Conveyancing and Property Law
Whether you are buying or selling your first home or tenth home, a rural property or a commercial investment the friendly team at Amy Martin Legal & Conveyancing Services can take the complexity out of the process and make it simple and stress free.
Buying a home without good advice and guidance can be one of the most stressful and expensive things you will ever do, but it doesn’t have to be a complex and overwhelming process. It’s vital that you seek legal advice from someone experienced in conveyancing and property law and who knows the area. We can assist you in making the process simple and stress free and guide you through the process ensuring you make the right decisions along the way.
Before You Start
The first round of decisions you will likely need to make is in regard to finance. Make sure you read everything thoroughly, from the pre-contractual statement which outlines the fees and charges to which you’ll be subject to the actual mortgage and loan contract itself. Remember you are entitled to legal advice and are under no obligation to sign anything on the spot. We can assist you in reviewing your loan and mortgage documentation to ensure you are aware of all of your obligations and financial responsibilities.
Once you have found a property you like, it is advisable for you to arrange a pre-purchase building inspection report and a pest inspection report. These are written reports about the condition of the property that help you to identify any potentially costly problems. You may be able to use this information to negotiate a reduction in the purchase price. We can assist you in establishing contact with local tradespersons who have proven themselves reliable in assisting other clients with these reports.
Acceptance of your Offer
On acceptance of your offer you might be asked to pay a small sum as an initial or “goodwill” deposit, but this amount is fully refundable if you don’t end up signing the contract. It does not mean that the property is yours yet either, as the seller can still consider other offers until contracts are exchanged.
Signing the Contract
Once your offer is accepted then the Sellers Solicitor/Conveyancer will issue a Contract. It is imperative that this document is reviewed thoroughly and we can assist you in ensuring that there are no problems or issues associated with the title and zoning and in ensuring any agreements you have reached with the Seller are properly incorporated in the Contract. There may be several things that can be negotiated in your favour, and you need to be absolutely clear on your rights and responsibilities before signing the Contract.
When you do sign the contract you will need to pay the 10% deposit. This is held with the real estate agent and is released to the seller after the property is settled. If you don’t have 10% available we can assist you in trying to negotiate a reduced deposit or in arranging a deposit guarantee in lieu of the cash deposit.
The exchange of Contracts, that is the provision of your signed Contract and deposit to the sellers Solicitor/Conveyancer is the point at which you become legally bound to the agreement to purchase the property. Your deposit is liable to be forfeited to the seller if you do not complete the purchase transaction after the Contract has been exchanged. Therefore it is important to ensure that you are satisfied with all of your enquiries and understand your obligations and responsibilities pursuant to the Contract before proceeding to exchange of Contracts.
After the contract has become binding there are a number of tasks to perform including:
- Arranging payment of stamp duty
- Liaising with the lender in regard to the mortgage
- Checking with various government authorities to see if they have a vested interest in the property
- Checking to see if there are any outstanding debts to local council
- Calculating adjustments for council, water and strata rates
- Making final checks on the title
We will undertake this work on your behalf and keep you informed of any developments along the way.
Contact us to discuss the property you are considering buying and we can provide you with specific advice and guidance to assist you in ensuring the property is the right one for you and to keep the process simple and stress free.
Once you’ve made the decision to sell your property, one of the first tasks is to have the Contract for Sale of Land prepared.
In putting the Contract together it is necessary for you to comply with disclosure obligations by attaching certain documents identifying the property and providing information in relation to zoning. We can assist you in ordering and collating the correct searches and enquiries so as to ensure you comply with all of your disclosure obligations.
The contract will include not only the legal terms and conditions of sale, but will also specify what items are included or excluded from the sale, and any other special requirements you might have like a longer or shorter settlement than usual, or perhaps that the contract be conditional upon another contract for you to buy your next property. There are a lot of ways that a contract can be varied, so it’s important to discuss your situation with us so that we can ensure that the Contract meets your specific needs.
The Deposit and signing the Contract
Once a purchaser has been found and the contract has been signed and is legally binding, then a deposit is usually paid by the purchaser and is usually held in the trust account of the selling agent.
Settlement (the day that the money is exchanged for the property and keys handed over) is scheduled in accordance with the contract, and is usually 6 weeks after signing contracts. We will liaise with your bank in relation to releasing any mortgage held on the property. In this time you should arrange disconnection of electricity and other services.
Before settlement the purchase price will be adjusted to reflect the council rates, water rates and strata fees that need to be shared between the parties. There may be other adjustments, based on the Contract for Sale.
Once settlement takes place, the real estate agent will be be authorised to release the deposit to you, less their fees and the net proceeds of sale will be paid to you or in accordance with your direction.
Contact us to discuss the sale of your property today.