Australia: Electronic conveyancing to make completion of property transactions cheaper and more efficient

Last Updated: 2 October 2013
Article by Gary Newton and Thomas Zilm

In brief - E-conveyancing will remove the inefficiencies of the paper-based system

The national electronic conveyancing platform created through the Property Exchange Australia (PEXA) system will allow land registries, banks and conveyancers to transact together online and will create greater transparency for property buyers and sellers.

What is e-conveyancing?

Friends, clients, conveyancers, lend me your ears! For huge change is upon us, whether we wish it or not. The traditional conveyance is drawing ever closer to extinction and in its place dawns the electronic property transaction.

After the international success of e-conveyancing, there was great demand within the Australian property industry to move with the times and invest in the development of electronic conveyancing. To answer this call, the Australian government formed National Electronic Conveyancing Development Limited (NECDL). NECDL was established to deliver a national electronic conveyancing platform through its Property Exchange Australia (PEXA) system.

PEXA was designed to remove the manual processes and paperwork associated with the current transfer of property by allowing land registries, banks and conveyancers to transact together online.

When will PEXA be launched?

The first release in NSW is scheduled to happen shortly with two of the major banks. This release will encompass the settlement of single party property transactions (i.e. standalone discharge, standalone mortgage, refinances etc). This first release has already been successfully launched in Victoria.

The second release, originally planned for August 2014 in NSW, is now on course to happen in May 2014. The second release will facilitate the settlement of multiple party transactions (i.e. transfers, settlements, caveats and notices) and will involve conveyancers, land registries and more financial institutions.

How will settlements happen under e-conveyancing?

Following the second release, conveyancers will open an online workspace where the Registry documents and the settlement schedule are created and information is shared with all parties to the transaction. Once all the funds are made available, PEXA will securely transfer the funds at the allocated time for settlement.

Following a successful settlement, PEXA will then lodge the relevant documents automatically with the land registry and pay stamp duty and any other potential third party beneficiaries (councils, Sydney Water etc).

Is PEXA safe and secure?

While PEXA is bound by the same security standards currently expected of online banking, it will also go further to provide protection against flawed or even fraudulent transactions through its error-checking program.

If the applicable bank cannot verify the information entered into PEXA, a notification will be sent to the relevant party to correct the error before settlement may occur.

What are the benefits of e-conveyancing for property buyers and sellers?

Generally speaking, the inefficiencies of the current paper-based conveyance will be removed. There will be less reliance on the phone and the fax to complete the transaction and greater transparency for property buyers and sellers as the status of both sides of the transaction will be visible to the parties.

There will be greater efficiency and time saving, because travelling to settlements, arranging bank cheques and the physical execution of documents will no longer be required.

The institution of e-conveyancing will also be cheaper for the parties involved. The costs of paying a settlement agent to attend settlement, bank cheque fees, the costs of a courier to collect and deliver documents and the extra legal fees accrued in the time spent organising settlement will be abolished.

How will e-conveyancing affect property developers?

The use of PEXA will:

  • Allow settlements in the sale of lots en masse to occur electronically at one specified time on one specified date
  • Permit conveyancers to manage bulk settlement funds electronically
  • Allow the direct transfer of sale proceeds into the developer's nominated account
  • Remove the requirement for the physical exchange of paperwork at settlement (including the certificate of title)

Thus, the settlement process will become much cheaper and more efficient for developers and conveyancers alike.

Is the use of PEXA mandatory?

While PEXA is not compulsory for conveyancers, the benefits that it will bring make it difficult to justify not using it. However, if one party to the transaction is not registered with PEXA, they can be invited to the transaction by the already registered party.

NECDL would then contact that party directly, perform the registration process and give them access to PEXA if they so elect. This process will be able to be completed within two days.

If the party not on PEXA declines the invitation, the transaction will then need to proceed through the current paper-based forum.

How can we prepare for e-conveyancing?

The best way to prepare for e-conveyancing is to stay informed. NECDL releases a monthly electronic newsletter through its website to which anyone can subscribe.

Electronic conveyancing is coming. The property industry and the banks want it to happen and in other states it is already happening. As online banking and online share trading have now become the norm, so too will electronic conveyancing.

In eight months' time, your conveyancer may well be finalising the sale or the purchase or the refinancing of your home, online, from their desk, with the mere click of a computer mouse. Food for immediate thought.

Gary Newton Thomas Zilm
Property acquisition, development and sale
Colin Biggers & Paisley

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Gary Newton
Some comments from our readers…
“The articles are extremely timely and highly applicable”
“I often find critical information not available elsewhere”
“As in-house counsel, Mondaq’s service is of great value”

Mondaq Advice Centre (MACs)
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
Email Address
Company Name
Confirm Password
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Media & IT
 Real Estate
 Wealth Mgt
Asia Pacific
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
United States
Worldwide Updates
Check to state you have read and
agree to our Terms and Conditions

Terms & Conditions and Privacy Statement (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd and as a user you are granted a non-exclusive, revocable license to access the Website under its terms and conditions of use. Your use of the Website constitutes your agreement to the following terms and conditions of use. Mondaq Ltd may terminate your use of the Website if you are in breach of these terms and conditions or if Mondaq Ltd decides to terminate your license of use for whatever reason.

