When it comes time to sell or buy a property, it pays to engage a qualified and experienced legal practitioner.

Not only do they attend to settlement on your behalf, but they can check the terms and details of a contract prior to signing.  It is their duty to ensure that a client meets all of their legal obligations and that their legal rights are protected in the property transaction.

Although most contracts are plain vanilla, the devil lies in the detail.  Getting names, numbers and references correct is really important and can take a lot of time and money to rectify if noted incorrectly on a contract.  There is also benefit in speaking to your preferred legal advisor or accountant prior to entering into a contract as well if you plan to set up a company, trust or other entity instead of your legal person to buy the property.

If you aren’t familiar with the relevant Act or legislation, to limit risk in the transaction, it is recommended that you appoint a suitably qualified legal practitioner to handle the conveyancing for you.  Self-acting may save you a few hundred dollars in the short term, but it can be very costly in retrospect if the contract is set up incorrectly.  Other associated industry professionals will also appreciate dealing with suitably qualified practitioners so that time isn’t spent educating non-qualified persons on a contract.

Here are 7 top tips for any buyer prior to signing:

  • Confirm your purchase name or entity with your legal advisor/accountant
  • Check the title reference number is the same as the one noted on the contract including the real property description/address
  • What are the included and excluded chattels
  • Has a copy of the site map been provided noting an easements or statutory easements on the property
  • Have the relevant conditions been included such as finance, building pest inspection and council compliance
  • Are there any special conditions that need to be included depending on the negotiated terms
  • If the property is leased do you need to enter the tenancy details or will you be buying as vacant possession

An experienced, knowledgeable legal advisor will be able to review all of these points and discuss other key issues for you prior to signing a contract.  This is just as important for sellers and buyers.  Your appointed real estate isn’t responsible for drafting clauses of a contract so if you are self-acting, take caution with wording and if in doubt, seek independent legal advice.