The days of signing paper documents and handing over bank cheques at settlements held in crowded rooms in the CBD are dissipating rapidly.
With the introduction of Property Exchange Network Australia (more commonly known as PEXA), more and more sales, purchases and general conveyancing transactions are now required to be completed online through PEXA. In the near future, all conveyancing transactions will need to be completed online utilising PEXA. Further, other authorities such as the State Revenue Office are now also moving to entirely electronic platforms.
Whilst this leap into the digital world of conveyancing may be seen by some to be something that is well overdue, many of our clients have numerous questions as to how this new electronic conveyancing process will work. Also, given the recent negative media coverage surrounding PEXA and electronic conveyancing in general, we have also had a number of clients raise concerns about the safety and security of completing settlements electronically.
What is electronic conveyancing:
In days gone by, if you were selling a property or purchasing a property, there was a necessity to ramble your way through an abundance of lengthy and at times, difficult to understand forms which were required to be signed. From State Revenue Office forms which assessed any stamp duty payable on your purchase to the Transfer of Land document, all required printing, posting, signing and returning.
Currently, with the introduction of electronic conveyancing, most, if not all forms can now be signed electronically with a significant number now required to be signed by your solicitor or conveyancer on your behalf.
Further, with the introduction of PEXA, a settlement is as simple as your solicitor or conveyancing completing everything required within a designated workspace and watching their computer screen to ensure that the settlement has been completed successfully. All documents are now uploaded into PEXA and checked well prior to the settlement date so we can mitigate any hiccups before they occur. At settlement, they are then sent off electronically to be assessed and registered with the relevant Land Titles Office. Not only that, all money now changes hands electronically rather than by a good old bank cheque.
At Eales & Mackenzie, we have found that electronic conveyancing has not only made conveyancing transactions more efficient, but we are also better able to assess and resolve issues well prior to settlement occurring.
Rest assured though, if signing forms electronically or working through electronic matters is not your cup of tea, we at Eales & Mackenzie will do everything possible to ease this process for you.
Additional steps to ensure security in completing your purchase or sale electronically:
We want to assure all our clients that we take every precaution in completing conveyancing transactions electronically. Some of the many additional security steps we undertake for our conveyancing transactions include:
1. Confirming your bank details with you verbally rather than just relying on email – we are aware that email addresses can be impersonated so we will always ensure that we contact you by telephone to confirm your bank details before entering them into PEXA;
2. Ensuring we hold valid identity checks for all our clients for all conveyancing matters;
3. Having two people confirm a client’s account details when they are entered into PEXA;
4. Giving clients the option of having PEXA transfer money in or out of our solicitor’s trust account to avoid potential fraud.
With the progression of the digital revolution comes the increased risk of security breaches. However, at Eales & Mackenzie, we do and will continue to implement tried and trusted security methods to keep the risk to our clients as low as possible.
If you have concerns regarding an electronic conveyancing transaction or would like further information on how electronic conveyancing works, please feel free to contact either Charlotte Black at our Melbourne office on (03) 8621 1000 or Vita Fisicaro at our Essendon office on (03) 9331 1144.