Conveyancing is the legal term for transferring title and use of real property from one owner to another. The legislation governing conveyancing is the Real Property Act 1900  and the Conveyancing Act 1919. Generally, properties in NSW are either held under the old system title or Torrens title. Virtually all residential property in NSW are held under Torrens title, which allows the buyer of the property to register and transfer the property at the Land and Property Information NSW.

An agreement for a sale of land must be in writing in the form of a contract. The contract sets out the obligations of the parties. The contract outlines the agreed price of the property, parties involved, property details, and any promises made by vendor to the buyer. These promises could include what improvements the vendor will make to the property before settlement. Settlement usually occurs 42 days from the signing of the contract. A contract will not be binding until the buyer has made an offer on the property, which the vendor has accepted and informed the buyer. The contract will include a cooling off period, if not the buyer may withdraw at any time before the sale is finalised.

The Conveyancing Act 1919 9s. 52A  and the Conveyancing (Sale of Land) Regulations 2017 (NSW) requires the vendor to disclose important information about the property up front such as any serious defects or warranties by the seller. Notifying the buyer of important information usually occurs by attaching documents to the contract. Some of the documents could include:

  • A zoning or planning certificate under s. 10.7 of the Environmental Planning Assessment Act 1979.
  • Plans showing the position of sewer lines in relation to the land.
  • A copy of the property certificate.  
  • Copy of the official plan for the land, such as any plans for subdivision.
  • Copies of documents relating to easements, covenants, and restrictions shown on the property certificates.
  • The buyer’s rights.
  • A certificate of home warranty insurance for dwellings approved after January 2015.
  • Improvements that were constructed by the owner or builder.

The contract must also outline that at the date the contract was signed, unless otherwise stated:

  • The land did not contain any part of a sewer belonging to a recognised authority.
  • The section 10.7 certificate specifies the true status of the land including any planning or zoning of the land.
  • The land is not subject to adverse affection such as a proposal by a public authority to acquire part or all the land.

The vendor must also show in the contract that smoke alarms have been installed. If the property has a pool there must either be a valid certificate of compliance issued under the Swimming Pools Act 1992 (NSW), evidence of registration of a pool under part 3A Swimming Pools Act 1992 (NSW) of the Act or a valid certificate of non-compliance under clause 22 of the Swimming Pool Regulations 2018 (NSW).

The contract may be rescinded by the buyer any time before settlement for a breach of warranty but only if:

  • The seller failed to disclose the matter.
  • The buyer was unaware of its existence.
  • It is such that the buyer would not have entered into the contract if they had known.

Buyers are given a final inspection of the property on the day or day before settlement. This gives the buyer the opportunity to ensure the property is in good order, and that no inclusions listed in the contract have been removed or replaced with an unacceptable alternative.

Settlement occurs with the transfer of title, and the discharge and registration of mortgages. A conveyancer can ensure that the financial aspects such as payments of the vendor, loan advances and payouts are done through PEXA. Transfer duty (stamp duty) needs to be paid to State Government.

At PW Lawyers our conveyancers and solicitors can help you with:

  • Preparing, negotiating, issuing, and reviewing contracts for sale
  • Completing relevant searches for free standing and strata managed properties
  • Advising clients on legal obligations for the sale of property
  • PEXA Settlements
  • Obtaining section 47 Land Tax Certificate on behalf vendor
  • Preparing a discharge authority form
  • Coordinating settlement on behalf of the vendor or purchaser
  • Preparing settlement figures
  • Disburse settlement monies
  • Organising the necessary pre-purchase inspection reports
  • Liaising with financial broker/banker to assist loan approval process
  • Requesting extensions of the cooling off period
  • Ordering certificates such as rates and any other statutory documents
  • Arranging stamp duty assessment
  • Liaising with financial lender
  • Serving requisitions on title
  • Preparing settlement figures including enquiries for adjustments.
  • Finalising settlement arrangements
  • Leasing arrangements, documentation, and end of lease agreements on behalf of the landlord or tenant.
  • Dispute resolution in leasing arrangements.


Contact us for a free thirty-minute consultation with a conveyancer in Sydney.


Any information on this website is general in nature and should not be taken as personal legal advice. We recommend that you speak to a lawyer about your personal circumstances.