Buying and selling is all about contracts or agreements. While in Australia contracts don’t strictly speaking have to be written down, when you’re buying or selling any form of Real property or Real Estate – commercial, residential, building or land – the law in New South Wales (and that, of course, includes Sydney) requires that written contracts be prepared and signed. The process involved in transferring Real Estate Property, including the preparation of the sales contracts, mortgages and other documents is called “conveyancing”.
To ensure that you’ve dotted your “i’s” and crossed your “t’s” for a smooth purchase or sale, you’re always in better hands if you consult a Conveyancing Lawyer in Sydney. While engaging a lawyer is a safe way to finalise your transaction, it’s important to know that there is no legal requirement for you to deal with a licensed property lawyer. In fact, you always have the option of using a Sydney-based conveyancer or you can even do it yourself. While there’s no legal requirement for you to use a property solicitor, there are several good reasons why you would engage the services of a legal specialist when buying or selling property.
1. It’s complicated
Firstly, property transfer can be complicated. If you don’t have legal training you’re going to have to teach yourself all the necessary ins and outs, which can be time consuming and stressful. There’s a lot of documentation involved, including certificates, title searches and dealing searches, which means that you’re going to have to invest the time, energy and money to acquire those crucial documents.
2. Errors can be costly
If you don’t know what you’re looking for, it is likely you will miss really important details that can prevent the property from being sold on the settlement date. These mistakes can be very expensive to fix, especially if they are discovered late into the process. Of course, you will have to be careful when reviewing your documents, but this can be extremely difficult if you have not been exposed to the terminology or process in the past.
3. Back-up plan
If you try to do it all yourself and get it wrong, there will be no one to point the finger at to get a quick resolution. In the unlikely event your Sydney conveyancing lawyer makes an error, you can complain to the NSW Legal Services Commissioner and make a claim against your lawyer's insurance. If your Sydney conveyancer gets it wrong, you can complain to NSW Fair Trading. In either case, if there’s a stuff up, there’s a compensation fund to cover you for your loss.
4. Legal matters require legal specialists
Finally, you might want to consider a property solicitor over a non-lawyer conveyancer because a lawyer’s due diligence is more likely to uncover potential legal problems outside of the strict process of conveyancing and prepare you for them. In most cases, a conveyancer would be required to refer complex issues to a solicitor as they are not insured to provide legal advice.
When you’re making one of the largest investments of your life, you want to make sure that you have the right person assisting you with your conveyance.
5. Preparation is the key
Having said all that, it’s important to note that there are things you can do to make the purchase or sale easier for both parties. If you’re selling, it is best to speak with your property solicitor well before you put the property on the market to ensure that the relevant documentation is ready in time. The property solicitor can also work with your accountant to assist you with understanding your taxation obligations.
If you’re buying, then your property solicitor can work with your bank or broker to arrange finance or sort out any mortgagee issues.
There are so many variables involved in transfer of property, which is why we recommend that you engage a property solicitor as your conveyancer at the earliest available time to ensure the process is as quick and easy as it can be.