Purchasing a home or area of land is a major investment at any stage in life. While it’s an exciting process, it can be equally daunting, especially if you’re a first-time buyer. In theory it might appear straightforward to purchase a property, but in practice there’s a lot of work involved and several instances where matters can become complicated. For example, understanding legal jargon outlined in your contract or assessing your specific tax requirements.
Having an experienced lawyer by your side gives you:
- total transparency of your contracts;
- confidence in decision making; and
- peace of mind.
An expert solicitor assures you’re covered throughout all unexpected areas of the property purchasing process. They can alert you to any concerns along the way and certify that everything is carried out correctly and legally to protect your best interest and make your investment worthwhile.
Here are 5 Reasons why having a property lawyer on standby is essential and how they can help you through every stage of the purchasing process:
1. Providing Advice on Property Inspections
There can be several areas of concern to look out for when inspecting a property, from internal damage such as mould to contaminated land surrounding the estate. These types of issues are not only costly to handle if you’ve already signed a contract, but they are an extreme health hazard and can have long term negative effects on your wellbeing. An experienced solicitor can give you advice about site inspections and help you arrange for searches and certificates to determine the condition of the property in question. Once the documents and certifications regarding the property are obtained, a lawyer can then review them with you so you can make a fully informed decision before committing.
2. Arranging & Reviewing Official Documents
There are several terms and conditions to understand when signing a contract for a property or land. Contracts can be particularly confusing when legal terminology is used which can be time consuming and stressful to interpret on your own. A solicitor not only arranges all your contracts to ensure everything is covered but with their expertise they know how to check for the right inclusions and exclusions as well as how to identify any unfair clauses. For example, real estate agents are not obliged to tell you about construction sites or developments in your area such as apartment blocks, skyscrapers, or power lines. This information can also be difficult to get hold of from your local council, but a lawyer can provide a comprehensive contract review to ensure there are no unexpected surprises down the road.
3. Preparing Financial Advice & the Deposit
Whether you’re a first home buyer or seasoned investor, a house or land is usually one of the biggest purchases you’ll ever make so you need to feel financially confident. There are several financial factors to consider from stamp duty, GST and capital gains tax (if you’re also selling your current house in exchange for a new one). A lawyer can help you calculate any taxes, so you’re not blindsided by any upcoming costs. Additionally, they can help you with your deposit by placing it into a trust account to ensure it’s ready prior to settlement.
4. Working with all Statutory Authorities Between Settlement
Before a final settlement comes into play, which can take between 4 weeks to 4 months for your desired property, a lawyer will continue to conduct enquiries on your behalf. They will work with all statutory bodies including the local council and water authority to check whether rates have been paid up to date. They’ll also prepare a transfer certification of the property from the Office of State Revenue before you need to settle. A lawyer can also work with your financial provider if necessary, to make sure all aspects of your finances are ready to take place on your appointed settlement date.
5. Settling the Property
A lawyer will help you finalise everything from start to finish, from an initial contract review, final inspection disputes, as well as being by your side to settle the property on the nominated day. Their presence throughout the entire process is to make sure nothing is overlooked to guarantee the best deal moving forward. Settlement involves liaising and working with the current owner’s lawyer, your banking institution and local government agencies, such as, the Titles Office and council, to transfer the ownership title of the property. A qualified lawyer can also ensure that mortgage security is released from any lenders, remove any caveats and any other obstructions that might interfere with the final settlement.
At Le Brun & Associates, our dedicated team of Property & Litigation Lawyers can help you purchase a property or area of land with complete confidence. We provide sound and knowledgeable advice with the highest level of service to ensure that you get the best possible outcome from your investment. Contact us today for your FREE 30-minute consultation.