Buying or selling a property will be one of the biggest decisions many Kiwis make. However, how many of us actually know the ins and outs of the process? Employing the services of a quality property lawyer, one who is experienced and that you trust, will be hugely beneficial. With the process generally being highly complicated and often confusing, going at it alone can be very costly.
Lawyers wear many different hats during the buying and selling process. Whether you are buying a property or selling one, a good property lawyer will be one of your biggest assets. Below are several of the roles that a good lawyer will play during the process.
Most importantly, your lawyer will be working on your behalf and will have your best interests at heart.
During a standard property transaction, your lawyer should be the main point of contact for any actions related to the transaction. Whether it’s the enforcement of all legal matters, negotiator of all contestable arrangements and above all else be considered a trusted adviser.
They should manage and liaise with all other invested parties, such as the banks or lenders, mortgage brokers, government agencies or builders and engineers.
As your lawyer understands the legal and regulatory aspects of the transaction process, having them manage the process will give you the peace of mind that all your actions meet all legal requirements.
Your lawyer should advise and inform you of all legal limitations or issues that may arise during the process. This should include, bringing to light any legal elements of the title and issues in reports, such as LIM or building inspections.
Your lawyer should also be on hand to advise you when a deal isn’t worthwhile pursuing and how to get out of a bad transaction.
Lawyers will also be able to advise you on other issues such as structuring property ownership and the complexities around using family trusts, KiwiSaver, gifts and property insurance.
A lawyer should be the central point for all the information and documentation that is received during the process. Key to this aspect of their job is to inform you of anything that may impact your interests. Whether this is key dates, deadlines, key findings from reports, or any other information that could have an impact on your decision.
As the main custodian of your estate, your lawyer will be responsible for communicating and meeting any requirements set out by your bank or lender.
For example, your lawyer will be responsible for providing assurances and documentation required before money is provided to complete the transaction. This will mean your lawyer will need to make sure your affairs are inline and comply with the lender’s various rules and regulations, and any other legal requirements.
When your bank or lender is satisfied you comply, they will generally release the required funds to your lawyer, as custodian, to complete the transaction.
A lawyer is responsible for overseeing the handover of the legal title, physical ownership and funds, in a manner that safeguards you as their client. Generally, the settlement process is carefully managed in a way that all funds, securities and property are handed over all at the same time.
Once your bank or lender has released the funds, your lawyer is responsible for transferring the payment to the required party. Which could be one of the following: the other party’s lawyer, bank or lender, real-estate agent or the other party themselves.
Whether you are buying or selling a house, a good property lawyer, who you trust, will be one of your biggest assets. As many Kiwis don’t fully understand the process, it’s vital you seek help to ensure you are protected and fully informed throughout the entire process.
If you would like to discuss your options and obligations during the buying and selling process, we would love to help. Get in touch with us today, and our friendly and experienced advisers will be happy to help.
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