CONVEYANCING GLOSSARY: 

During the conveyancing process when buying or selling property, you’ll likely be faced with some terms that you may not be familiar with, but are important to the process.

To help you understand the conveyancing process and get a better grip on some of the legal terms that may be thrown around, our property lawyers have put together the following glossary of terms and phrases.

Our lawyers can guide you through the process and explain these terms to you, so if you are looking to buy or sell property on the Gold Coast, or in Brisbane, feel free to contact us.


Agent:

The real estate agent who the seller, or vendor, has engaged to manage the sale of the property. 

Certificate of Title:

The document that shows the legal ownership of a property. In most cases in Queensland a Certificate of Title will not exist for a property as a digital titles registry has now replaced paper certificates, however a paper Certificate of Title will still exist for older properties that have not changed hands, or if one has been requested.

Community Titles Scheme:

The term given to developments containing multiple dwellings. This can be a house in a gated estate, a townhouse, or an apartment in a high rise. The Title for a property within a Community Titles Scheme has the same rights as the Title for a property on an individual block of land, except for the inclusion of common areas, such as a pool, gym, or shared car park.

Completion:

Completion refers to when the conveyancing process has finished and the change of ownership of the property has occurred.

Contract of Sale:

The Contract of Sale is the written document that gives rise to the conveyancing transaction and is signed by both the Buyer and the Seller. It creates an obligation for both the Buyer and the seller to complete the steps necessary to transfer the property.

Conveyancing:

The services rendered by a solicitor to manage the sale or purchase process of real property.

Cooling-Off Period:

When the Buyer signs the Contract of Sale they receive a five business day cooling-off period in which they can terminate the contract without providing a reason to the Seller for doing so. If the Buyer elects to terminate during this period the Seller is entitled to keep 0.25% of the purchase price from the Buyer’s deposit.

Deposit:

The deposit is the consideration that the buyer pays to the seller upon entering into the contract of sale. The standard deposit is up to 10% of the purchase price and this amount can be paid in two parts; as an initial deposit and a balance deposit.

Develop:

To make improvements to land, usually by way of construction of the construction of a building.

Disbursements:

The amounts that are paid to third parties on your behalf as part of the conveyancing process, such as fees to Council and Government Departments for searches on the property.

Discharge of Mortgage:

When you are selling a property that has a mortgage on it you must arrange with your lender for the discharge of this mortgage. This is done by contacting your lender who will arrange for a Release of Mortgage document to be prepared and made available to the buyer at settlement in return for the funds required to pay out and discharge your mortgage.

Easement:

A right of use for a property that is listed on the property's title, whereby someone other than the property owner has a right to use the property for a specific purpose, for instance, shared paths and driveways.

Encumbrance:

A formal burden or charge over a property listed on the Title; such as a mortgage, easement, or lease.

Exchange:

The point at which the Contract of Sale is passed to either the Buyer or the Seller after being signed by both parties.

Fee Simple:

The most common, and the highest interest, in land that a person can hold in property, other than the Government.

Finance Date:

The date upon which the Buyer is required to have obtained finance approval for the property. If you are taking out a mortgage for the purchase then this will be a condition of the Contract of Sale.

First Home Owners Grant:

At times the State Government offers grants to first home buyers to assist them in purchasing a property. The grant amount and eligibility vary and your lawyer will provide the most up to date information to you. 

Fixtures:

Items that are attached to the property and which ownership moves from the seller to the buyer with the property.

Land Titles Office:

The central registry for the ownership of real property in each state. The transfer is registered with the Land Titles Office. 

Mortgage:

A mortgage is another name for a loan and used to define a loan for the purchase of a property. The mortgage will be registered on the Title to the property and shows the interest of the body that has lent money to the owner of the property for its purchase. 

Mortgagor:

The person or body that has lent money for the purchase of the property. 

Mortgagee:

The person or body that has borrowed money for the purchase of the property.

Office of State Revenue:

The Queensland Government department that assesses stamp, or transfer duty and accepts payment of it as part of the transaction in the purchase of property.

Order on the Agent:

Formal notification of settlement of the property provided to the real estate agent authorising them to release the keys to the buyer and the deposit to the seller.

Pest & Building:

A standard condition of a contract of sale in Queensland is a pest and building inspection, which provides a buyer with the right to have the property inspected for any pests and/or building defects.

PEXA:

PEXA is an electronic system currently being implemented across Australia that will allow for property transactions to be conducted wholly online.

Professional Fee:

The fee that is charged by your lawyer to manage the conveyancing process for you.

Purchaser:

The person buying the property.

Searches:

Enquiries into the property made by a solicitor on a buyer's behalf. Common searches include; a title search, registered plan, land tax and rates & water search.

Settlement:

The date on which the actual transfer of the property takes place.

Settlement Agent:

A person who attends the settlement on behalf of the buyer or seller.

Transfer:

The official legal document that shows the property’s title particulars, its current registered owner and any encumbrances.

Transfer Duty:

Also known as ‘stamp duty’. This is a state tax levied upon the transfer of property and is payable by the buyer. The transfer duty amount varies from state to state and depends on the value of the property. There are concessions available in certain circumstances that may be available to the buyer; such as a home, or first home concession.

Unencumbered:

The title to the property is free of any encumbrances, such as a mortgage or a caveat or writ.

Vacant Possession:

The purchasing of a property that will be vacant at settlement, with no tenant or any other person living in it.

Vendor/Seller:

The person selling the property.


As part of the conveyancing process in Queensland there are a lot of terms you may not be familiar with. The conveyancing solicitors of Dylan & Inns Gold Coast and Brisbane have put together this useful glossary of terms. for you