Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions




What is Adverse Possession?

Adverse Possession is when someone intrudes onto land and remains in possession of that land for a period of time (15 yrs), after which the person can then claim ownership of that land.

What is an Appraisal – Auctions?

A report made by a qualified person as to the value of a property, as of a given date, indicating how much it may sell for at auction.

What are Adjustments?

The method of adjusting the purchase price of a property to allow for outgoings that have been paid in advance, or are owing at settlement.

What is a Caveat?

A caveat is a warning noted on the Certificate of Title to show that someone has an interest in the property.

What is a Certificate of Occupancy?

A Certificate of Occupancy is a document issued by a local government stating that a building can be lived in.

What is a Certificate of Title?

A Certificate of Title is a Document in the Titles Office that describes details of the ownership and location of a property.

What is a Commission?

Commission is the way in which estate agents are paid.  It is a percentage of the sale price.

What is a Company Share Scheme?

A Company Share Scheme is where there is a unit development and the units don't have separate titles.  The whole development is on one title which is owned by the company that constructed the units.

What is a Conflict of Interest?

A conflict of interest occurs when a situation arises where a person who has a duty to act in the interests of a client also has a duty to act against the interests of that same client.

What is a Contract of Sale?

A Contract of Sale is a written agreement which contains all of the terms and conditions which govern the sale of the Real Estate from the Vendor to the Purchaser.

What is a Contract Note?

A Contract Note is similar to a proper Contract of Sale but is shorter and is used in private property sales.

What is a Conveyancer?

The person who manages all of the matters arising from the purchase/sale of a house.  This can be a Licensed Conveyancer or a Solicitor.

What is Conveyancing?

Conveyancing is a term used to describe the buying and selling of property.

What is a Cooling Off Period?

The time during which a purchaser can withdraw from a contract.

What is a Current Market Value?

The approximate current value of a property.  The best way to get an indication is to consult a valuer.

What is a Deposit?

A deposit is an amount of money paid by the purchaser to secure the purchase of a property.

What are Disbursements?

Disbursements are the out-of-pocket costs associated with purchasing a property such as the amount paid to the Land Titles Office for the title search, and amounts paid to rating authorities for rate and planning certificates.

What are Escorted Inspections?

Escorted inspections are where purchasers are escorted to, and shown through, a property by the Real Estate Agent.

What is an Exclusive Sale Authority?

This is a document that the Vendor signs and gives the Agent exclusive rights to sell the property for a certain period of time.

What is Fidelity Insurance?

Insurance that protects the clients of professionals against theft or misappropriation of funds.

What is Finance Condition?

A condition stated in the contract for the purpose of protecting the purchaser, such as 'subject to finance'.  If the purchaser does not get finance approved then the contract can be cancelled.

What is a Fractional Interest Holding?

Fractional ownership is any arrangement where a group of people share the ownership of an asset and also share certain rights to use the asset.

What is the Land Title Office?

The Land Title Office has records of Land Titles and provides a service where it does Title searches and provides documents and information for a fee.

What are Mortgagee Costs?

These are costs generated by the lender through direct contact with the borrower's conveyancing lawyer.  This could be to ask for a copy of the Contract of Sale, Transfer of Land, or details of cheques for settlement, etc.

What is a Negotiation?

Negotiation involves discussing matters with another person such as a solicitor, and getting them to represent you with a view to reaching some form of compromise or agreement.

What is a Nomination?

A Nomination is a form used in a conveyancing purchase matter in Victoria when an Agent is nominating the Purchaser as purchaser.

What is an Offer?

An offer is a written proposal to buy a piece of real estate.

What is an Off the Plan Purchase?

An Off The Plan Purchase is when a property is purchased prior to construction being completed.

What is Penalty Interest?

Penalty Interest is payable when money is due, but is not paid by the due date.  This means that late payment of the deposit, or late payment of the balance of the purchase price at settlement, will result in an obligation to pay penalty interest.

What is Professional Indemnity Insurance?

Professional Indemnity Insurance is a type of insurance designed to protect a business or person against any claims arising from bad or negligent advice or services.

What is a Section 27 Deposit Release Statement?

Section 27 of the Sale of Land Act says that the deposit paid by a Purchaser on the purchase of real estate can be released before settlement takes place in certain circumstances.

What is section 32 Vendor Statement?

This is a statement that the Vendor gives to the Purchaser prior to the signing of a Contract of Sale.  Its name comes from Section 32 of the Sale of Land Act, which requires a vendor to provide certain information to a purchaser BEFORE a contract of sale is signed.

What is a Settlement?

Settlement is the moment when all of the parties involved in a sale of real estate meet together and exchange documents and cheques to complete the matter.

Each party exchanges the documents and cheques that complete the purchase of a property.

What is State of Repair?

Refers to the condition of a property, whether it is in good condition or the amount of work it needs done on it.

What is the State Revenue Office?

The State Revenue Office (SRO) is the Victorian Government’s tax collection agency. It is also responsible for managing the First Home Owners Grant (FHOG).

