Conveyancing Terms Explained

19th Nov 2019

At Liston Legal we deal with Conveyancing every day, so there are many industry words that are common to us. We wanted to take the time to explain some to you. This way we can make the process simple and stress free for you.

Conveyancing is the legal process which transfers the ownership of a property from one person to another. We will help fill out all the legal forms required to process your sale or purchase, liase with the other party’s conveyancer, and complete tasks such as obtaining and checking the searches and transferring funds.

As solicitors we have the same capacity and knowledge as a conveyancer, however, we can also assist with any complex legal issues that may arise from selling or purchasing property.

Certificate of Title

A Certificate of Title (Title Deed) is a document that is the record of ownership of a property as it appears at the land registry. The certificate includes the owner’s details, mortgages, relevant covenants or caveats registered and any third-party interest in the land.

Contract of Sale

A Contract of Sale is a legally binding contract between the vendor and the purchaser. It contains the terms of the agreement, contract price, settlement date, property specifications and special conditions.

Cooling off period

The contract has a 5 day cooling off period to allow buyers to change their mind – 0.25% penalty of the purchase price applies if terminated under this condition.  

A purchaser signing a contract at auction or within 3 days before or after auction does not have the right to cool off. Other exceptions apply.


This is money that is paid to outside parties like Councils and Government Departments to either obtain information or search results. These are fixed costs determined by the Council or Government that provide the information.


An easement is a right of way over another person's property. A very common easement a driveway for someone to access their property, or the sewerage and drainage easement for the water authority’s right to use an owner’s land for supply of sewerage and drainage services. Easements can restrict the manner in which the property is used.


An encumbrance is an interest or obligation existing over a property by a party who is not the owner. Examples include easements, mortgages, leases, covenants and caveats.

The most common encumbrance is a mortgage. It is the conveyancer’s responsibility to ensure that the vendor’s mortgage is discharged at settlement so that the purchaser does not take on the vendor’s mortgage.

Making an offer

Making an offer is the act of signing a Contract of Sale to purchase a property, which if accepted will form a binding agreement between the vendor and purchaser.

A written offer can include special terms and conditions as well. Common conditions are subject to valuation, finance approval or a building and pest inspection. It is also possible to specify the number of days your offer is open for the vendor’s acceptance.

Once you have made your offer, the real estate agent will then present it to the vendor for consideration.


This is the contract which shows that you agree to a lender’s terms and conditions. It also grants your mortgage provider a right in the property you’re buying. It is the security taken by a lender for the loan.


The date when the actual property transfer occurs, i.e. The payment of monies and the delivery of documents necessary for the registration of the new owner on title.

Strata title and Owners Corporation

The title given in multi-dwelling developments. This title is a form of ownership created for apartments, townhouses, units and even land subdivisions. Strata title consists of individual properties (units, car spaces) and common areas (corridors, driveways, gardens). Strata titles are managed by a body corporate whose members are made up of the owners.

How can we help you?

If you have any questions, please get in touch. We look forward to helping you with all your Conveyancing needs.