- Conveyancing in NSW transitions to 100% digital
- Benefits of eConveyancing
For several years now Conveyancing in NSW has been transitioning to ‘100% digital’; moving away from paper transactions for faster and more accurate transactions. With the last step being the abolition of Certificates of Title which occurred on 11 October 2021, we finally achieved this!
You may have heard the terms ‘eConveyancing’ or ‘electronic Conveyancing’ being used. This is the legal process involved in buying or selling property which occurs electronically, and it was mandated on 1 July 2019. On this day, you could no longer lodge mainstream property dealings in paper in NSW. Since then, eConveyancing has developed significantly and now all documents that would have been lodged over the counter in paper at Land Registry Services can be lodged electronically.
So you’ve been told eConveyancing is faster and more accurate but what does this mean and what are some of the other benefits to you?
Faster lodgement of documents and access to your money faster.
In the manual world documents required to transfer ownership to you are typically not lodged for days or sometimes weeks after settlement. With e-Conveyancing it is instant, giving you peace of mind and reducing risk as there is no lodgement gap. The change of ownership occurs on the day of settlement, with electronic lodgement to Land Registry Services. This also means Government authorities like Council and Water are advised of the change of ownership much sooner.
Funds are paid into your account instantly, on the day of settlement. In most cases, they also clear in your account on that same day. You don’t have to wait for cheques to be banked and then for funds to clear in your account before you can access them. With eConveyancing you have immediate access to funds from the settlement.
Surveys have shown that during a manual conveyancing settlement, 1 in 5 of the people surveyed experienced delays to settlement. Delays to settlement can mean additional expenses and cause stress. With eConveyancing, the risk of errors and delays is significantly reduced, giving you added certainty of a successful on-time settlement. This is achieved through electronic signing as well as better checks and balances through electronic channels. For example, there are no cheques drawn in eConveyancing, the funds are electronic. This eliminates the chances of cheques being drawn incorrectly resulting in a delay or even a cancellation of settlement.
Within the electronic settlement platform, information pulls across automatically from the original source and then auto-populates the documents while the system cross-checks that information making it more accurate than the former manual processes, reducing the risk of manual errors.
Some banks charge $10, even $15 per bank cheque required for settlement. With eConveyancing, funds are paid electronically, eliminating the need for bank cheques and additional expenses like bank cheque fees.
In order for settlement to occur, the Transfer must be signed. Electronic signing means you can avoid the hassle of printing, scanning and posting documents. You don’t even need to make time to drop into the office to sign documents. The Transfer is signed by us, on your behalf, using our digital certificate. This also makes it more convenient for you, as there are fewer visits you need to make to our office.
Sending documents in the post to be signed increases the risk of delays to settlement, particularly when documents are lost and given the sometimes-prolonged turnaround times to receive mail in the post. The majority of us have recently experienced this with the post. With the electronic signing, there are no documents being posted.
Within the electronic settlement flatforms, conveyancers, lawyers and financial institutions can interact with each other and have ‘conversations’. All the steps that the parties are required to complete in order for the matter to proceed to settlement such are creating and signing off on documents are outlined for all to see. You can also access updates to the status of each party in real-time.
eConveyancing is tightly regulated. Processes are in place to verify the identity of the parties and allow parties to electronically sign documents securely. For all those tech-savvy people, the data is encrypted and the receiving computer checks the data to make sure it wasn’t changed in transit. For us Conveyancers, there is a two-step authentication process just to access the electronic settlement platform.
The NSW Government Office of the Registrar General also notes that eConveyancing reduces the risk of fraud. With paper documents, there was always a risk that fraud could be committed simply by someone forging the signature of the owner.
There are other digital means that have been put in place to allow:
- Us to electronically verify your identity, negating the need for you to come into the office
- Us to generate electronic Contracts, meaning the Agent has instant access to them for marketing purposes as soon as they are prepared
- You to sign the Contract electronically, saving you from having to be present at the Agent’s office or our office during business hours. Sign in the comfort of your own home or even at your place of work, at a time that is convenient to you
At Coutts, we engage in several digital means of Conveyancing and each member of our property team has and continues to undergo training on all aspects of eConveyancing because we understand the importance of being on the front foot as this space continues to evolve.
ABOUT MELINA COSTANTINO
Melina has over 9 years of experience as a Licensed Conveyancer, acting for client matters involving; purchase and sale of residential and commercial property, Retirement Village Contracts, Put & Call Options, Call Options, and Family Transfers. She is passionate about helping a wide range of clients across all aspects of the buying and selling process and ensuring that her clients meet all their legal obligations.
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This blog is merely general and non-specific information on the subject matter and is not and should not be considered or relied on as legal advice. Coutts is not responsible for any cost, expense, loss or liability whatsoever in relation to this blog, including all or any reliance on this blog or use or application of this blog by you.