable controls, which for most users won’t mean much (or in some cases, are even misleading). ­You need a bit of background knowledge to understand the terminology in the certificate.… Continue reading

If you are considering purchasing or selling your residential home, it is also a good idea to  consider making a new Will or updating an old Will.  Making a new Will is especially important when you are entering into a large financial transaction like buying a house as doing so changes your financial circumstances. A new Will can be made at any time.  However, if you are purchasing a property and contemplating leaving that property as a specific gift to… Continue reading

Important Update: The below article is not current. The position has now changed with amendments to section 31 of the Sale of Land Act and an overturning of the decision at the Court of Appeal, thus allowing real estate agents to receive cooling off notices. Most of us are aware of the purchaser’s right to terminate a contract of sale within 3 business days after a signing a contract of sale. This is commonly referred to as the ‘cooling off… Continue reading