Conveyancing is the process of transferring title and property rights from the holder of the said property to another through a legal process. It also includes overseeing the process of granting of lien or mortgage or any form of encumbrance on the property. Hence, there will be two parts to a typical conveyancing scenario – creation of equitable interests through exchange of contracts and settlement or completion when legal title of the said property passes on to a new title holder.
However, there is no “one cap that fits all” scenario in conveyancing. The sale of land and its legalities depend on the laws prevailing at the place where it is located. Hence to clearly mark out jurisdiction, all examples here will be in terms of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.
Melbourne property conveyancing requires that all contracts for sale of land be in writing, giving rise to an “exchange of contracts”. What is the specific meaning of this term? Any sale requires that a contract have two copies with one being retained by each of the two parties. After signing of the contract there is usually a formally handing over or an “exchange” of contracts between the parties.
There is also a provision to exchange contracts by mail. In such cases, the contract is sent to the other party after the signature of one party, the sender and this contract is binding on the other. It is sufficient that the holder of a contract has in his possession a copy signed by the other party wherein the exchange is deemed to be complete.
Generally, an exchange of contract over electronic media is taken to be invalid and incomplete until the laws of that particular jurisdiction specifically permit it. For instance, it is advisable to contact conveyancing lawyers in Melbourne to know whether such exchange is permitted in the State of Victoria. Similar is the case for any other location too.
The key point in any property deal is to establish whether the land in question that is being sold has clear and marketable title. This is to ensure that the seller has the right to sell the property and there is no lien or mortgage or litigation on the said property. This will enable the buyer to create a mortgage after completion and settlement of the contract with the seller.
The process of carrying out searches of land ownership records to establish clear title of property on behalf of the buyer is a complex process, best left to the professional expertise of lawyers dealing with property conveyancing in Melbourne or wherever the property might be located.
Summing up, it is therefore seen that conveyancing in any jurisdiction is so structured that buyers along with the land get clear and marketable ownership of the property.