Major law firm Dentons and state leaders in online transfer transactions offer their thoughts on what lies ahead for e-Conveyancing.
It was a transformative 2017 for Australia’s property industry. The progression away from paper and towards seamless, fully electronic transfer transactions continued to be supported by firms at the forefront of innovation.
Ahead of what is set to be another significant year, we speak to some of our top transfer transacting firms from the past 12 months and leading law firm Dentons to hear what they predict for e-Conveyancing in 2018.
Pioneers of progress
South Australia’s conveyancers are forward-thinking and adaptable, according to Goolwa Conveyancing’s Michelle Lihou and she believes the time is now for reform.
“South Australia has been a leader in its innovative practices in the Land Titles Office. I am hoping that the conveyancers in this state will embrace change.
“In the past when put under pressure – South Australian conveyancers have met the challenges, so I expect nothing less when a mandate date is decided upon.”
Turning attention to the state’s upcoming refinance compliance date, Lihou is ready and eager for South Australian conveyancing to continue to forge towards 100% digital.
“I’m keen to bring on compliance dates for all transfers.”
Consistent development the key
Metro Settlements’ Katelyn Sinclair is hoping for more growth of Western Australian e-Conveyancing and the expansion of its capabilities.
“We’re looking forward to seeing more conveyancers and solicitors beginning to transact on PEXA, as well as PEXA expanding its capacity to settle deals involving executors.
“We’re also eagerly awaiting the release of the new Joint Form, which will see us no longer need to get the E-Conveyancing Variation signed by the parties in the leadup to settlement.
“These key developments will make it even easier and more efficient for us to settle on PEXA, and for our clients to reap the benefits of electronic conveyancing.”
It’s an exciting period for conveyancing in New South Wales, according to First State Conveyancing’s Belinda Garland and Dan Lynch.
“We are operating in dynamic and changing times - the sky is the limit really.
“In the short term however, I predict that electronic conveyancing will shift this year to be the norm as opposed to the exception as more firms become proficient with PEXA.”
As the industry’s digital transformation consolidates, Tania Jasper of Victorian firm South West Conveyancing is urging peers to be proactive.
“For this year I hope those practitioners who are registered but not yet active on PEXA will jump in to try their first settlement, and with the deadlines for mandatory electronic standalone transfers and survivorship applications looming the sooner they start transacting the easier the transition from paper to electronic will be.”
And Jasper is confident that the ongoing digital progression will be a positive for the industry in the years ahead.
“Electronic conveyancing can only get bigger and better moving forward, and I’m sure once those practitioners and lenders who are not yet active start transacting they will see the benefits and will be well prepared for October 2019 when paper settlements totally disappear from conveyancing.
“The future certainly looks great!”
Benefitting the client
Queensland’s home buyers stand to gain from e-Conveyancing becoming widespread common practice, believes Longreach Legal Services’ Jennifer Rayment.
“The customers love it.
“When we’ve got a settlement on PEXA we can do it at 11 in the morning, that way they can get into their house earlier and pick up the keys as soon as we’re done – and the house is already in their name by the time they get the keys.
“There’s a lot of benefits for the clients.”
A single, smooth system on the way
On the back of solid progression in 2017, Dentons Banking and Finance Partner Anthony Walsh is eager to see one method of property exchange moving forward.
“The industry; law firms and practitioners, worked together to create solutions as mandated timelines and changes to what was required to be run through the PEXA system occurred.
“My hope is that we get closer to having one process, through the ELN network PEXA and my expectation is that we will get there.”
And the ongoing digital movement has opened up an avenue of deeper thought, according to Walsh.
“I think what this has done is its driven the concept of e-Conveyancing beyond settlement – it’s e-Conveyancing; a digital solution that comes from property transactions and I think there’ll be more of that this year with more transactions being run through the PEXA network.”