Use of

You may use the Website but are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the content and articles available (the Content). You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these terms & conditions or with the prior written consent of Mondaq Ltd. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information about’s content, users or contributors in order to offer them any services or products which compete directly or indirectly with Mondaq Ltd’s services and products.


Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the documents and related graphics published on this server for any purpose. All such documents and related graphics are provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers hereby disclaim all warranties and conditions with regard to this information, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. In no event shall Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use or performance of information available from this server.

The documents and related graphics published on this server could include technical inaccuracies or typographical errors. Changes are periodically added to the information herein. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers may make improvements and/or changes in the product(s) and/or the program(s) described herein at any time.


Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including what sort of information you are interested in, for three primary purposes:

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, newsletter alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our information providers who provide information free for your use.

Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) do not sell or provide your details to third parties other than information providers. The reason we provide our information providers with this information is so that they can measure the response their articles are receiving and provide you with information about their products and services.

If you do not want us to provide your name and email address you may opt out by clicking here .

If you do not wish to receive any future announcements of products and services offered by Mondaq by clicking here .

Information Collection and Use

We require site users to register with Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to view the free information on the site. We also collect information from our users at several different points on the websites: this is so that we can customise the sites according to individual usage, provide 'session-aware' functionality, and ensure that content is acquired and developed appropriately. This gives us an overall picture of our user profiles, which in turn shows to our Editorial Contributors the type of person they are reaching by posting articles on Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) – meaning more free content for registered users.

We are only able to provide the material on the Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) site free to site visitors because we can pass on information about the pages that users are viewing and the personal information users provide to us (e.g. email addresses) to reputable contributing firms such as law firms who author those pages. We do not sell or rent information to anyone else other than the authors of those pages, who may change from time to time. Should you wish us not to disclose your details to any of these parties, please tick the box above or tick the box marked "Opt out of Registration Information Disclosure" on the Your Profile page. We and our author organisations may only contact you via email or other means if you allow us to do so. Users can opt out of contact when they register on the site, or send an email to with “no disclosure” in the subject heading

Mondaq News Alerts

In order to receive Mondaq News Alerts, users have to complete a separate registration form. This is a personalised service where users choose regions and topics of interest and we send it only to those users who have requested it. Users can stop receiving these Alerts by going to the Mondaq News Alerts page and deselecting all interest areas. In the same way users can amend their personal preferences to add or remove subject areas.


A cookie is a small text file written to a user’s hard drive that contains an identifying user number. The cookies do not contain any personal information about users. We use the cookie so users do not have to log in every time they use the service and the cookie will automatically expire if you do not visit the Mondaq website (or its affiliate sites) for 12 months. We also use the cookie to personalise a user's experience of the site (for example to show information specific to a user's region). As the Mondaq sites are fully personalised and cookies are essential to its core technology the site will function unpredictably with browsers that do not support cookies - or where cookies are disabled (in these circumstances we advise you to attempt to locate the information you require elsewhere on the web). However if you are concerned about the presence of a Mondaq cookie on your machine you can also choose to expire the cookie immediately (remove it) by selecting the 'Log Off' menu option as the last thing you do when you use the site.

Some of our business partners may use cookies on our site (for example, advertisers). However, we have no access to or control over these cookies and we are not aware of any at present that do so.

Log Files

We use IP addresses to analyse trends, administer the site, track movement, and gather broad demographic information for aggregate use. IP addresses are not linked to personally identifiable information.


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that Mondaq (or its affiliate sites) are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of these third party sites. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this Web site.

Surveys & Contests

From time-to-time our site requests information from users via surveys or contests. Participation in these surveys or contests is completely voluntary and the user therefore has a choice whether or not to disclose any information requested. Information requested may include contact information (such as name and delivery address), and demographic information (such as postcode, age level). Contact information will be used to notify the winners and award prizes. Survey information will be used for purposes of monitoring or improving the functionality of the site.


If a user elects to use our referral service for informing a friend about our site, we ask them for the friend’s name and email address. Mondaq stores this information and may contact the friend to invite them to register with Mondaq, but they will not be contacted more than once. The friend may contact Mondaq to request the removal of this information from our database.


This website takes every reasonable precaution to protect our users’ information. When users submit sensitive information via the website, your information is protected using firewalls and other security technology. If you have any questions about the security at our website, you can send an email to

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user’s personally identifiable information changes (such as postcode), or if a user no longer desires our service, we will endeavour to provide a way to correct, update or remove that user’s personal data provided to us. This can usually be done at the “Your Profile” page or by sending an email to

Notification of Changes

If we decide to change our Terms & Conditions or Privacy Policy, we will post those changes on our site so our users are always aware of what information we collect, how we use it, and under what circumstances, if any, we disclose it. If at any point we decide to use personally identifiable information in a manner different from that stated at the time it was collected, we will notify users by way of an email. Users will have a choice as to whether or not we use their information in this different manner. We will use information in accordance with the privacy policy under which the information was collected.

How to contact Mondaq

You can contact us with comments or queries at

If for some reason you believe Mondaq Ltd. has not adhered to these principles, please notify us by e-mail at and we will use commercially reasonable efforts to determine and correct the problem promptly.