Frequently Asked Questions

What is Conveyancing?

Conveyancing is the legal process of transferring legal ownership of a property from one party to another.

Why should I use a property lawyer?

Selling or purchasing property is one of the biggest financial transactions you will make. Due to the financial and legal aspects of transferring property, the process can be costly, stressful and time consuming.

A property lawyer can protect your interests in the transaction and endeavour to make the process as smooth and timely as possible. At Sproal & Associates we deal exclusively in property matters and are not distracted by other types of legal matters. We concentrate on your dealing to ensure that we achieve the best result for you.

Are my interests protected when I use a property lawyer?

Why risk DIY conveyancing when you could have the protection of our professional indemnity insurance? All lawyers in Tasmania are required to have professional indemnity insurance in place to ensure your rights are protected.

What is the difference between a lawyer and a conveyancer?

A lawyer is qualified to advise on all aspects of the law which may affect your transaction. A conveyancer is limited in the nature of transactions that can be undertaken and the advice that can be given. In the event of any issues arising in the course of a transaction a conveyancer may need to refer you to a lawyer. The benefit of using Sproal & Associates is that Barry Sproal is an experienced commercial lawyer dealing exclusively in property matters. Barry was a partner in a local legal firm for more than 20 years before establishing Sproal & Associates Specialist Conveyancers in 2007. Sproal & Associates changed to a legal practice in 2012.

Do I need to meet with you face-to-face?

No, it is rarely necessary to meet face-to-face, as contact through email, telephone, post and facsimile is usually all that is required.  However, we are more than happy to meet with you as often as you would like to answer any queries you may have.

If I sell my property privately without using the services of a real estate agent can I use a lawyer?

Yes. A lawyer can prepare a contract for sale for you and deal with the purchaser or their lawyer to arrange signing. There is no requirement for you to use a real estate agent when selling property.

How quickly can Sproal & Associates prepare a contract on my behalf?

We can prepare a contract on the same day as receiving instuctions in most cases. If you are buying or selling you need to have documents checked or prepared promptly. If you are negotiating a private sale or purchase please contact us so that we can assist you.

Do I have to pay stamp duty?

Yes, stamp duty, or duty, is payable on all property transfers. There are few exemptions. There are also no pensioner concessions. See the State Revenue Office link and the duty calculator.

When do I need to see you?

We would prefer to see you when you are thinking of buying or selling so that we can give you advice on any proposed contract, and in particular, what should or shouldn’t be included in any contract. If you are dealing with a real estate agent we would like to see you before you sign any contract. It needs to be appreciated that once a contract is signed the parties to it are bound by its terms. There is no automatic cooling off period in Tasmania. Many purchasers are asked to sign a contract as an offer without realising that if that offer is accepted by the seller and the contract signed, the purchase is bound without reference back to the purchaser. Many purchasers are of the mistaken belief that the written offer they have made is simply a step in the negotiation process and that the contract is signed once all of the terms are agreed. This is not so.

When do I need to pay costs and fees?

All costs and fees are paid prior to or on completion of the transaction. If you are purchasing, prior to completion of your purchase we will provide you with a statement setting out the amount you are required to pay to complete your purchase. This includes the balance of your purchase price, your share of rates and land tax (if applicable), stamp duty, filing fees, search fees and costs.

If you are selling we usually, and subject to your consent, deduct our costs and fees from the proceeds of sale. Following completion of your sale the proceeds will be paid to you or your bank.

Do I need to attend settlement?

No, settlement occurs when the seller receives the sale proceeds and the buyer receives the title documents to the property. Settlement is usually attended by the representatives of the seller and the representatives of the buyer and the respective banker or financial institutions. We will contact you immediately following settlement.

Do I need to notify the Council of my sale or purchase?

No, once the transfer documents are registered at the Land Titles Office written notification of the transfer of ownership is provided to the Council, the Land Tax Branch and the Valuation Division. We advise the water authority of the change of ownership and recommend that you also contact the water authority as they do not receive notification from the Land Titles Office in the same manner as the other authorities.

Are you able to act as our settlement agent?

Sproal & Associates welcome requests from other solicitors, conveyancers and lenders to act as their agent for conveyancing settlements taking place in Launceston. Please email to check our availability to assist you.

The service was excellent. The staff exceeded their responsibilities. I would not hesitate to use your company again.

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