What is a Conveyancer?

A conveyancer (or landbroker as they were known as up until 1994) is engaged to assist in the sale and purchase process and will provide independent advice. It is always a good idea to talk to a conveyancer before you sign a contract or commit to buying or selling. Your conveyancer will ensure you understand your rights and obligations and are fully aware of all likely fees and charges – nobody likes surprises, especially when you’ve finally found your dream home.

Why do I need a Conveyancer?

A conveyancer is your representative when dealing with the banks, the agents and the other party’s conveyancer. It is a conveyancer’s job to calculate the adjustments of rates and taxes, prepare legal documents and attend settlement on your behalf.

It is a conveyancer’s job to ensure that the process from signing a contract all the way through to settlement is as seamless as possible.


  • Do they know other professionals that you may need to assist you in the process?
  • Do they have knowledge in all areas of conveyancing?
  • Do they provide a personal service and keep you informed at all times throughout the settlement process?

Can I choose my own Conveyancer?

Yes, in fact we recommend that you do so, as then that way you will get your own independent advice. It is not cheaper to use the the same conveyancer as the other party.

When choosing your conveyancer things to consider:

  • Are they a member of the AIC (Australian Institute of Conveyancers)
  • Are they up front with all of the fees they will be charging?

What is a (CPC) Certified Practising Conveyancer (CPC)?

Members of Australian Institute of Conveyancers South Australia (AICSA) maintain professional development to achieve the accreditation of Certified Practicing Conveyancer (CPC). This is a sign of excellence and professionalism and shows that conveyancers strive to grow and develop their knowledge by attending professional development courses each year.

Registered Conveyancers in South Australia who complete the criteria may use the post nominal CPC after their name and will receive a certificate annually

Verification of Identity - What does it mean?

Verification of Identity (VOI) is a SA government policy which requires that there be a face to face meeting with any party involved in a real estate transaction and either their conveyancer as the “Verifier” or their agent. Agents can be lawyers, other conveyancers, banks or other reputable and competent persons who have the required level of insurance.  Original identification documents must be produced to the Verifier at the meeting. This is similar to the banks 100 point check where a passport, drivers licence or proof of age card (photo ID)  can be produced together with other identifying documents.

This will enable the Verifier to identify a person whether known to them or not.The image on the photo ID must carefully be identified with the face of the person attending the meeting.  All methods of identification will require at least two forms of documentary identification and where no photo ID is available other forms of identification may suffice.

At McKay Business Services we prefer to meet you face to face but use Zip ID as our preferred Verifier Agent when required. Zip ID offers a very useful service and they come to you!  If you are interested in using this service please click contact us for the the Zip Id Form.

Questions I should be asking my Conveyancer?

When first engaging with your conveyancer you may or may not know what you need to be aware of throughout the process. Here are some types of questions that you can ask your conveyancer to help you be better informed about your settlement.

  • What type of documentation do I need to bring in?
  • Are they checking the Form 1 in the cooling off?
  • Are they undertaking the appropriate statutory searches – some conveyancers don’t do this and this is why they are cheap
  • Are they available to speak to me at all times?
  • Is my settlement a priority?
  • Should I call my conveyancer to tell them im going away on holiday?

When purchasing a property consider these questions:

  • Can you check over my contract before I sign
  • Can you check my form 1 in the cooling off?
  • When should I take out insurance?

For the sale of your property consider:

  • When can I cancel my insurance?
  • What do I do with my keys?
  • How long does the bank take to discharge my mortgage?
  • What do I do if I get a bill before settlement? (ie SA Water, rates notice, ESL or Land Tax)

some of these questions are rarely asked but they are very important both for you and your conveyancer

What is Cooling Off?

As a purchaser you may be entitled to a “cooling off” period.  If for any reason you decide against proceeding with a contract for the purchase of property you must serve the “cooling off” notice within 2 working days after receiving the Vendor’s Statement (also known as the Form 1) which is normally given to purchasers by agents when the contract is signed.  A “cooling off” period does not apply to purchases made at auctions or if it is the purchaser of a commercial property and the the purchaser is a company.

What are Adjustments?

Adjustments are rates, taxes and levies that are adjusted to the settlement date. In all cases the vendor must prepay these rates to a date beyond settlement and therefore they’re entitled to an adjustment (credit). This is shown on your Settlement Statement.

What time does settlement take place?

Settlements usually occur between 10.30am and  4.30pm now that they are settled electronically. Paper settlements whilst rare can also take place at any time during the day by agreement with  the relevant parties

Can a Conveyancer Act for Both Parties?

In SA a conveyancer is allowed to act for both parties in some circumstances but it is not recommended.  If a Conveyancer does act for both sides and a conflict of interest arises then the Conveyancer must cease acting if the problem cannot be resolved. Conflicts can arise from such things as delays in settlement or unfulfilled special conditions. We recommend that you use your own independent Conveyancer.

What is the difference between Joint Tenants and Tenants in Common?

When two or more people purchase land, they can be registered on the Title as either “joint tenant” or “tenants in common”.

Joint Tenants – Where two or more parties register as Joint Tenants each registered owner does not have a specific share of the property – all owners have an undefined share in the whole of the land. The right of ‘survivorship’ applies when a joint tenant dies, as the ownership automatically vests in the surviving joint tenant/s. 

Tenants in Common – Each registered owner has a separately defined share of the property which can be one undivided moiety or one third, or one quarter, depending on the number of registered proprietors as to the percentage holding. In this instance, when a tenant in common dies, ‘survivorship’ does not apply, and the deceased’s share is transferred according to the terms of the will.

Privacy Policy - How is my information used? How is it stored?


You are required to provide your identification documents in order that we can certify the Lands Titles Office documentation for your land transactions. These documents are not used for any other purpose such as marketing and your consent is required before any information is forwarded to any other parties.


All confidential information is stored as an encrypted electronic file and all original copies of your identification are destroyed through a secure shredding service.

How do I make a Complaint for a breach of the Privacy Policy

HOW TO MAKE A COMPLAINT We will acknowledge receipt of any complaint about the use of Personal Information, a breach of this Privacy Policy, the APPs or the Privacy Act within 10 Business Days of receiving a complaint (Complaint). We will try to resolve a Complaint as quickly as is possible. If you are not satisfied with our response to a Complaint you can contact the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC).  A link to the OAIC website is set out below: http://www.oaic.gov.au/

How do I get a copy of the Privacy Policy?

HOW TO OBTAIN A COPY OF OUR PRIVACY POLICY Please contact us to obtain a free copy of this privacy policy or download here. For more information you can also download the Australian Privacy Principles here and the Privacy Fact Sheet here. Please let us know if you require a copy of our privacy policy in a particular form and we will try to provide it. Our standard practice is to provide hard copies or electronic copies as a pdf or Microsoft word file.