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What is Conveyancing?

When buying residential property in Queensland or NSW, it is essential that the transfer into your name goes smoothly. This detailed step by step process is called “Conveyancing”.

SMH Lawyers has extensive conveyancing experience and can assist you with your purchase.

What searches are included for house and land purchases?

For residential home or land purchases, we recommend the following property searches to reasonably secure your purchase.

  1.   Title Search upon receipt of the contract
  2.   Council Rates Search which reveals information about the state of the rate account.
  3.   Special water meter reading to ensure you are not charged for the seller’s water consumption.
  4.   Main Roads Search
  5.   Land Tax Clearance Search
  6.   Registered Plan of showing the land
  7.   Title Search on the day of settlement.
  8.   Contaminated Land Search
  9.   Railway Department Search
  10.   Bankruptcy Search

What searches are included for purchases of units, townhouses, and dwellings with a body corporate?

In addition to the standard search listed above for house and land, we recommend that you also obtain a Body Corporate inspection of records search that gives you the history of the complex you are buying into.

This search may reveal past or present building defects or harmony issues within the building.


If you are selling a residential house or unit in NSW, your lawyer must firstly prepare a proposed sale contract to provide a copy to the selling agent – before the agent can advertise the property for sale.

When a buyer is found, the agent will provide your lawyer with a Sales Advice form so your lawyer can then finalise the contract terms and submit a copy to the buyers solicitor.

When all terms are agreed, the Buyers solicitor will deliver the purchaser signed contract to the sellers solicitor and the sellers solicitor will then date both contract and return deliver the vendor signed contract to the buyers solicitor. Then, and only then, does a binding contract come into existence and all contract dates commence from the date of exchange.

In Queensland, the process is simpler. Usually, the agent will prepare the sale contract and have both parties sign. However, any special conditions should be drafted (or at least run past) your solicitor before you sign.