Conveyancing terms explained

Written by in Buying

For first time buyers, all the legal mumbo jumbo may seem a little overwhelming. That’s why it’s best to turn to the professionals like solicitors and conveyancers but even the professionals use terminology that you might not have heard before. That’s where we come in.

Here are a few conveyancing terms explained to help you understand the “lingo”:

Section 32

A Contract of Sale of Real Estate in Victoria cannot be signed until the Section 32 has been prepared and signed by the Vendor.

The Section 32 discloses certain information about the property including but not limited to:

  • the Vendor’s details;
  • the Title details;
  • information regarding building works done in the past 7 years;
  • particulars of any mortgages over the land;
  • information regarding covenants, easements and any other restrictions on title;
  • planning information;
  • details of the amount of rates payable;
  • disclosure of any notices or orders issued by the authorities regarding fencing, road widening and sewerage;
  • access to the property by road; and
  • information on services not connected to the property.

It is very important that the Section 32 is properly prepared as a defective Section 32 can allow a buyer to avoid a Contract penalty-free.

Cooling off

Buying a property is likely the highest value transaction that you undertake in your life. It can also be a very emotional decision and, sometimes, you may buy a property without doing all due diligence. The cooling-off period is a consumer protection provision that gives you the chance to “cool off” from your initial decision after you have had a further chance to review that decision.

During the cooling-off period (within three clear business days of the buyer signing the Contract in Victoria), the buyer can change his/her mind and cancel the contract. There is a monetary penalty if a buyer chooses to “cool off”.

Cooling off periods do not apply in some cases. One situation where you cannot “cool off” is buying at auction (or within 3 clear business days either side of an auction).

Conditions of a Contract

In Victoria, it’s important to understand the difference between the General Conditions of a Contract and the Special Conditions.

The General Conditions are the standard terms of the Contract which are included with the intention of covering many of the most important aspects of a standard transaction. However, each transaction is different and parties have different needs so contracts may also have Special Conditions added.

Special conditions are included by agreement and can override the standard terms so you need to check the Special Conditions carefully.

Author: Leonie Jarrett is a Solicitor and Principal of First Class Legal. First Class Legal settles thousands of properties each year and has four offices in Victoria – Berwick, Blackburn, Frankston and Greensborough. First Class Legal are digital leaders in conveyancing and has a large team with the expertise and experience to settle your next conveyance.