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Taking the complexity out of conveyancing

You’ve been searching for months and you think you’ve found a house that ticks all your boxes. However, it’s not just a house to you – it’s a home. Potentially your family home. You love the location and the backyard will be perfect for entertaining in summer. You’re ready to move forward. You request a contract of sale and the real estate agent tells you it’s straightforward. Ummm… straightforward to whom?

Whether you’re buying your first home or a home to retire in, a property transaction is rarely straightforward in terms of the conveyancing process. It will be one of the biggest financial decisions you make in a lifetime. There’s also significant emotional attachment to the transaction that can make it hard to see the wood for the trees. Making decisions and entering into contractual obligations without full understanding of your legal rights and obligations can have profound consequences that extend beyond your finances.

Given the complex nature of a property transaction, regardless of whether you are buying or selling, it makes common sense to engage the specialist legal expertise of a conveyancing solicitor.

 

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Deciphering pages of legal jargon is time consuming and without expert knowledge can result in an unintentional contract breach, which can be costly and stressful.

Expertise to help you through the complexity of conveyancing

Property law is a specialised area of expertise. Legislation differs in each state and territory and the degree of complexity in a property transaction can vary greatly. Additional legal layering in relation to taxation, probate, trusts, heritage overlay and council conditions can all contribute to the complex nature of a property transaction. And don’t think the ‘cooling off period’ will save you from a massive mishap. Rules and regulations like this can differ for auctions versus private sale.

A legal expert knows the ins and outs and has the insight to see potential issues before they arise. From reviewing the costs and conditions outlined within a retirement village contract to examining council restrictions on a sub divide, professional advice can prove invaluable. A conveyancing solicitor has the knowledge and legal experience to ensure your transaction, regardless of complexity, is managed smoothly and in your best interests.

Experience to decipher the detail and avoid the risks

Like most legal transactions, terminology can place the layman at a disadvantage in negotiating. Deciphering pages of legal jargon is time consuming and without expert knowledge can result in an unintentional contract breach, which can be costly and stressful. A conveyancing solicitor is familiar with the contract of sale and mandatory attachments such as the copy of title, zoning certificate, section 32, plan of the land, common property bi-laws, and sewer diagrams. To avoid potential pitfalls, it’s crucial to fully understand what’s in the detail and, just as importantly, what’s not. Your conveyancing solicitor has the expertise to recognise unfavourable conditions and negotiate terms in your best interest.

 

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Under settlement time constraints, there’s a lot to do including building and pest inspections.

Streamline the process to get you to settlement

For the conveyancing process to run smoothly, it needs a project manager who is organised and efficient. Under settlement time constraints, there’s considerable research, administration, and follow up involved from the beginning through to settlement. Deposit and stamp duty need to be paid; undisclosed information (land tax obligations, non-regulated building work, vested interest in the land, planned development) needs to be investigated; building and pest inspections arranged; statement of adjustments (rates, water, rent) must be calculated prior to settlement. Your conveyancing solicitor has the experience, resources and access to information to ensure you comply with your settlement obligations by the due date.

Cover you when things don’t go to plan

There’s plenty that can go wrong in a property transaction, and the risk increases if you are negotiating beyond your depth of knowledge. Unfortunately, negligence, lack of honesty and integrity, and inexperience can have serious consequences and you may be personally liable if you go it alone.

Financial institutions play an important role in facilitating a smooth settlement transaction but finance doesn’t always go to plan. Loan approval may be denied or the discharge process may be delayed making it impossible to meet settlement obligations. In these stressful circumstances, a conveyancing solicitor can step in, advise you on options and potentially negotiate an extension or terminate the contract. A conveyancing solicitor is your insurance policy – literally. Professional indemnity insurance is compulsory for all conveyancing solicitors and you will have recourse to this policy should something go wrong.

Engage a professional for peace of mind

Whilst it is possible to sell your home without a real estate agent or invest in the stock market without a broker, consider what you risk by not engaging a qualified professional to advise you on these transactions. A property transaction is legally complex and financially; there’s a lot at stake. Engaging with a conveyancing solicitor who can provide professional advice from the beginning of your property journey through to settlement is a wise choice that will give you valuable peace of mind.

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Reuben Sady

Reuben Sady is a copywriter and digital marketer. He got his pen-license writing ghost stories in primary school and hasn't stopped writing since. These days, you'll find him crafting copy, content and campaigns for Melbourne agency Digital360. There he helps small and medium sized Australian businesses to get the most out of their digital marketing efforts. When he's not at work, he still enjoys penning the odd ghost story.

The opinions expressed in this article are the opinions of the author(s) and not necessarily those of Homeloans Ltd.