What does property transactions even mean? Argh, Jargon!

Property transactions; The move towards an electronic property world! What lies ahead in that deep digital jungle?

Conveyancing sounds all fancy schmancy, but it is actually a very simple term to mean the purchase and sale of real estate. For example, if you are involved in the purchase of a residential house, then this is generally called, conveyancing. Every time you own a lot of lands, you get this special thing called a certificate of title. This means you own the land! Congratulations!

A very typical term that big wig lawyers generally call conveyancing is the “acquisition and disposal of real estate.” For big wig lawyers who do conduct “acquisition and disposal of real estate,” sometimes they are teased as glorified conveyancers! A bit cheeky, we know! Do the two names mean the same thing? Probably. You pick the term you like!

What is this shift to electronic in property transactions? Electronic, Paperless, Digital – the way of the future!

Ever wondered what paperless transactions was about? Look no further than Victoria’s property sector because now is an exciting time, yes right now, to see transactions be done in a leaner and faster way! Remember around 22nd October 2016 when Land Use Victoria scheduled to change all paper land titles to electronic land titles?[1] Well…. soon after that, in November 2016, CBA, NAB, Westpac and ANZ converted more than 1.6 million paper land titles to electronic land titles. [2] Imagine that! More than 1.6 million paper land titles just vanished! Poof! … All that 1.6 million paper titles on an electronic database! Phenomenal right? Imagine the number of trees used to print those pages!

But, importantly for you! If you are curious about whether your certificate of title is paper or electronic, then how about going to your nearest bank and checking your title to find out! Is that title, that shows the ownership to your land, paper title or an electronic title? Now you know a fun fact about your property to tell everyone!

What does all this shift really mean for legal practitioners and licensed conveyancers? Well, it benefits you as the customer!

There is this government department called Land Use Victoria and they released this Bulletin, called Bulletin 172. It was published in November 2017 and is pretty much a mandate. Boring! But it does really affect you as customers! We think it is very important! What if your legal practitioner or licensed conveyancers get it wrong? That’d be terrible for you!

If legal practitioners and licensed conveyancers are representing you then from 1st January 2018, they must now sign on behalf of you! If this does not happen, then the documents you have might not even get registered! Now you need to waste time just because of that minor hiccup – argh! You should just do their job then!

So why is this registration so important? Because it gives what you submit proper legal status! Make sure that your legal practitioner or licensed conveyancer know whether they must sign instruments on your behalf or whether you are required to sign the instruments personally! Any confusion can create problems down the line! That would hurt your hip pocket and we don’t want that to happen to you!

What does it mean for legal practitioners and licensed conveyancers? Well…. they really need to up their game now! Really! The following toe to toe with Land Use Victoria’s new requirements is super duper important! You can be your own detective now!

Detective!? What Detective!?

Remember always to always be verified properly by your legal practitioner or licensed conveyancer! This is a good sign that your legal practitioner or licensed conveyancer is a keeper! Imagine if this wasn’t in place! Like not doing verification properly! Really! It would be terrible because someone would play the role of an imposter and might get away with it!

That is why all legal practitioners or licensed conveyancers must take reasonable steps! For example, conducting a face-to-face interview includes bringing a current Australian passport, Australian drivers’ licence, or Medicare! Make sure those great pictures you took for your passport and driver’s licence correspond to the beautiful you! Yes, that beautiful you!  We know you were always beautiful!

How do we all move forward together? All good things only come to customers!

So with this new movement towards shifting everything onto electronic space, does it remind you something like the Matrix? Well, we haven’t really gotten there yet, but we are getting there!

But really!  If you run a company or are part of something big and enormous, always make sure that any legal practitioners or licensed conveyancers should conduct proper verifications! You don’t want to lose a lot of land or get involved in big problems just because that legal practitioner or licensed conveyancer did a minor hiccup, right?! As the idiom says, “prevention is better than cure,” this is actually very true! We don’t want your legal costs to go up unnecessarily just because of some small mistake!

If you have any concerns about your property, contact us. We are happy to help with our trusted knowledge in all property-related matters.  

Important Disclaimer: This information is of a general nature only and it is not, nor is intended to be, legal advice. If you wish to take any action based on the content of this publication, we recommend that you seek professional legal advice. 

[1] Land Victoria, Customer Information Bulletin 160 (October 2016) Land Victoria

[2]  Simon Johanson, Big four banks destroy 1.6 million land paper land titles in push to digital visions (1 November 2016) The Sydney Morning Herald; Anna Hardie, Bulk Conversion of Titles in Victoria (22 September 2016) PEXA <https://community.pexa.com.au/t5/Share-your-Experiences/Bulk-Conversion-of-Titles-in-Victoria/td-p/1933>.