Buying and selling property electronically is now a reality for Australian Property Lawyers and Conveyancers with Australia’s first national e-Conveyancing network, Property Exchange Australia (PEXA). Today, PEXA launched full functionality in New South Wales, with the ability to complete property transfers online.
The introduction of electronic conveyancing in Australia is the biggest industry reform for the property sector since the introduction of the Torrens Title system. While the land registry lodgement is not a world first, having been offered in Canada and New Zealand; PEXA is the first online network that enables electronic lodgement and financial settlement of a property transaction. To ensure all bases were covered throughout the planning phase, PEXA collaborated with major stakeholders to develop a solution that addresses the needs of the property industry. PEXA has been in development for around three years and is currently operating in Victoria, New South Wales, Queensland and Western Australia; with plans to expand to South Australia, Tasmania and the Northern Territory in 2015.
Like the ASX did for the exchange of shares, PEXA removes the manual processes and paperwork associated with the exchange of property. PEXA facilitates most property transactions by providing an online network that connects Conveyancers, Property Lawyers and Financial Institutions who work on behalf of vendors, purchasers and other market intermediaries.
The PEXA process
A PEXA property transaction begins when a PEXA subscriber opens an online workspace. This is where the Registry Documents and the Financial Settlement schedule are created and information is shared with all parties involved in the transaction.
Once preparation is complete and the settlement date and time has been reached, PEXA will facilitate the electronic lodgement of documents with the Land Registry, and the financial settlement of funds by the participating Financial institutions. PEXA also enables the payment of stamp duty and other third party beneficiaries such as the Council Rates or Utilities.
Financial settlement is completed online through a secure process. Property Lawyers and Conveyancers will ensure that all monies are available before settlement and that all parties will sign off the settlement schedule. PEXA will then facilitate the settlement of funds at the agreed date and time. Funds need to come from a known source, such as a Statutory Trust Account, a participating Financial Institution or a PEXA Registered Source Account.
The funds exchange will then be completed by the participating Financial Institutions via the RITS system at the RBA. PEXA will facilitate this process and keep participants updated on progress through the PEXA workspace. The first step in the process sees funds reserved in the ESA of the Financial Institution providing the source funds. Once funds are reserved, documents will be lodged with the Land Registry. Upon successful lodgement, PEXA provides authorisation for the funds to be exchanged.
The benefits of using PEXA
The PEXA platform offers industry wide benefits that flow down from Property Lawyers and Conveyancers to the end consumer, the buyer and seller.
There many benefits of using PEXA include:
- Efficiency: Faster completion of cases through real time lodgement and financial settlement (inclusive of disbursements) in one simple transaction.
- Greater certainty: PEXA’s online pre-lodgement verification ability ensures all participating parties have accurate and matching information before proceeding to settlement, eliminating requisitions.
- Transparency: Participants have visibility through each stage of the process and are able to view the progress of all parties throughout the transaction. This allows Property Lawyers and Conveyancers to provide accurate and up-to-date advice to clients.
- Control: all dealings are arranged online; there is no need to rely on the phone or fax to complete a transaction.
- Customer Service: Flexibility to arrange settlement and rebook settlement online in the instance all parties are not ready at the designated time.
- Cost: A reduction in time dealing with the banking sector resulting in faster completed cases. Due to online settlement there is no need to organise bank cheques or rely on third parties to complete settlement.
A key priority of PEXA is training; PEXA are committed to providing an engaging learning platform that is accessible to all. In addition, PEXA offer a number of training solutions through a flexible learning approach delivered via multiple platforms. The training options available to PEXA subscribers include tutorials, face to face classroom sessions, online web-based training sessions, in-house training session customised and delivered on premise and performance support built into PEXA for self-help training.