Open for business
The much-anticipated national electronic conveyancing platform opens for business in Western Australia this May. Property lawyers and settlement agents will be able to lodge some Landgate documents electronically and complete financial settlement online for the first time.
This week Property Exchange Australia Limited (PEXA) conducted training for WA settlement agents and property lawyers. The training focused on land transfers and caveats, two of the most common Landgate documents supported by the online platform.
Having completed the training, we’d say the PEXA system is fairly straightforward and easy to use. The user interface is attractively designed and aids comprehension. Most of the system’s jargon is intuitive, although it may take a while before we’re all saying “proprietor on title” instead of “owner” or “seller”.
Costs savings for consumers?
PEXA claims that using the system will enable businesses to reduce costs through greater efficiency by “[f]aster completion of cases through real time lodgement and [financial] settlement in one simple transaction”. While that’s true, settlement agents and lawyers will pay fees (currently $104 per transfer) to PEXA to use the system. Further, PEXA’s efficiency dividend relies on a significant proportion of settlement agencies and law firms in WA registering and using the system.
We’re analysing the PEXA system closely and hoping to find at least $104 (per settlement) in efficiency savings.
That said, we see electronic conveyancing as the way of the future. It’s entirely consistent with our philosophy of using technology to offering useful, accessible legal services delivered to a high standard. We encourage our colleagues in the WA settlements industry to explore the PEXA system.
Related article: E-conveyancing to cut settlement costs and save time (we hope!)