Why Property Legal Advice is Thriving During a Pandemic

There’s no doubt it’s been an unstable time for the property market in 2020 due to the pandemic and recession, however the news isn’t all negative, and the property market continues to hold its own. Whether you’re building a new home, in the market to buy or sell, or have a property legal issue that needs resolving, having a conveyancing solicitor for advice is the right investment choice.

In the last few months, there’s been every prediction under the sun circulating. From reports that the property market intends to crash, thanks to a sensational news story from 60 minutes which reported an estimated 40 per cent drop in house properties around Australia. To reports and data coming from property industry experts, suggesting property is stabilising, and some markets are even increasing.

Coupled with the Government unveiling the new $25,000 Homebuilder grant package as an incentive to begin renovations or start building new homes, the property industry appears to be in better shape than experts had predicted at the start of the pandemic.

Whether you’re buying, selling, building or renovating, having reputable legal advice as part of your team is a wise investment.

What is the difference between a solicitor and conveyancer?

In New South Wales, the decision to use a solicitor or conveyancer will depend on your individual circumstances. A solicitor will often operate in many different legal areas of property law whereas, a conveyancer will be specifically qualified in areas of conveyancing but will be limited to other property matters. If the matter has complicated legal issues during the course of settlement a conveyancer won’t be qualified or may not be able to advise you on some matters of property law.

According to The New South Wales Department of Fair Trading besides transferring ownership of sale into your name legally, there are many other elements to the legal property process including:
  • Evaluating contracts
  • Helping you to arrange finance
  • Paying for the house deposit
  • Assessing whether any government bodies are planning any developments that could impact the land or house
  • Organising building inspections
  • Determining if you’ll be subject to any land tax obligations
  • Sorting out stamp duty payments

The main reasons you may need property legal advice are when you’re:

  • Buying or selling a property
  • Subdividing land
  • Updating a title (i.e. registering a death)
  • Building a new home

Here are some points to consider for a new build:

Contract of Sale – This is important on a new build as it needs to cover the obligations and agreements between what the builder has promised in writing. It must contain a comprehensive list of fixtures, fittings and finishes.

Variations in Contract – Minor variations may need to be added to a contact to allow for council planning requirements or environmental or boundary issues during the building process. There should be provisions for the purchaser to cancel should changes significantly affect the property.

Inclusions – A list of inclusions should be listed in the contract with variations on some inclusions to be replaced with similar quality if not available at the time. Warranties are also something to be included.

Legal rights – If you’re building off the plan, a conveyancer will include things to cover you about construction delays, times and costs.

Other things to consider in a contract are:

  • Stamp duty costs
  • Joint property ventures
  • Proposed floor plans and site plans
  • Defects
  • Completion dates
  • Cooling off periods

Questions to ask a Conveyancer:

  1. Are you a member of the Australian Institute of Conveyancers?
  2. Do I need a solicitor or a conveyancer in my situation?
  3. What types of property do you specialise in?
  4. How much will it cost?
  5. What are your fees and charges?
  6. What will I have to pay at settlement?
  7. What other costs are there?
  8. How will you communicate with me, and how often?
  9. How long will everything take on settlement day? (This is important if you are arranging movers and other parties)

At Bale Boshev Lawyers we offer a range of conveyancing legal services.

These include but are not limited to:

  • Advice on residential and commercial conveyancing contracts
  • Advice on litigation services in relation to disputes involving residential and commercial contracts. These are services that licensed conveyancers are not licensed to provide
  • Advice and preparation of joint venture agreements relating to property developments
  • Preparation of and advice on property mortgages
  • Advice on land and strata title, off the plan subdivision purchases and sales
  • Advice on first home purchases including eligibility for the First Home Owners Grant and First Home Stamp Duty Exceptions
  • Advice on Option to Purchase Agreements
  • Advice on Loan Agreements

Bale Boshev Lawyers have three offices located in Newcastle, Lake Macquarie and Greenhills.

Contact one of our offices to discuss your conveyancing and property legal requirements in the above areas and obtain a quote today!

Article by Josh Hay

Josh Hay – Lawyer

Whilst working in our property and commercial team, Josh’s work is varied and involves him working on conveyancing and property development matters, leasing [commercial, retail and industrial], liquor licencing and general commercial and contract preparation and advice.

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