Conveyancing is the term used for the legal work involved in the transfer of property ownership. Higgins Lawyers can represent you in purchasing property, selling property and the buying/selling of commercial businesses. We have online access to NSW Government Land Titles records, are an agent for Office of State Revenue and can pay your stamp duty in our office.
Higgins Lawyers understands that purchasing property is a big decision and often the most significant financial transaction in your life. We have prepared the following guide for you to help with understanding the purchase process:
- The very first step in purchasing property is to arrange finance approval with your lending institution to ensure you have the necessary funds available to complete the purchase. If you begin the process of purchasing property without adequate finance to complete, and the Contracts are exchanged, you will lose your deposit and may also be liable to the Vendor in damages.
- When inspecting potential properties, always ensure the selling agent employed by the Vendor has a complete and valid Contract for Sale, and that you are able to meet all these contractual obligations.
- Once you have negotiated a price with the Vendor, you will need to advise the selling agent that you will be engaging Higgins Lawyers as your Conveyancer.
- The Vendor's representative will then forward a copy of the Sale Contract to us.
- As soon as the Contract is received, we will contact you to make an appointment to go through the Contract.
- After discussing the Contract terms with you and under your instructions (if so required), we will contact the Vendor's representative regarding any Special Conditions or Amendments to the Contract you may require.
- We will contact your lending institution to discuss any loan or mortgage documentation they may require.
- We will liaise with your lending institution to ensure you receive unconditional financial approval before Contract exchange. Please note, we will not exchange the Contract until such time as your lender has provided Higgins Lawyers with formal loan approval in writing.
- We will advise you in relation to paying the deposit. This is usually 10% of the purchase price, and may be paid directly or by way of a deposit bond.
- Under your instruction, we will order the following reports:-
- Pest & Building report
- Survey report
- Building Certificate.
- We apply for searches and certificates in relation to Council and Water rates and will also make enquiries to the relevant statutory bodies as to their interest (if any) in the property.
- We submit Requisitions on Title to the Vendor's representative. As part of the normal conveyancing process, the purchaser will make enquiries with the vendor about the Title of the property. These are referred to as “requisitions on title”. The purpose of requisitions is to ask the vendor information which may not have been disclosed in the contract or discovered during an inspection of the property. The information can range from whether there is a dispute with the neighbour regarding fences, to whether there is any matter that could justify the making of a demolition order.
- We will contact you to confirm settlement has taken place.
- Either your lender or Higgins Lawyers (should you be a cash purchaser), will attend to your property registration documents.
- The Real Estate agent receives an Order on Agent, which allows it to release the keys to you.
- We will write to the local Council and water board advising of the change of ownership.
- At this time we will require you to make available the required funds for payment of stamp duty (if applicable).
- We will prepare the transfer documentation and arrange with the Vendor a suitable time and place for settlement.
- We will contact you with the settlement details and confirm that you have made a final inspection of the property and are happy to proceed to settlement.
- We attend settlement on your behalf. We hand over the required cheques and receive the Transfer and Title Deed but if you have a mortgage, the financial lender will retain the deed, and Discharge of Mortgage (if any). These documents will transfer title to the property from the Vendor to you.
This quick reference guide will help you more clearly understand the necessary steps of the sale process:
- Once you have chosen a Real Estate Agent to market the property please inform us so we can commence proceedings.
- We arrange for you to have a meeting with our Conveyancer so that the Contract can be prepared in accordance with your instructions and then forwarded to the Agent. The timeframe for preparing the Contract will depend upon Higgins Lawyers receiving the required documents from the relevant authorities. The property cannot be marketed until the Agent receives the Contract.
- Once the Contract is completed and forwarded to the Agent, we then look forward to the Agent finding a Purchaser.
- Once the sale has been negotiated, Higgins Lawyers will forward a copy of the Contract to the Purchaser's representative for approval and signature.
- We negotiate in accordance with your instructions with the Purchaser's representative as to any request the Purchaser may have in relation to Contract amendments.
- After both parties are happy with the terms of the Contract we then Exchange the Contract and the agreement becomes legally binding for both parties.
- If there is a mortgage on your property, immediately after Exchange of Contracts we will contact your Lender and arrange for your Mortgagee's discharge documents to be prepared in readiness for settlement.
- We arrange for you to sign the Transfer.
- A suitable time for Settlement is then arranged between the parties.
- Higgins Lawyers attends settlement on your behalf and will hand over the Title Deed and Transfer in exchange for a cheque for the balance of the sale funds.
- Higgins Lawyers will then contact you and advise that Settlement has taken place.
- The Selling Agent will receive an Order on the Agent, which will release the balance of the deposit to be released to you.
- Any funds not required to payout the mortgage are collected by Higgins Lawyers at Settlement and banked according to your instructions.
- After settlement, we will forward you a letter confirming settlement, the breakdown of settlement funds, along with our tax invoice.
Higgins Lawyers prepares Business Contracts for the sale of business as well as provide advice relating to the sale. For a purchase of a business, we will, on your behalf, make all the enquiries regarding the Contract and negotiate the terms of the Contract. Before you buy or sell a business you need to consider many aspects beyond the purchase/sale price. Please review our Business Conveyancing Checklist below for details:
- Is a stocktake required? Who will conduct it, and when?
- Is there any restraint of trade?
- What will happen to existing staff, their superannuation, leave and WorkCover requirements?
- What sort of insurance do you already have in place? What does it cover; fixtures and fittings or the building? Do you require additional insurance?
- Are you aware of the compliance issues at a local, state, and federal government levels?
- Do you require assignment, transfer or preparation of a new lease?
- The transfer of the business name also needs to include phone numbers and/or online properties such as websites or social media pages.
- Does purchasing the business require transfers or licences such as liquor licences, Council permits or motor vehicle licences?
- How will you finance the purchase? Options include taking out a business loan, borrowing against other property, debenture, and bill of sale.
- Are there GST implications to consider?
We do not provide financial advice as to the viability of the business - this advice should be obtained by you from your accountant.
The Department of Fair Trading provides extensive information on conveyancing for a multitude of different businesses. For more information www.fairtrading.nsw.gov.au
Fees & Disbursements
It’s important to be aware of fees, disbursements and other costs involved in buying property, some of which are covered below:
The arrangement whereby property is used as a security for a loan. The owner's Certificate of Title is held by the lender until the mortgage is discharged.
Unconditional finance approval should be in place before exchanging contracts.
A seller is not required to attach a survey report to a contract for the sale of land, but it may quicken the process.
This protects against loss from defects that already exist in the title.
Your lender will want a copy of a policy before they agree to settle.
The Retirement Villages Act makes provisions about deposits, terminations and more.
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