E-conveyancing is a means of settling a conveyancing transaction electronically without the need to physically exchange paperwork and cheques. The settlement takes place through an online settlement platform. The most routinely used platform is PEXA, which is regulated by NSW Land Registry Services.
Who can use e-conveyancing?
You must be a subscriber of the PEXA network to use e-conveyancing. At present, only financial institutions, conveyancers and lawyers can register as a subscriber. This means that you must have a legal representative to carry out your conveyancing transaction for you. A conveyancing transaction is not just a sale and purchase, it also covers registration of mortgages, leases, and changes of ownership involving deceased estates.
All subscribers are required to verify the identity of their clients by following an identification of standard. We appreciate that this is onerous for clients, but it is done to minimise identity fraud.
What are the advantages of e-conveyancing?
E-conveyancing has dragged the conveyancing process into the 21st century. The main benefit for clients is that settlement funds are disbursed immediately. Whilst processing times vary from bank to bank, most clients see settlement funds arrive in their bank accounts rapidly, rather than having to wait on cheque processing times. It’s not unusual for a vendor client to advise that funds have already arrived in their account by the time we ring them to confirm that settlement is complete.
Registration of the title transfer happens instantaneously. This also triggers the changing of details with your local water board and Council. Previously, purchaser clients who were taking out a mortgage relied on their mortgagee to register the transfer. This routinely took mortgagee’s weeks to attend to, which would create problems if it overlapped with the Council or water board issuing rates notices.
It also gives clients greater flexibility with payment directions. As cheques historically had to be physically drawn up, cheque directions had to be locked in days prior to settlement. Whilst it is always ideal to be as organised possible, we appreciate this isn’t always achievable. As banking details are entered electronically, this gives the parties flexibility, even on the morning of settlement.