The future of property conveyancing has arrived in CQ
IT WAS feeling a lot like Christmas morning when FoxLaw's principal Joshua Fox sprung out of bed last Wednesday.
Working in property conveyancing, the young Rockhampton solicitor had dreamt of the day when a property transaction could change hands electronically, accurately and efficiently without numerous trees needing to lose their lives to supply the necessary mountain of paperwork.
In 2015, he signed up to get involved in e-Conveyancing and has taken every opportunity since to spruik the positives of the futuristic technology while while waiting anxiously for it roll out locally.
"The reality is, there are a lot of inefficiencies and risks in the current process, and e-conveyancing seeks to address many of these issues in a sensible way," Mr Fox said.
"Instead of meeting in the real world, exchanging paper documents for bank cheques, all of the parties 'meet' in an online space and exchange documents electronically and payments occur by electronic transfer of funds.
He said there were a number of reasons why it had taken so long for Rockhampton to have its first electronic property settlement.
"Change is always tricky. It has just taken time for the industry to become educated, for laws and contracts to be amended, and for law firms to start adopting the change," he said.
"These things also tend to filter out geographically over time. For example, NSW is well ahead of Queensland and Brisbane is well ahead of Rocky in terms of uptake. But I'm confident we'll all end up going in the same direction."
"Overall, I think clients will be the winners, in terms of reduced costs through the efficiency of the process. There is also a lot less room for human error."
Mr Fox hoped that other local firms would be inspired to embrace the technology.
"Both firms for the buyer and seller need to be signed up to an electronic platform to settle electronically, so the more firms signed up, the more transactions will be capable of being settled electronically," he said.
"I'm very confident it will become standard practice. It's really just a matter of time."
After Rockhampton's Foxlaw and KCH Lawyers joined PEXA e-Conveyancing platform earlier this year, CQ Representative Helen Eames said was proud be involved in the city's first electronic settlement.
"These two firms in Rocky, along with South Geldard Lawyers, have committed to use PEXA as much as they can as it has great benefits to them and their clients.
"Josh and his team from Foxlaw are very forward thinkers and like to embrace technology into their business. Wayne and his team from KCH Lawyers want to create a point of difference to their firm and provide the best client experience.
Formed in 2010 to fulfil a COAG initiative to deliver a single national e-Conveyancing solution serving the Australian property industry, she said PEXA worked in collaboration with lenders, legal practitioners, land registries and the extended industry to offer an electronic alternative to paper conveyancing.
Today, more than three million transactions, worth in excess of $450 billion worth of property value has been transacted on PEXA, with uptake continuing to increase across the nation.
Sale proceeds are processed as cleared funds to nominated accounts, giving sellers faster access to funds.
Lodgement of documents transferring ownership occurs as part of settlement not weeks later, giving buyers peace of mind.