Frequently Asked Questions

background pattern


What is conveyancing?

Conveyancing is the legal process required to transfer ownership from one legal person to another.

What is the difference between a Conveyancer and a Conveyancing Lawyer?


  • Has obtained an Advanced Diploma/ Diploma of Conveyancing.
  • Has completed a minimum of 12 months supervised practice under a licensed conveyancer/ lawyer.
  • A conveyancer can only engage in conveyancing work as defined by.
  • Unable to provide specific advice and would need to refer clients to a solicitor should the transaction become complex or litigious.

Conveyancing Lawyer

  • Has completed tertiary study to obtain a Bachelor of Law
  • Has a vast understanding of the law and how property transactions relate to other areas of law.
  • May be able to provide greater assistance when transactions become more complex or litigious.
  • Able to provide advice in relation to the transaction.

Transfer of Land

The process of changing the ownership details on a Title (deed) to a parcel of land.

Volume and Folio

Volume and folios are unique identifiers used in the numbering system that identifies individual land titles.


An encumbrance is an interest in a piece of land by someone other than the registered owner. Encumbrances place limitations on a property. Examples include mortgages, easements, leases and restrictive covenants.


Easements are a right held by someone to use land belonging to someone else for a specific purpose. Common examples of easements are drainage, sewerage and carriageway easements


A legal document that individuals with a legal interest in a property can lodge to notify future prospective purchasers and third parties of their legal interest in a parcel of land.

Adverse possession

Adverse possession is a legal rule that enables the occupier of a piece of land to obtain ownership of it, provided they can prove uninterrupted and exclusive possession of the land for at least 15 years.

What is a cooling off period?

A cooling off period allows purchasers to terminate the contract within a certain “cooling off period” which in Victoria is 3 business days. A purchaser must request the termination in writing to the vendor. When terminating a contract during the cooling off period the purchaser incurs a penalty of $100 or 0.2% of the purchase price (whichever is greater). A cooling off period is not applicable to property’s sold at auction or under auction conditions, if the property is over 1ha and or if it is a commercial premise.

What is Stamp Duty?

Stamp Duty is a tax imposed on all property purchases by the Victorian Government. The amount of Stamp Duty which applies to the transaction is determined by the property purchase price and may be reduced by concessions the purchaser is entitled to.

What is Land Tax?

Land Tax is a payable on all Victorian Land held individually or jointly by a person where its values are equal to or exceeds $250,000 as at the 31st of December of the previous year.

What is a Section 32?

The Section 32 also commonly referred to as the Vendors Statement and is the document attached to the contract of sale prepared by a Vendor which contains the information required by law to disclosed to potential purchasers.

What do General Conditions and Special Conditions in a Contract of Sale of Real Estate mean?

The General Conditions are the standard terms which are included with the intention of covering many of the most important aspects of a standard transaction. Since each transaction can be different and the parties may have different needs, 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.

We can help you with this either by checking the Contract before you sign it or by helping to draft the Special Conditions.

What are Disbursements?

The term disbursements refer to any cost incurred on behalf of the client during the property transaction. Common disbursements include, the cost of searches to determine and or confirm the property details and any issues or encumbrances affecting the land, settlement attendance fees and the cost of general administration work with relation to the file.

What is a Purchaser’s Caveat?

We recommend that a Caveat be lodged in the Titles Office to protect your interest as purchaser. By doing so, you will be telling anyone else who tries to deal with the property that your rights come first. If you do not have a caveat on the title, there is nothing to stop the Vendor from selling or mortgaging the property, nor to stop someone else making a claim to it.

We believe that the cost of a caveat is well worth the peace of mind it offers.

Why do I have to pay land tax when I purchase a property?

Land Tax

Land Tax is payable on Victorian land owned jointly or individually that is not your principal place of residence and whose dutiable value exceeds $250,000 as at 31 December of the preceding year.

What differs for a purchaser when purchasing a property at auction vs a private sale?

The main difference for purchasers when purchasing a property at auction is that individuals are required to proceed to settlement of the parcel of land on an unconditional basis. When purchasing a property via an auction the purchaser is consenting to forego the following rights afforded to those purchasing the property via a private sale;

  1. The 3 day cooling off period for the offer is not applicable
  2. The transaction cannot be subject to finance
  3. The transaction cannot be subject to building and or pest inspections.

Off the plan questions

When will settlement take place?

There are two documents required to be provided by the vendor before your apartment is deemed complete thus triggering settlement. The Registration/ acceptance of the Plan of Subdivision and the granting of the occupancy certificate.

Occupancy Permit

This is issued when the apartment is considered suitable for occupation. An application for an occupancy permit is made to the relevant building surveyor. In deciding whether to issue an occupancy permit, the building surveyor may request certificates or statements from various practitioners involved in the construction of the building to confirm that the work complies with relevant building legislation.

Registration of the Plan of Subdivision

A plan of subdivision allows an applicant to divide land into two or more new parcels of land that can be disposed of separately. This is issued when the Plan of Subdivision is lodged The Land Titles Office for registration. Once the Plan of Subdivision is registered and the Occupancy Permit is achieved, a call for settlement will be triggered. Letters will be sent to your legal representative; requiring you to settle your apartment within the allocated timeframe.

As a purchaser what is required at settlement

Once a settlement date has been confirmed, please ensure that your finances are in place. It is very important to ensure that you are ready for settlement by the due date. Under the Contract of Sale, penalty interest will apply in the event you do not settle by the specified date.

When will I receive my Statement of Adjustments outlining how much I need to pay at settlement?

Once settlement has been triggered, the vendors lawyers will finalise the Statement of Adjustments according to your Contract of Sale and issue it along with all other legally required documentation to your conveyancer. This Statement details all payments required to finalise settlement.

What is a bank valuation and when will it be?

When you put in an application for a loan to buy your apartment or home, your lender will send out an independent valuer to appraise the property and get an idea of the property’s value. The vendors representative will advise you when your apartment will be ready for a bank valuation inspection.

What is a pre-settlement inspection and when will it be?

Once your property is nearing completion, you will have an opportunity to inspect your new property 7 business days prior to settlement. If you are unable to make it to an inspection, you can nominate another or the vendor to inspect the property on your behalf.

What happens if I notice a defect at my pre-settlement inspection?

The defects will be rectified as soon as possible. If for some reason your noted defects have not been attended to prior to settlement, these will be recorded and attended to by the builder post settlement. Please note settlement cannot be legally delayed due to the existence of minor defects.

Contact us today for a free no obligation quote

a woman smiling at the camera