If you would like to measure how professional or competent a conveyancer is, just observe the way they prepare themselves and their documentation in readiness for June 30.

This is not just an arbitrary date.

June 30 is a crucial date for real estate transactions because negotiations that began towards the end of the financial year will almost certainly cross over into the new financial year, triggering different ways to handle the rates and charges on a property.

And as conveyancers, who are relied upon to get the details right, we believe it’s prudent for us to alert all parties to property transfers on ways to navigate the changeover period without error and without excess or duplicate charges.

Prior preparation prevents poor performance – especially with Form 1 documentation

The old saying of prior preparation preventing poor performance applies perpetually to conveyancing, but at June 30 the ultimate test arrives.

The challenge of June 30 is that various rates and taxes change as at July 1 and under the law, the details included in the Form 1 must be accurate at the date of serving on a Purchaser.

In cases where real estate agents either have contracts on a property or are likely to close a sale before June 30, or have an upcoming auction, there is not much to be done other than ordering full searches on information needed for Form 1’s now, as these Form 1’s should be accurate if served prior to June 30.

If deals are not likely to be struck until the new financial year, our sister company, Eckermann Forms, can still order the searches and prepare Form 1s on the agents’ behalf as usual, actioning requests as soon as they are received in readiness to serve on a Purchaser.

It is not a requirement for the searches showing rates or taxes to be ordered, or used, within a particular financial year for a Form 1 to be deemed accurate. Arrears of rates or taxes are only required to be included in the Form 1 if they are more than 12 months behind in payments.

Our experienced Form 1 team are able to assess from the searches we receive whether or not outstanding rates details will likely need to be included in the Form 1. If there are outstanding rates of more than 12 months, we will order updates early in July and advise agents accordingly.

If Form 1’s prepared in June (using searches ordered after 1 April) aren’t served prior to 1 July, we will be able to obtain free updates of Emergency Services Levy, Land Tax and SA Water certificates and can update the documents in the Form 1 accordingly, for no extra charge, before they are served.

Ensuring smooth property settlements

The Eckermann team has also implemented specific measures to ensure property settlements in South Australia that we’re involved with go smoothly at this time of year, such as:

  • Implementing an internal system to check with all search requests during this period to make sure the timing is appropriate and to eliminate excess or duplicate charges
  • Liaising directly with Revenue SA regarding Emergency Services Levy and Land Tax certificates and working around or factoring in any backlogs
  • Establishing contact procedures for local councils so we can let agents know when the new rates are to be declared by the Council (they are often not ready by July 1 and can be up to 2 weeks into July)
  • From the perspective of the Eckermann Group, June 30 is business as usual, however we do deploy extra hands on deck and seasonal systems to make sure this annual transition month goes as smoothly, accurately and economically as possible for all parties involved. It is of utmost importance to us that we not only meet demand at this extremely busy time of year, but that we continue to maintain our professional and high standard of service which South Australians appreciate and expect from the Eckermann Group.

If you are an agent not in our database and getting our timely alerts and advice bulletins yet, please email info@eckermannconveyancers.com or call us on 08 8366 7900.