Frequently Asked Questions About Conveyancing in South Australia.


Below are general answers to some of the most frequently asked questions we get asked in relation to conveyancing in South Australia.  These answers are designed to help you understand the process of a residencial or commercial sale. 

What is the conveyancing process in South Australia?

Conveyancing is the process that transfers the legal ownership of land from a seller (Vendor) to a buyer (Purchaser). This process takes place from the time that a contract is signed up until the keys are handed over on the day of settlement. In South Australia a conveyancer or solicitor may undertake this process.

What does a conveyancer/solicitor do for the buyer?

A buyer’s conveyancer/solicitor undergoes the process of drafting the transfer of land document that will be lodged at the Lands Titles Office on the day of settlement to transfer the property from the seller’s name to the new owner’s name. The buyer’s conveyancer/solicitor liaises with the buyer’s lender (if finance is required) and the seller’s conveyancer/solicitor to ensure that settlement is booked in for the contracted settlement date, and all legal requirements are met. The buyer’s conveyancer/solicitor also calculates the stamp duty, Lands Titles Office fees, and provides the buyer with a settlement statement showing the exact amount required from the buyer to settle after taking into consideration any loans to be advanced to the buyer. The conveyancer/solicitor will ensure the ownership has been changed with entities such as the local council, Revenue SA, SA water and any strata or community managers.

What does a conveyancer/solicitor do for the seller?

The main task for a seller’s conveyancer/solicitor is to initiate the discharge of any mortgages that may be registered over the certificate of title, or encumbrances required to be removed. The seller’s conveyancer/solicitor liaises with their lender (if applicable) and the buyer’s conveyancer to ensure that settlement is booked in for the contracted settlement date and all legal requirements are met. The seller’s conveyancer/solicitor will adjust the rates and taxes and provide the seller with a settlement statement showing the exact amount that the seller will receive from the buyer once the settlement is completed. The seller’s conveyancer/solicitor will also carry out the task of paying out any remaining rates and taxes associated with the property and ensure the ownership has been changed with entities such as the council, revenue SA, SA water and any strata or community managers.

What part of the buying/selling process should I engage a conveyancer/solicitor?

A seller should first engage a conveyancer/solicitor when the property is listed for sale in order to have a Form 1 document prepared. Once a contract of sale has been fully signed and the cooling-off period has ended, both the buyer and the seller should ensure they have engaged a conveyancer/solicitor to start the conveyancing process. In some circumstances, a buyer may choose to engage a conveyancer/solicitor prior to signing a contract or during the cooling-off period if they wish for their contract and Form 1 to be reviewed, or if they have particular concerns or queries about the contract they are entering into. One major benefit of engaging a solicitor to review documentation, or act for you in a conveyance transaction, is that if there is a dispute or technical issue that requires a solicitor to act during the conveyancing process, the legal issues can all be resolved in house.

What documents and information do I need to have readily available for my conveyancer/ solicitor?

Both buyers and sellers should have a copy of the fully signed contract and Form 1 with all attached searches readily available. Sellers should ensure they have the details of any mortgages and loans that must be paid out, details of any current tenancies, death certificates of any joint deceased proprietors or grants of probate/letters of administration if there are any deceased proprietors who hold the property as tenants in common. Buyers should ensure that they have their finance broker or lending manager’s details readily available if they are obtaining a loan to purchase the property and, if two or more individuals are purchasing the property, the buyers should be prepared to decide whether they wish to hold the property as joint tenants or as tenants in common.

What is a VOI? What documents do I need to certify my identity?

The verification of identity (“VOI”) is the process whereby the conveyancer/ solicitor must verify the identity of their client prior to signing any Lands Titles Office documents on their behalf. Buyers and sellers must provide an original and valid Australian or foreign passport plus an Australian driver’s licence. If either of these documents cannot be provided then either the passport or driver’s licence must be provided along with an original birth or citizenship certificate plus an original Medicare, Centrelink or Department of Veterans’ Affairs card. If necessary an original change of name certificate or marriage certificate may also need to be provided.