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What is conveyancing?

Conveyancing deals with the transfer of ownership of real estate or a business from one person (or organisation) to another.

As there are plenty of legal hoops to jump through, the process can be complicated, especially if there is:

  • A need to update details on the property title (for example, registering a death)
  • A subdivision, a realignment of boundaries or a community title

As part of the conveyancing process, legal documents are prepared before a settlement takes place. An exchange of documents and money allows the legal transfer of the property or business from one party to another.

What does a conveyancer do?

Conveyancers prepare all the documents that South Australian laws require, to allow the new owner to become the registered owner of the land or business.

To undertake conveyancing work in South Australia, a conveyancer or conveyancing solicitor must be registered, meaning that they must be qualified to do the job.

Your conveyancer will also provide you with information or advice about the transaction and represent you during the settlement, or facilitate settlement if it’s an eSettlement.

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What is the conveyancing process?

When you instruct us to act as your conveyancer, we’ll meet with you to check over all the conveyancing documents, including the contract and title search. We’ll also check on any GST requirements.

We will ask you to provide as many details as possible, including the type of ownership that you’ll have over the property.

Verification of Identity

South Australian laws now require that we verify your identity and verify your authority to deal with the property. You will need to bring along documents that prove these things; for example, a passport, drivers licence, birth certificate and power of attorney naming you as an attorney. We’ll discuss this with you ahead of your first appointment.

Document preparation

We’ll get to work preparing the necessary documents, including bank discharge authority for any mortgage that you may have over the property, as well as the transfer documents. We will calculate any rates, taxes, stamp duty and other fees so that you’re fully informed of your financial obligations.


Usually, there’s a settlement at which there’s an exchange of the legal documents and money. Once this happens, ownership of the property or business is transferred.  We’ll attend settlement on your behalf, or facilitate an eSettlement.

Once the settlement has taken place, the conveyance is complete.  

Our conveyancing services include:

  • Preparation of private contracts for the sale of real estate or a business
  • Waiving cooling off rights
  • Discharge of private mortgages
  • Registration of change of name
  • Registration of the death of a land or business owner
  • Transferring the title of a deceased person
  • Family law transfers
  • Preparation and registration of commercial leases
  • Division of property
  • Transfer of water licences
  • Transfer of farming properties
  • Conveyancing for the sale of land or a business
  • Conveyancing for the purchase of land or a business

Is a conveyancer the same as a solicitor?

Conveyancers and solicitors aren’t the same. While solicitors (or lawyers) can perform conveyancing work, conveyancers can’t practice law.

Why instruct a lawyer?

While either a lawyer or conveyancer can perform fairly straightforward conveyances, there’s a big advantage in using a lawyer if there are other legal issues involved; for example, when a property is sold or purchased due to:

  • a family law property settlement;
  • the finalisation of a deceased estate; or
  • the sale of a business.


If there are other issues involved in the conveyancing process, a lawyer can assist.

This saves you having to find a lawyer to provide advice after you’ve instructed a conveyancer. It also gives you a greater chance of comprehensive, tailored advice because the lawyer will have a detailed understanding of all legal issues involving the property.

What is eConveyancing?

eConveyancing is a digital property conveyancing process.

It allows online lodgement of documents and online settlements. Digitising the settlement process means that the parties’ representatives don’t have to attend settlements.  It’s hoped that these measures will make the property conveyancing process quicker and more efficient.

Why choose DBH?

Conveyancing solicitors in Adelaide

  • Residential and commercial conveyancing
  • Contracts for sale, caveats and related party transfers
  • Commercial leases and mortgages
  • Trusted expertise and great service

We offer an outstanding suite of services with a team of highly regarded lawyers.

Contact us for more information about how we can help you with your conveyance.

Frequently asked questions

The length of the process depends on both parties meeting all of the conveyancing requirements, or the period set out in the contract of sale.

The settlement period is agreed when you sign a contract to buy or sell the property. The date may be specified, or there may be a period given, for example, six weeks. If necessary, the parties may later agree in writing to change the settlement date.

If you think that the settlement date may need to change; for example, if you’re dealing with a house that is part of a deceased estate, and there’s an issue with probate, speak to us as soon as possible.

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