Insights Library

Electronic conveyancing; a no-brainer for property developers

Giancarlo Romano
Article by Giancarlo Romano

Best Hooper has been an expert in the property and land sector areas of law for over a century. We understand there are significant cost burdens on a project from a planning perspective prior to achieving unit sales, as well as construction speed and holding costs. But effective and efficient conveyancing services are often overlooked; and these are just as critical to the profitability and cash flow of any development, large or small. As a result, we have partnered with a leading technology provider of electronic conveyancing to leverage this technology into our clients’ businesses, with the goal to reduce costs and streamline property transactions.

What is PEXA?

Property Exchange Australia (PEXA) is a digital platform that facilitates secure online lodgment and financial settlements. It is relatively new to Victoria but inevitably the way of the future; having already handled more than 672,000 nationwide property transactions valued at almost $85 billion at the time of publication. In fact, from 1 October 2018 (less than a year away) all property transfers in Victoria will be required to be processed electronically. It has proven very advantageous for individual transactions and the PEXA platform is now adaptable for large-scale development use.

Many of Best Hooper’s clients have been early adopters of this technology and are now enjoying the benefits of delivering their housing product quicker to their customers. When Best Hooper is engaged to provide legal services across the lifecycle of a development – from the early project planning and proposal – we will work with the financier of the development to ensure they are aware of all of the advantages of the e-conveyancing system and to assist them with PEXA registration and on-boarding, even before a single unit is sold! Our practice is also equipped to offer fully electronic contract execution, which means buyers can be signed up immediately, avoiding administrative delays.

The online platform allows the Best Hooper conveyancing team to take the project unit sales (lot numbers, price lists and purchasers details) and convert them into individual online workspaces; simultaneously inviting the purchaser’s lawyers to access their respective space. Our conveyancers and lawyers working on the matters then generate transfers and supporting documents and execute them electronically with safe, encrypted signatures; avoiding the need for individual signing of each document.

Benefits

By enabling this administrative work to be finalised swiftly with significantly less risk of human error allows our clients and lawyers to turn their attention to registration of the plan of subdivision as quickly as possible, to bring the project to completion on schedule, giving our developers the opportunity to achieve maximum financial benefit from each project. The portal allows for bulk notifications and settlement of matters online with speed, accuracy and efficiency.

These are the same advantages that are available to single lot vendors/purchasers but on a much larger scale. Accuracy means settlement extensions are avoided. Efficiency allows over 100 settlements to take place in one day. Speed with instant clearance of funds through the Reserve Bank of Australia means there is no three day wait for sale proceeds; on a single settlement this might save $200 of interest on your mortgage, on 200 settlements it could save over $40,000!

As a trusted partner of PEXA, Best Hooper is working with PEXA with the goal of creating a Developer portal which will allow our clients 24-hour access to view the progress of plan registration, access copies of all contracts, track deposit investments, settlement progress and final sale proceeds. The system will generate reports at all stages to keep our clients informed every step of the way and allow them as little or as much involvement as they prefer.

Costs (if any)

There is only one cost to use e-conveyancing for large scale development and this is the same one-off fee payable at settlement as an individual would pay. The fee (currently $110.55) is payable per settled transaction. However, the responsibility for payment of this fee can be deemed as part of the individual purchaser’s settlement adjustment.

Our practice draws on experience from a wealth of property expert partners and we seek to pass on benefits through synergy of our resources to offer seasoned property developers a holistic service that they can trust, at a very competitive rate. To discuss your upcoming projects with our property team and obtain a fixed fee proposal tailored to your project’s individual needs please contact Giancarlo Romano on (03) 9691 0220.

Giancarlo Romano

Senior Associate
view profile