What is a Title?

A Title is a legal document establishing evidence of ownership.  A property can change ownership many times over a period of years.  Records of these transactions are compiled onto a Certificate of Title.  The title is held by the property's owner.

What is Title Insurance?

Title Insurance is Insurance to protect the Owner or Lender against financial loss if there is a property ownership dispute.

What is the Transfer of Land?

This document tells the Titles Office to change the registered ownership of the property into your name.

What is an Agent?

When we refer to real estate, an agent is a person that acts on behalf of another such as a Real Estate Agent, acting on behalf the vendor to sell the property.

What is an Agents Representative?

An agents representative is any person who is not a licensed agent but who performs any estate agents functions such as a sales person or a property manager.

What is Agent Taint?

Agent taint relates to when there is a property that is listed for sales with a real estate agent and the real estate agent has exclusive authority to the sale of that property. When the exclusive authority expires, the agent is still entitled to receive the sales commission if the property is sold to someone that the agent introduced to the property.

What is a Bid to Buy Form?

A bid to buy form is a form that the buyer fills in and submits to the vendor when making an offer to purchase a property. It allows a purchaser to commence negotiations without being legally bound. Once a price is agreed upon, then the vendor can get a contract of sales made.

What is a Body Corporate?

A Body Corporate is now known as an Owners Corporation. See What is an Owners Corporation.

What is a Body Corporate Certificate?

This is now known as an Owner’s Corporation Certificate. See What is an Owner’s Corporation Certificate.

What is a Buyer’s Agent?

A buyers agent helps a purchaser find a property to purchase, evaluate the property, and negotiate a price. A buyers agent works for the buyer.

What is Certification?

Certification is when the planning authority approves a plan of subdivision. It has to comply with all of the requirements of the council. Upon certification the plan of subdivision is lodged at the Land Titles Office

What is a certified copy?

A certified copy is a copy of an original document that has been seen and certified by an authorized person such as a Solicitor, Doctor, Magistrate, Justice of the Peace, etc. The certified copy must have the certifier’s name, title, registration number and be signed and dated.

What is Common Property?

Common Property refers to strata schemes. The lot owner owns the inside of the unit but not the main structure of the building. Usually the four walls, ceiling, roof and floor are common property. The internal walls, floor coverings and fixtures are the property of the lot owner.

What are Conditions?

Conditions refer to the Terms and Conditions of a contract of sale. They are the rules that the buyer and seller must abide by. This includes general conditions that most contracts have and special conditions which are specific. There may also be payment conditions, contract change conditions, price variation clauses or penalties.

What is a Conveyancing Kit?

A conveyancing kit gives instructions on how to do your own conveyancing. When you use a conveyancing kit you still have to pay for rate and planning certificates, title searches, postage, transport to settlement, etc. It may cost a little less but you don’t get the knowledge and experience of a licensed conveyance.

What is a Covenant?

A covenant is a duty or restriction imposed on you on the use of land regardless of the owner. For example, you may purchase a block of land and there may be a condition in the contract that you can only build a double story house on that lot. An example of a restrictive covenant may be purchasing a lot of land in an industrial development and not being able to build a residential property.

What is Duel Occupancy?

Duel Occupancy is when there are two dwellings on a single allotment of land. They can be free standing or attached.

What is an Easement?

An easement is having the right to cross or use someone else’s property for a specific purpose. For example, underground sewage pipes that may need to be accessed.

What is an Encumbrance?

An Encumbrance is anything that burdens or restricts the owner to transfer title of the property such as a mortgage, an easement or a restriction. For example, in the case of a mortgage, you may not be able to sell the property until the loan is paid off.

What is a General Law Land title?

General Law Land refers to Land that was transferred prior to the Transfer of Land Act in 1958. General Law land does not have a certificate of title. Most of the land in Victoria has been converted to the torrens system land where there is a certificate of title. A General Law Title must be transferred to the modern Torrens Title as part of the transfer when a purchase is made.

What is an Owners Corporation?

An Owners Corporation, formerly known as a Body Corporate, is a legal entity created for the management and maintenance of a strata title scheme such as a unit development, high rise apartment building, shopping centre etc. Every owner of a lot is automatically a member of the Owners Corporation, and is charged an annual fee.

What is an Owners Corporation Certificate?

An Owners Corporation Certificate is a document that states information about a strata title property. It is prepared by the Owners Corporation and must outline the current fees for the lot, unpaid fees, fees to be paid and the dates. It also states insurances related to the lot and any legal issues or requirements. The fee to obtain the certificate is $150.

For more information see http://www.theocguide.org/Owners_Corporation_Certific.html

What is a Torrens Title?

See What is a Certificate of Title

Who is the Vendor?

The Vendor is the rperson or company that owns the property and is putting it up for sale.

Do you have futher Questions?

If you have any further questions, we are happy to help!

Please call: Melbourne Property Conveyancing on 1300 761 524