North Geelong Office
(03) 5272 1160
153 Melbourne Road,
VIC 3215

Common Conveyancing Terms & FAQ


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1. What is Conveyancing?

Conveyancing is the legal transfer of ownership of any property or real estate from one person to another.


2. What is a  Vendor Statement?

A Vendor Statement, also known as a Section 32 is a document prepared by the person selling a property and must be provided to a prospective purchaser prior to them signing the Contract.


The function of the Vendors Statement is to inform the purchaser of certain particulars about the property. The Vendors Statement will include such information relating to rates, zoning, easements ,restrictions , building approvals etc.


3. What is a Caveat?

A Caveat is a document lodged at the Land Titles Office to protect a Purchasers interest in the property.


Until settlement takes place the Certificate of Title to the property is still in the name of the Vendor and third parties associated with the Vendor can place encumbrances over that title.


The purpose of the Caveat will in effect prevent any other encumbrances being placed on the Certificate of Title.


4. What is Stamp Duty?

When you buy land in Victorian , which may include buildings, you are liable to pay duty. The duty payable is based on the market value of the total value of the land and dwelling or the purchase price, whichever is greater.


The link below will take you to the State Revenue Office calculator for working out how much you will pay.


5. What is a settlement?

Settlement is the process where all the parties to a conveyancing transaction come together to complete the transaction. Ideally this takes place on the date indicated on the contract of sale.


A convenient time of day is agreed to by all parties involved in the matter (Purchasers representative, Vendors representative, incoming Mortgagee and Discharging Mortgagee) who will attend a nominated location (usually the bank of the discharging Mortgagee) 


6. What are adjustments?

Adjustments is an exercise undertaken towards the end of the conveyancing transaction to ensure an equitable pro rata split of rates and other outgoings to the property as of the date of settlement.


The adjustment of rates will ensure that the Vendors pay all rates and taxes due on the property up until settlement date, and Purchaser pays from the settlement date.


7. What are special conditions?

Special conditions are clauses inserted into the contract of sale.


These are extra conditions that are put in the contract by you or the Vendor.


They can be about anything to do with the property.


For example they maybe:

  • That the contract is subject to you obtaining finance;
  • That there will be penalties for a delay in the settlement;
  • That the sale is subject to a tenancy etc.


8. What is a Discharge of Mortgage?

Is when the vendor repays the lending institution the total amount that was borrowed. This means that when your property is sold, the Mortgage or Mortgages together with any other charges, caveats or the like are paid off (discharged)


The mortgage will be paid out at settlement from the settlement funds and any balance left over will be paid as you direct.


9. What does Principle Place of Residence mean?

That at least one of the purchasers named  occupies the land as his or her principle place of residence for a continuous period of 12 months commencing within a 12 month period immediately after the purchaser became entitled to possession of the land.


10. What is cooling off??

Cooling off is a term used to describe the entitlement of a purchaser of residential property to bring a contract to an end by written notice, without any specific reason being needed.  It is available for three clear business days from the date the contract was signed by the purchaser.


There are certain situations where this cannot occur. Please contact our office for further information.


Please note that ?Cooling Off?  does not apply if you are selling a property.


11. What are Joint Proprietors?

Joint Proprietors are those who hold property in the names of two or more persons, where all persons have an equal interest in the whole property. When one person dies his interest passes to the survivor(s).


12. What are Tenants in Common?

Tenants in Common are those who hold property in the names of two or more persons and in which each has a separate and distinct share. When one person dies his share is not passed to the survivor(s) but becomes part of his estate for disposal according to his will. 




1.When do I pay the Stamp Duty and Registration fees?

If you are purchasing a property and are borrowing funds from a bank or similar lending institution, the bank will usually retain the Stamp Duty and Registration Fees, together with any application fee etc. from the sum borrowed and advance the net amount


2. Are there exemptions from Stamp Duty?

Depending on the value of the property, benefits are possibly available to purchasers who are Concession Cards holders or First Home Buyers with Families.


Generally speaking whether or not you qualify for either Stamp Duty benefits or total exemption depends on the circumstances of your Purchase.



3. Where and when do I get the keys to the property?

The keys are normally held at the Real Estate agents office and can be collected once settlement has taken place. The conveyance will notify the agent as well as the purchaser once settlement is complete.


4. When do I do the final inspection?

A purchaser will normally contact the selling agent sometime with the last week before settlement to arrange a final inspection of the property. If there is no agent, the purchaser can either arrange a suitable time with the vendor or contact our office to make arrangements for the final inspection.


5. What happens if I have not got finance approval by the due date in the contract?

As long as you complied with the conditions of the Finance Approval Section of the contract, you can request an extension. If the Vendor will not grant this extension, it is the Purchaser who has the option to withdraw from the Contract. If the Purchaser does not wish to withdraw, then the Contract  will become  unconditional and the purchase will proceed to settlement.



1. My property has just settled, when do I get my money?

If you choose to sign a Discharge Authority nominating your bank account then any excess funds from the discharge of mortgage can be directed into your account.


If you wish to collect the cheque and  the settlement of your sale is taking place locally, you will normally be able to collect the cheque later on the day of settlement. Where the settlement takes place elsewhere, for example in another city, you may have to allow one or two days for your cheque to be returned to our office. If you have a bank account, you can arrange for for us to deposit the funds into your account at the time of settlement.


2. What is a Section 27?

Section 27 of the Sale of Land Act says that the deposit paid by a purchaser on the purchase of real estate can in certain circumstances be released to the vendor prior to settlement. If you are considering this please contact our office for further advice.


In simple terms this means the vendor has to serve a Section 27 Statement on the purchaser or their representative which discloses details of any mortgage or caveat affecting the property.


The purchaser then has to be satisfied that the amount owing does not exceed 80% of the sale price, all conditions of the Contract must be fulfilled and the purchaser has signed and returned the Section 27 Statement confirming they are agreeable to the early release.


Should the vendor be successful in obtaining receipt of a duly signed Section 27 Statement from the purchaser, the vendor may then request the selling agents to release the deposit funds as the vendor may direct less the estate agents commission and any other expense that the agent is entitled to.


Vendors please note; Under Section 27 there is never any guarantee that the deposit funds will be released prior to settlement and therefore we strongly suggest the vendor does not become reliant upon an early deposit release


3. What time do I have to vacate the property on settlement day?

As the purchaser is entitled to vacant possession of the property at settlement,  you will need to be out of the property prior to the designated settlement time, as the purchaser is entitled to move into the property as soon as settlement has taken place.


4. Who notifies the change of ownership to the Local Government, Water Authorities and service providers?

You will need contact the gas, electricity, telephone and any other service providers prior to settlement to arrange for the services to be disconnected and  your account to be finalized so that you do not incur any costs from when the new purchasers move in.


The conveyancer will send a notice to the local council and water board notifying them of the change in ownership.


5. Who arranges the Discharge of Mortgage?

The conveyance will organize the Discharge of Mortgage but sending you the appropriate forms to complete then liasing with the lending institution to complete payment on settlement day.