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How does an electronic settlement work?

Electronic settlements are conducted through PEXA, an electronic conveyancing platform that makes the process more efficient & secure.

Anna Cunningham
Anna Cunningham
Senior Associate, Family Law
February 22, 2024

Electronic settlements are conducted through an electronic conveyancing platform, known as PEXA (Property Exchange Australia Limited). This Electronic Lodgement Network Operator (ELNO) digitises the process of property settlement, making it more efficient and secure.

Difference between paper settlements vs electronic

Historically, the property settlement process was primarily paper-based and involved more face-to-face interactions. In a designated settlement room, the vendor, purchaser, and their respective banks would physically exchange the title, transfer, mortgage, bank cheques, and any other legal documents. 

This is no longer the case in Victoria as settlements are now conducted through the PEXA settlement process system. The basic concept is still the same but without the physical exchange of paper. 

Electronic settlement process

Before the settlement commences, all parties involved in the property transaction – including lawyers, conveyancers, and financial institutions – must be registered with PEXA. They can then electronically prepare the necessary documents and information for the settlement.

Communal workspace

An electronic workspace is created on the platform for the specific property transaction. All parties involved in the digital settlement have access to this workspace, allowing for transparent and coordinated preparation.

Document lodgement

Legal documents such as the Transfer of Land are prepared and lodged electronically within the workspace. This replaces the need for paper-based documents. Financial details, including the payment of the purchase price, stamp duty, and other fees, are entered into the workspace, with funds held in a secure holding account until the settlement is ready to be completed.

Verification and signing 

All parties review and verify the details of the transaction, before digitally signing off on documents and financials, confirming that everything is in order. Rather than the vendor and purchaser signing the documents as they would historically, they are signed by their conveyancers’ lawyers. This means that their representatives must verify their identities and obtain their signatures on a client authorisation to be able to sign on their behalf.

Settlement scheduling and execution

All payments are made by electronic transfer rather than through the exchange of cheques. A settlement time and date are scheduled in the system which will then automatically exchange funds and documents between the parties at the designated time. This means that rather than waiting for documents to be registered with the land titles office, the registration is almost instantaneous.

Completion and registration

Upon successful exchange, the title of the property is electronically transferred to the buyer, and the necessary documents are lodged with Land Use Victoria for registration. The buyer's bank will then register the mortgage against the title. After settlement, all parties receive confirmation, and the necessary adjustments are made, such as the disbursement of funds to the relevant parties.

Electronic settlement fee

As PEXA conduct electronic conveyancing transactions to streamline the process, there are associated electronic settlement fees depending on the services and transactions you require. For example, a transfer title is $132.66, a mortgage with financial settlement is $66.33, a discharge of mortgage with financial settlement is $48.95 and a caveat is $18.70. Check out PEXA’s pricing for up-to-date information.

Our lawyers are proficient in the digital settlement process and can help you understand how it works. Make an enquiry and someone from our team will be in touch to discuss your matter.

Anna Cunningham
Anna Cunningham
Senior Associate, Family Law

Anna practises exclusively in family law and is experienced in a range of areas, including parenting, property, child support & intervention orders.


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