Conveyancing Terminology for Buyers and Sellers

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When buying or selling a property, it's good to learn some of the terminology you'll hear throughout the process. This will ensure you know what is expected of you, whether you're the buyer or seller, when it comes to paperwork and legal documents. This might also help you to decide on hiring a professional conveyancer, as he or she can assist with any part of the process that you still don't understand even after learning the "lingo."

Certificate of title

When buying a property, you need to know that the seller has the legal right to actually sell it to you! A certificate of title shows that the seller is the legal owner, and that there are no other parties who have rights to that property. You should have this certificate of title before you pay cash for a property, and your lender may require it before they pay out any loans.

Note that some titles may include what is called a qualification of title. This is when a title is not absolutely clear, meaning that there may be other parties who own the property, the property has been foreclosed on and has an outstanding debt attached to it, and so on. A lender and a buyer will need to decide if they accept these terms, which should be outlined completely in that qualification.

Letter of loan approval

This letter is prepared by a lender, and it will outline the specific terms of the loan itself. This includes a note of the actual, legal property that is being bought. A seller may require this letter before they negotiate with any potential buyer, so they know those funds will be available once a price is agreed upon and they are ready to proceed with the sale.

Buying and selling in a chain

When you buy or sell "in a chain," you are both buying and selling property at the same time. This is often done with residential homes, when a person is selling their current home while also shopping around for a new home. A homeowner will want to close on their own property and the new property at relatively the same time, so that they don't need to vacate their current home before they've purchased a new home, and don't end up buying a new home before the old one sells! A conveyancer can explain all the steps involved when you want to buy and sell in a chain, so things move as smoothly as possible for both the buyer and the seller.