Go online or miss out: 135-year-old firm says it’s time to go digital
Innovation and Tech

Go online or miss out: 135-year-old firm says it’s time to go digital

By PEXA • Sep 2015

These firms explain why paper-based methods for settling property could soon be a relic of the past

For several generations NSW legal firm, Haille Paine, has settled clients’ property sales.

The Southern Highlands’ company recently entered the digital era by settling its first online property sale together with Mather Lawyers who acted for the purchaser.  Mather Lawyers has been undertaking paper-based conveyancing for 30 years.

Scott Leary, Solicitor and Principal of Haille Paine explained that going down the e-conveyancing path was inevitable as he didn’t want the firm to be left behind.

“We realised that we needed to go online and implement new technologies to make conveyancing more client-friendly while reducing some of the risks involved. We already use legal software to automate our business. The next step is moving our property transactions online,” he said.

“The PEXA platform streamlined the process. It means that we can interact with banks and land registries to complete a transaction without having to call each other, post documents or attend settlement.

“There was no need to send a staff member to the bank with the client’s cheque and wait for it to clear three days later. While from a cash flow perspective all parties’ fees are automatically paid.

“There were no cheques involved and the client, real estate agent and other parties to the transaction had real time access to their funds. The customer benefits of the new versus the old way are clear. Settlements fail for the simplest reasons and this puts pressure on people buying properties who don’t need the stress.

“For example a document that was not properly signed means that settlement can fail. Or it can take weeks for the banks to lodge the transfer with the land registry. We’ve even had a case where the removalist truck was out the front waiting to move a family in but the final paperwork was delayed. PEXA speeds this up as settlement is automatic and the vendor client gets same day funds.

“Our clients are already searching for properties online to complement their internet banking and other digital transactions. It’s our intention to streamline our conveyancing processes to reduce risk and bring clients more certainty that the settlement will succeed. We can also reduce clients’ costs by cutting down on the number of manual tasks, including sending staff out of the office to attend a paper settlement.”

Julie Mather, Principal, Mather Lawyers said as this was her first electronic conveyance it was quite a learning curve after doing paper based conveyancing for 30 years.

“This is a new era and has many fantastic upsides such as immediate lodgement at the Land Titles Office. When I called the real estate agent to advise that the sale had settled he had already received the commission paid direct to his account. I’m looking forward to this becoming the norm for conveyancing transactions. It really is a better system for clients and practitioners.”

Property industry facts

  • The national $6.5 trillion property is Australia’s largest asset class¹
  • New South Wales has nearly three million residential properties (2,946,100) valued at almost $2 trillion ($1,987,430)²

For more information please contact:

Scott Leary Haille Paine, Solicitor and Principal 02 4861 1077 / scottl@haillepaine.com.au

Julie Mather Mather Lawyers, Principal 0414 328 722 / jmather@matherlawyers.com.au

[1] Core Logic RP Data Hedonic Home Value Index, July 2015 results. Released August 3, 2015

[1] ABS (2015) Catalogue number 6416.0 – Residential Property Price Indexes, Eight Capital Cities, March 2015

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