With more conveyancing companies offering e-Conveyancing it’s important to know what is Electronic conveyancing or e-Conveyancing. e-Conveyancing is having the settlement process streamlined online and actioning key points online instead of multiple parties and paperwork spread over different sites/times.
So, with e-conveyancing you can have buyers, sellers, lawyers, conveyancers, title offices and banks all access your settlement online, the saving is immense in both time and money. Plus, any mistakes are picked up immediately and have the ability to be adjusted in real-time and not have paperwork go back and forth. The most basic explanation is – all the legal and monetary processes of a house sale to be completed online.
What is PEXA
Property Exchange Australia (PEXA) came about from an idea from the Council of Australian Governments (COA) to create an e-Conveyancing platform that lawyers, conveyancers, and banks within Australia could utilize. The goal is to provide ease of access for buyers/sellers and efficient process for conveyancers and all the involved parties. It streamlines all the processes and now all the parties involved; banks, lawyers, conveyancers; can now all work online together. For instance, your conveyancer can now prepare and lodge land title paperwork online instead of in person at the Land Registry Office.
Real estate moving into the digital era
If you have ever dealt with buying or selling a house in the past, then you understand the mountains of paperwork involved. And the annoyance of that paperwork going back and forth, extending the sale process and making the whole thing a timely matter. Finally, the industry is moving into the digital world. Five states are now using e-conveyancing, NSW, Victoria, Western Australia, Queensland and South Australia. Each state’s land title registries are integrated into the PEXA system. This brings one of the biggest benefits of e-conveyancing, lodgement and registration was typically one of the slowest manual processes in settlement. Now it is much speedier as on online lodgement.
Additionally, the manual way of registering your title meant a time delay in which a third party could lodge a conflicting notice with the Land Registry that could either hold up or even block your land title registration. Buyers always had the option of purchasing a lodgement gap cover in a manual transaction, but with e-Conveyance the gap cover comes free.
Sell and buy property simultaneously
PEXA completed the first ‘simultaneous settlement’ of two properties in January 2017. One sold and one bought by the same client – Regan Baines from Melbourne. This marked a major achievement as it proved PEXA’s e-Conveyancing platform could synchronise the sale of a property with the purchase of another. For the buyer this means the proceeds from their sale can go directly towards the purchase of their new property. No more selling and anxiously waiting to find and purchase another property. You can look for a new home at the same time as selling your existing one.
Benefits of e-Conveyancing for both buyers and sellers
- Fast settlement money
Property comes with massive price tags. Selling a home could be the biggest financial transaction in your life. Waiting for the money to turn up in your bank account can be a worrying time. Also, from the time of signing the contract from the money appearing in your account can be a long time. It’s not usual for people to deal with cheques these days – but that’s what a manual settlement brings, waiting for cheques and then waiting up to five days even for the money to clear into your account after you cash the cheque. But e-conveyancing means no bank cheques and money clears into your account on the day of settlement.
- Less errors
Manual settlement brings mountains of paperwork and with so many parties involved, mistakes and delays do arise. With PEXA the system has built in checks and alerts when an error occurs. So, both buyers and sellers can have peace of mind that e-Conveyancing is much less risky than manual conveyancing.
- SettleMe App
A great feature for buyers and sellers is the app called SettleMe by PEXA. It enables tracking of settlement through a custom dashboard. Included on the dashboard is checklists of settlement tasks and these are updated automatically by PEXA as the process moves through each stage. The app will send alerts of key dates and events in your settlement and tracks the whole process from start to finish.
- Virtual settlement office
For those working in the industry like conveyancers, lawyers, land registry offices and banks, the benefits are immense and immediate. Travel is almost eliminated from the settlement process. No more getting to settlement meetings or land office lodgement appointments. All professional parties can meet online and complete tasks. More than 4,000 conveyancers, lawyers and banks have joined the PEXA network. Make sure if you want to offer the best services to clients, you have joined the PEXA network. And if you are a buyer or seller looking for a conveyancer make sure they offer e-Conveyancing to get all the benefits.
- Less costs
Online conveyancing processes means reduced costs for those in the industry. For example, conveyancers do not need to hire settlement agents and venues as its all online. In addition, they do not need to purchase bank cheque books and pay courier fees. All of these fees were passed onto the client, now with these costs eliminated, you will save between $150 to $250.
- Ease of use
No more having to sign pages and pages of documents in person. Digital signatures that can be done with a click if a button bring a much more client friendly process. You do not have to take time off work or go after hours to offices or have conveyancers come to your home for paperwork signing.
- Safer electronic transfers
Now sellers get electronic receipts for all money transfers. Money is transferred immediately and as your settlement is online and accessible to all parties, any errors made are notified straight away so the person responsible can make a correction. This means no delays and money not passing through multiple parties to get to the seller.
- Real-time alerts
Waiting for a sale to be completed is a stressful time and it is the not knowing that contributes to this. With e-conveyancing this stress is alleviated as you can be alerted by the Settle Me app each time the settlement meets a key deadline. Or you can receive texts or emails in real time as the sale proceeds. No hanging out by the phone for a call from your conveyancer on the progress.
- Quicker transactions
Manual paper settlements take several weeks and have many parties and steps involved. Completing settlement through online conveyancing is much quicker and vendors can sell their home much faster.
Moving property settlements into the digital and technological age finally brings an evolution in the real estate industry and favours all vendors. No matter if you are buying, selling or even an industry professional, everyone benefits from a simpler and speedier process with less room for errors. The cost savings in time and process of digital transactions means less overheads for conveyancers and greater savings for clients. Overall e-Conveyancing is a huge leap forward and is the way of the future for property transactions.