For a property exchange: go digital

When you’re buying or selling property, it makes sense to complete the transaction online so you can save time and keep track of everything. 

In the past, the exchange of property has required a lot of paperwork, with cheques and contracts being handed back and forth between parties.

This was time-consuming and stressful, especially on the odd occasion when cheques or documents went missing.

However, while it can still be preferable to meet with people in person, it’s possible to conduct a great deal more of these types of transactions digitally (and securely). 

Here’s how to take your property sale or purchase online. 

Make your deposit digitally

Instead of handing over a cheque with the deposit amount when you agree to buy a property, you can pay with an EFT (electronic funds transfer). 

This money usually goes to the real estate agent who is handling the transaction. Ask the agent for their account details then make the deposit and request a receipt from your bank so you can confirm you have made the payment.

It is a good idea to speak to your bank about increasing your daily transaction limit before you take this approach. Limits are usually set at a low threshold of between $2,000 and $10,000 so request to up it if you don’t want to spend a week or more making small transfers. 

Alternatively, you can go to a bank branch and ask the bank to transfer the funds on your behalf. This way, you won’t have to worry about a daily limit. 

Read more: Who gets the deposit in a property exchange? 

Just take note that in an auction situation, things are a little different. You will be expected to pay your deposit straight after being declared the winning bidder, which might be difficult if it is the weekend. In these circumstances, a cheque may still be necessary, although you could speak to the selling agent about what your options are.  

Digital signatures

Many banks now accept digital signatures from their clients, meaning you can skip the process of printing, signing, scanning and emailing documents when applying for a loan. 

When you work with your mortgage broker to confirm the details of your loan, ask about the areas where electronic document exchange and signatures are sufficient. Your broker should be happy to take your documents via email and can take steps to ensure your personal information is stored securely.

Similarly, many conveyancers also offer digital signing using programs such as DocuSign, which lets you sign documents electronically. These signatures are secure and legally binding.  

Going digital will reduce the amount of time you need to spend printing out papers or meeting with your broker in person. However, be aware that some contracts and documents may still require a hand-written signature. 

Using an electronic conveyancing platform for property settlements

In 2019, it became mandatory for conveyancers to use electronic conveyancing platform (eConveyancing) to lodge property transfer documents with the relevant authorities in NSW. 

Where transactions once required lots of back and forth with manual documents, with eConveyancing a property transfer can be officially recorded on the same day the conveyancer lodges the records. 

The current eConveyancing platform is PEXA, which stands for Property Exchange Australia. Your conveyancer (or an authorised representative)  will use this platform to lodge records when you buy or sell your property. They will be registered as a PEXA user; it’s not open for the public to log into and use.

eConveyancing is convenient to speed up the settlement and lodgement process when you exchange property. At Thorpe Conveyancing, we are registered PEXA users. This allows us to help our clients conduct property transactions with ease. 

The days of driving all over town to collect or deliver cheques and contracts are coming to an end. Speak with the professionals who are supporting your property transaction about how you can streamline the process by going paperless. 

Need the support of a qualified and experienced conveyancer to buy or sell your home? Contact Thorpe Conveyancing today.