As e-Conveyancing settles into place across Australia, four out of the five states that currently offer e-Conveyancing have committed to dates that gradually transition them to 100% online property transactions.
Queensland is the final state to provide this clear roadmap for its property industry. We speak with Gadens Brisbane to understand how it's navigating business through this timeline-free environment.
Gadens Brisbane Banking and Finance Partner Craig Green said that while adoption of the electronic lodgement system for property transactions has been slow in Queensland, his firm has nevertheless been forging ahead with PEXA.
“We have found it particularly advantageous in the world of refinancing, where borrowers are looking to negotiate debt consolidation loans,” Green said.
“People might realise they have, say, $400,000 worth of equity in their house yet they are paying off five credit cards, a personal loan, a car loan, a boat loan and the holiday to America last year. They then decide to consolidate those debts into their home loan to reduce fees and interest. In the old days, we had to order separate bank cheques to pay out each of the debts and deliver them to the lending institution. Some we could take into an office in Brisbane, while others had to be posted off to Sydney, Melbourne or a regional bank somewhere."
“Working in PEXA has changed all that. We don’t have to physically attend the settlement, draw the trust account cheques, buy the bank cheques and post them off, or even worry about doing a lodging – it all happens automatically. And it costs us just $58.”
Streamlining the process
With PEXA, Green is finding there's less work to do at the back end of each transaction, meaning productivity rises and transactions are more likely to have a rapid, successful conclusion.
“One of the biggest benefits to us is the ease with which bank transactions happen online. We now no longer need to post off a cheque to Melbourne, then run the risk of that cheque being lost in the mail and having the client incur unnecessary interest expenses.”
Working dual systems, for now
Despite the lack of any transition deadline, Gadens is currently completing up to 500 PEXA transactions each month. Green says much of the work is refinancing on a national scale from the Queensland office.
“Around two-thirds of the refinancing we do is through the big banks and they have embraced PEXA,” adding that they have also had to accept the mandates of the southern states because they act for clients there.
“But while we use PEXA for our interstate clients, at this point we still do most of our Queensland property purchase transactions the old-fashioned paper way, because other parties may not be using the digital platform yet.
“When the mandate is set, that will change. But for now, we’ve worked out how to make the best of the situation.”