Conveyancing Goes Digital (Finally!)

It wasn’t so long ago that the settlement process for South Australian property transactions involved physical attendance to the Lands titles office on Grenfell Street in Adelaide. Sometimes there would be some playful banter between conveyancers and occasionally there would be a meaningful conversation with a long-time colleague but for the most part we would all stand around awkwardly in a cramped room and impatiently await those final moments of the process and for the settlement to be completed.

We would tightly clutch on to important paper work including mortgage discharge forms and transfers before submitting them to the LTO. After a long and excruciating wait in the queue, the transaction would be settled; much to the relief of both the vendors and buyers eagerly waiting for the next chapter in their lives to begin.

July 4 2016 marked the beginning of a four month transition period for Electronic Conveyancing that allows for a steady transition into the new process and we couldn’t be more excited about the future benefits to the industry.

Electronic conveyancing is an easier, more efficient and more streamlined process for both the client and their acting Conveyancer. It is going to save a lot of time, a lot of stress and a lot of paper.


The introduction of the Real Property (Electronic Conveyancing) Amendment Bill 2015, amending the Real Property Act 1886 (SA) in May is what has finally propelled the property industry into the 21st Century and allowed us to finally be able to settle transactions remotely.

For conveyancers it means less time waiting at the bank and less time standing around in heels which is frankly better for everyone here at Essential Conveyancing. 

PEXA (Property Exchange Australia) is the platform that will soon be used nationwide for most property transactions. It was developed by software solutions company GlobalX and is hosted by Telstra.

PEXA is backed by the South Australian Government, the Law Society of South Australia, and the SA division of the Australian Institute of Conveyancers.


Settlements will now be done online, with a direct and secure exchange of electronic documents between the acting conveyancers, the LTO and the banks.

Banks will process mortgages, discharges, transfers and refinances online and all transaction information and documentation will be uploaded to the platform and verified against land registry data. Final funds will be settled through the Reserve Bank.

All information regarding the transaction will be entered on the clients’ behalf by the conveyancer. The Conveyancer is then able to watch the status of the settlement in real time.


There will be a few noticeable changes for clients however most will be fairly comprehensive and ultimately more convenient. As mentioned, the conveyancer will now have authority to sign transfers on behalf of the client, meaning they will also be responsible for gaining authorization from the client and verifying the clients’ identity and authority to participate in the transaction.

For buyers, electronic transactions also mean a faster turnaround for updating title ownership details, however the title will be digital only and you will no longer receive a duplicate Certificate of Title. This may come as disappointing news to many, considering a certificate of title is generally a nice piece of paper to own, however it will certainly improve the process for you should you sell in the future, and it is useful in combating the issue of property related fraud in Australia.

Vendors will be happy to know that they will receive funds right away as they will be settled through the reserve bank- meaning you don’t have to keep checking your online banking every half an hour for the following 3 days waiting for that cash to clear so you can pack up the family and buy that shack on Hamilton Island you just put an offer on.


There isn’t a great deal that Agents need to concern themselves with in regards to the shift to electronic conveyancing. They get to carry on being their usual charismatic selves, making everyone’s dreams come true. There are a couple things the Australian Institute of Conveyancers has recommended agents take note of (and they have even prepared a little power point presentation outlining these changes)

In summary, all paperwork such as story sheets and contracts need to be submitted to the conveyancer as soon as possible, avoiding any delay in settlement. Banks will require registration of some transactions such as a notice of death prior to settlement, and initially some transactions may not be able to proceed electronically, such as land divisions.

During the transition period electronic transactions are entirely optional and up to the discretion of the acting conveyancer, however the new processes involved in both manual and electronic transactions will require an extra condition in contracts.

We believe these changes (albeit long overdue) are very positive for the South Australian property industry, especially for Conveyancers and their clients. At Essential Conveyancing we are certainly ready to implement the new process as soon as possible and looking forward seeing faster more efficient settlements in the near future.

Form 1 Preparation

Why good conveyancing is essential  

Whether you are buying or selling, transferring or dividing, there are a number of difficult tasks required in these property transactions that are best left to a professional.

As all property transactions require legal documentation and representation, finding the right Conveyancer that will efficiently and accurately carry out these complex legal and administrative tasks is in your best interest to ensure a smooth and worry free transaction.

A Conveyancer manages your transaction from the time of opening the file (usually shortly after signing the contract with your real estate agent) up to and including the day of settlement. They manage the money coming in and going out for the transaction, and represent you at all levels including with the Land titles office, your financial institution (if required) and the Stamp duties office.

The Conveyancer arranges and assists the settlement and pulls it all together at the end to ensure that both parties get what they signed for and the transaction is finalised.

What to expect from your Conveyancer

  • Set up and file maintenance
  • Obtaining statutory searches and checking correctness of contract and disclosure statement
  • Ensuring client obtains any legal or professional advice required
  • Ensuring conditions of contract are fulfilled by all parties involved by the date specified
  • The confirmation of finance arrangements and representation to specified lender, including the initiation of preparing mortgage documents
  • Preparation of transfer and all other required legal documentation
  • Finalising the transaction by paying outstanding Water, ESL and council rates on behalf of the vendor
  • Distributing cheques at settlement to ensure prompt and accurate payment to all parties involved
  • Reconciling the trust account to ensure accurate distribution of the client’s transaction funds
  • Advising relevant rating authorities and government bodies of transfer of ownership eg. Council and Strata
  • Booking, attending and finalising settlement at The Lands Titles Office
  • Preparing and sending settlement statements advising of money received and distributed, and all relevant fees from the Conveyancer and other organisations such as Stamp Duties, Registration of mortgage, etc.


Some transactions can be more complex or take more time due to the nature of what is required.

At Essential conveyancing we are committed to provide a service that is reliable, accurate and professional. Contact us with any enquires about your property transaction or for a fast obligation free quote.