Conveyancing Banner

Conveyancing & Property

Buying, selling, or dealing with real estate in any other way typically involves considerable financial, personal and/or business decisions. We understand the significance of property to many people and can assist with a range of conveyancing and property related transactions.

What is conveyancing?

Conveyancing is the process of transferring the legal title of real estate (property) from one party to another. Many people will buy or sell real estate in their lifetime, which creates the impression that this is a low-risk process. On the contrary, there are major risks in any property conveyance.

Conveyancing time limits are strict and there can be significant financial consequences for any party that misses a deadline, even when it is an innocent mistake. In some ways, the risks when you sell are less than when you purchase, although even a property sale can also become a financial and legal quagmire if you do not take care.

Whether you are buying your first home, adding to your investment portfolio, or selling a property, our experienced team will ensure that you understand your rights and obligations and that your transaction is completed as smoothly and effortlessly as possible.

Are you entering into a commercial or retail lease?

Entering into a commercial or retail lease is a big step for any business person. Before you sign the lease, you should ensure that you understand each and every clause.

The clauses that set the length of the lease, and any options to renew are vital to the security of your tenancy. Ideally you should sign a lease with a shorter initial term but plenty of opportunity to renew, and also a facility to assign the lease to a new owner if you sell the business. You should also pay particular attention to clauses in relation to fit out and repairs and maintenance, as these can have a significant financial impact on a business.

If you are new to commercial or retail leasing (or even if you are not), chances are you will need to sit down with a solicitor to discuss the terms the lease. If you are entering into a retail lease, your solicitor can also explain the special protections that exist in law to ensure that your lease is fair.

The time to negotiate any terms of the agreement is before you sign. At this stage, the landlord is keen to secure a tenant, and you have the most bargaining power to ask for better terms. A solicitor can take the lead in negotiating with the landlord.

Are you intending to purchase or sell your property at auction?

Auctions are a popular way to sell residential property in New South Wales, especially in competitive segments of the market. However, selling by auction usually costs the seller more upfront, and buying at auction can be intimidating for inexperienced buyers.   

We are all familiar with what happens at an auction, at least as it appears on TV. A number of buyers attend and bid against each other. Because all willing buyers come together and bid to their limit, an auction is considered the best way to find the “market value” of a property at any point in time. 

Before the auction, the seller sets a reserve, the minimum amount that they will accept for the property. Once the bidding passes the reserve, the property is sold when the hammer falls. If you are the seller, you must sign the contract with the highest bidder.

If you are the highest bidder at an auction, there is no cooling-off period, and no opportunity to negotiate the contract or have a building inspection. You are obliged to buy the house for the amount that you bid and provide the deposit on the spot. 

If the bidding does not reach the reserve, the property can be “passed in”. At that point, the seller may choose to negotiate with the bidders or place the property back on the market.

Are you buying or selling property off-the-plan?

At any time when you are buying property, you need to fully understand all of the terms of the contract. This is even more vital if you are buying a property off-the-plan, especially because a small proportion of developers build predatory clauses into off-the-plan contracts. It is highly advisable to have a solicitor review the contract and help protect your interests, which may involve negotiating the contract terms with the developer.

On the other side of the transaction, developers need to be careful when using off-the-plan contracts that do not provide sufficient flexibility. Ensuring that your contracts are carefully drafted can reduce your risk over the course of a long building project.

Are you planning on developing or subdividing your property?

If you are lucky enough to have a property on a large block, you may have considered having the land subdivided. If your zoning allows for multiple dwellings, you may be planning to build units or townhouses.

A subdivision involves dividing a single parcel of land into two or more lots. The legal process to do this is complex and requires compliance with multiple pieces of legislation and engagement with a number of different government bodies. Depending on the type of proposed development, you may need to undertake a Torrens Title subdivision, a Strata Title subdivision, a Stratum Title subdivision, or a Community Title subdivision. 

While exciting, both developing and subdividing property can be fraught with difficulties. This should not discourage you from tackling these projects if you have the opportunity and the right support behind you. With big challenges can come big rewards.

If you need assistance, contact one of our lawyers at [email protected] or call 02 4625 3755 for expert legal advice.