When it comes to buying or selling property there are a number of choices to be made, not only before and during, but also after the handshake has been made.
One of the biggest choices you have as you head towards settlement is how to handle your lodgement and make or receive payment.
Previously there was only one method, to fill in the paperwork and lodge it with Land & Property Information (LPI), to draft a bank cheque and get it to the vendor, wait for them to bank it and the bank to clear it. To make (or have made on your behalf) numerous phone calls to each participating party to finalise the details of the dealings and, in some cases, go back and forth over incomplete, inaccurate details or make changes that are required to the paperwork or final settlement figures. Exhausting!
Now there is a more efficient choice. E-conveyancing allows your legal representative to prepare all your documents online with PEXA, negotiating with all members involved in the transaction in a virtual meeting room, giving everyone access to the same information at the same time. They will even organise an electronic fund payment at the required date and time and lodge your dealings straight to LPI!
In order to know if this is the right step for you, here are some E-conveyancing Frequently Asked Questions:
WHAT IS PEXA?
‘PEXA’ stands for Property Exchange Australia. It is a national online platform that allows property transactions to be completed securely, quickly and easily online. It’s the only online property Electronic Lodgement Network (ELN) in Australia.
The online system is used to electronically prepare for property transactions and verify lodgement acceptability.
The online platform can perform the settlement of property transactions electronically, including payment to the vendor at settlement, duty, taxes and any other disbursements through the nominated bank or mortgage lenders. The money transfers are electronic so the full sum can be drawn at one time and made available immediately, without waiting the three days or so for any bank cheques to clear.
On top of all this, PEXA also lodges the dealings to the appropriate Land Registry.
CAN ANYBODY LODGE DEALINGS ELECTRONICALLY?
No, only those who are subscribed to PEXA can transact electronically. All other access to the system is restricted. Those who have subscribed have been fully trained and legally work in the industry. That means they must be employed by a financial institution (acting on behalf of the chosen banks or mortgage lender), be a solicitor or legal conveyancer (acting on behalf of the buyer and vendor) or working from a relevant government department (to oversee tax payments, land registry and appropriate lodgement of settlement).
When you are looking for a qualified conveyancer to represent your online property title transfer, look for those that provide e-conveyancing. This is how you know that your conveyancer has access to PEXA and can support a property transfer lodgement online.
Anyone accessing PEXA is also subject to proof of identity tests to secure their online signature as authentic and to hold them responsible for any false or incorrect information.
If you would like to conduct your own settlement as a private party you can only do so using the existing paper process, however, a conveyancer is familiar with the forms and structure, understands the legal pitfalls and can navigate potential issues easily. With e-conveyancing it becomes even simpler as the forms are prepopulated from the Land Registry so there is less chance of error.
IS THE INFORMATION ON ELECTRONICALLY LODGED DEALINGS EVER MADE PUBLIC?
Yes. When an electronic transfer is registered or recorded it will become part of public record for searching purposes. This is not released through PEXA, however, this is government information that is released to the public through the Land & Property Information department (LPI). The information on public record is no different to any other public record the LPI releases. Knowing lodgements on properties provides information on the interest in land. This can be searched to know the popularity of a region or pattern in land sale for a district.
CAN I GET A COPY OF A REGISTERED ELECTRONIC DEALING?
Yes, you can purchase the public information on electronic property dealings by visiting the NSW Land & Property Information (LPI) office in person or make a purchase through an LPI listed information broker. Alternatively, your conveyancer or solicitor can do the search for you.
HOW WILL I KNOW WHEN AN E-CONVEYANCING DEALING HAS BEEN REGISTERED?
You get real-time information on every step of your PEXA process. Your conveyancer will have live data on everything that happens in the online workspace. They will be able to keep you informed on the dealing status, where everything is, when documents have been signed, if there are any delays, requested changes or hiccups. Having real-time awareness of the progress of your dealings means any appropriate changes can be made immediately and feedback is instant.
On the allocated day and time of settlement, the money is transferred and the registration is lodged. As soon as LPI receives and processes that lodgement a message is sent to the online workroom and your e-conveyancer can contact you immediately to let you know that document processing has been completed. This streamlined process means that you know your property is ready much sooner than by paper. In most cases, the call will come within minutes of the settlement time. “Your property has settled. You may now collect your keys!”
IS THERE IS A PRICE DIFFERENTIAL FOR LODGEMENT FEES THROUGH PEXA?
While the LPI lodgement fees are the same no matter what method you choose for lodgement you need to be aware that overall you may find the costs of online work higher.
Ask your conveyancer about the costs for both and they will be able to inform you of the costs for using PEXA and any additional costs for their services due to identity checks. Most people find the speed and efficiency of online lodgement outweighs the small additional amount in payment.
*Peta Stewart CPC does not charge any extra for in-office identity checks making e-conveyancing more affordable and accessible to clients.
WHAT HAPPENS IF OTHER PARTIES TO THE CONTRACT ARE NOT PEXA SUBSCRIBERS OR DO NOT WISH TO USE PEXA?
In order for your dealings to go through PEXA all parties must agree to use the online system and all parties must have subscription to use PEXA. Without all parties permission and capability to go ahead with an online lodgement you will have to make the lodgement via the original paper method.
As the border’s first qualified and longest practicing Licenced Conveyancer, and the regions first awarded PEXA Certified Member, we have been the industry leader in e-conveyancing transactions for some time. We pride ourselves on settling property transactions in the fastest possible timeframes with e-conveyancing.
If you have any questions about this system, please contact our office.