What is electronic conveyancing?
Traditionally, conveyancing has been dealt with in the ‘real world’ – there is a physical contract, signed by the parties, and settlement has been effected in person by the exchange of paper transfers for bank cheques. Electronic conveyancing (or e-conveyancing) is a method of conveyancing where rather than a physical settlement, settlement is effected by an electronic platform. In Queensland (as with most states) this platform is provided by Property Exchange Australia Limited (PEXA). PEXA’s stakeholders include various state governments (such as the Queensland government) and the major banks.
Is e-conveyancing mandatory?
E-conveyancing is not (currently) mandatory in any Queensland, and there is not any current proposal to make it mandatory. It will be mandatory for conveyances in Western Australia by the end of this year, and in New South Wales and Victoria by mid 2019. To undertake an e-conveyance in Queensland, both buyer and seller need to agree.
In our experience since the introduction of e-conveyancing in Queensland, there is some reluctance for many law firms to conduct settlements electronically.
We anticipate that there will be a push for e-conveyancing to become mandatory in the next couple of years.
What is the Pexa Residential Seller Guarantee?
Earlier this year, the issue of e-conveyancing reached the national spotlight when a fraud of about $250,000.00 was perpetrated on a firm using the PEXA platform. Following this, PEXA introduced a Residential Seller Guarantee, which is intended to provide protection to sellers in the event of certain types of Fraud. There are a number of criteria that apply to the guarantee, including importantly, that the guarantee applies only to a seller of residential property, and is capped at $2million. To qualify for the guarantee, the seller must be represented by a registered practitioner with PEXA. It is worth observing that the fraud referred to above was effected against the buyer on the PEXA platforms. In the case of fraud, an aggrieved party may have a range of options available – including the law firm acting.
Does QConvey use e-conveyancing?
QConvey are registered PEXA practitioners, however we are currently recommending that our clients instruct us to manage their conveyances in the traditional manner, until such time as e-conveyancing gains a greater acceptance within the Queensland market. QConvey uses state of the art systems and procedures to manage its conveyancing processes in a cost-effective manner. If and when our view on this matter changes (and of course in the event e-conveyancing becomes mandatory) we will notify our clients and referrers accordingly.
If you have any questions about e-conveyancing or any other matter generally, please contact our team.