Conveyancing Jargon

Conveyancing jargon defined

Conveyancing. The word itself is confusing, let alone all the other unfamiliar, legal terminology you come across when dealing with a conveyancer. In this article we’ll give you the lowdown on all the key terms you’ll need to know to bluff your way through a meeting with a conveyancer.

Certificate of Title

The Certificate of Title is a legal document that certifies who the owner of the property is at the Titles Registry Office. This certificate will contain information about the owner/s of the given property, along with any relevant covenants, encumbrances and third party interests in the land (keep reading to find out what these terms mean!).


Settlement (or Completion) occurs when the buyer pays the balance of the purchase price to the seller, and the seller passes over the ownership of the property to the buyer. The settlement date is specified in the contract of sale, and is the date the buyer will get the keys to their new property!

Contract Date

The contract date is the date the last party signs the Contract of Sale.

Contract of Sale

The Contract of Sale is a legally binding document between the purchaser and the seller, which details the exchange of a property.  This lengthy document will contain all the details and terms of agreement between the purchaser and seller, including the purchase price, settlement date, property specifications and any special conditions.

Cooling Off Period

In SA, the cooling off period is a period of 2 business days after either the signing of the contract or the date the Form 1 is provided (whichever is the latter). In this period, the purchaser has the right to change their mind and back out of the sale, unless exceptions apply. It is important to note that under auction conditions the cooling off period is void.


A property covenant is essentially a guide or restraint on how you can build or alter your property. Common types of covenants can include restrictions on the size of your building, landscaping, as well as colours and materials used on the exterior of the building.


An easement is a third-party’s right to use part of another person’s property for a specific purpose. Common easements include things like driveways or sewerage/drainage systems, and these can restrict the manner in which the property is used.


An encumbrance is any interest or claim on a property by a party who is not the owner. The most common encumbrance is a vendor’s mortgage, but it can also include easements, leases, covenants and caveats.


When interested in buying a home that is not going to be sold at auction, interested purchasers are able to make an offer on a home. To do this, you can make an offer in writing, or you can choose to complete a contract of sale. If accepted and signed by the seller, this offer or contract of sale then becomes a legally binding document. You are able to stipulate special conditions on the offer, such as it being subject to finance approval, building or pest inspection.