By Michael Sobey
Legal Practitioner Director
It has taken some time but the transaction for the transfer of real property is being brought into the digital age. E-conveyancing has been talked about for what seems like decades but is finally a reality. PEXA (Property Exchange Australia) is the first established online property exchange network up and running and there are likely to be more in the future.
The system is limited to lawyers and financial institutions who are registered with PEXA so that security is maintained. These registered parties will now be able to lodge documents and complete financial settlements electronically with the secure online system rather than use the historical manual paper based system.
So, how does it work? In simple terms, all parties to a transaction (seller, outgoing bank, buyer and incoming bank) can log into a secure location on the PEXA platform. The parties solicitors enter all the details of the property (address and title particulars, names of parties, price and who cheques are to be made to etc) into PEXA. All parties get the opportunity to check the details and sign off confirming they are in order. Once everything is agreed and the appointed settlement time occurs – then the Titles Office immediately processes the transfer into the buyer’s name and the banks simultaneously make and receive payment.
The main benefit of using PEXA is that the process is so much faster with real time lodgment and settlements. There is no longer a need to wait for cheques to clear (which can be 3 days or more) as everything is now done as one electronic transaction. Settlement money is deposited straight into the sellers account – usually within 30 minutes.
While there is a small cost, it is likely that PEXA will be comparable in price or even less expensive as it doesn’t need to incur the costs of pre-settlement title check, postal charges, courier, cheque and settlement agent expenses.
The experienced conveyancing team at SPM Law are excited to be using PEXA and our clients are enjoying their transactions being more streamlined and stress free.