If you're looking to buy or sell a home in New Zealand, you may be wondering if you really need to involve a lawyer.
After all - lawyers can be expensive, right? Can't you just download the legal forms for a small fee online?
When undertaking a real estate transaction in New Zealand, I highly recommend having an experienced lawyer on your side.
Buying and selling real estate has many legal pitfalls for the unwary.
Although a real estate transaction looks straightforward from the outside, and most sales go through without any problems, there are times when things may go wrong. Your lawyer is there to avoid these issues or help you if any problems arise.
Although the cost of using their service can seem high, in reality, it is a small price to pay when weighing this up against the potential costs of a transaction that goes bad.
I like the old expression – "If you think a good lawyer is expensive, you should see how much a bad one can cost you!"
While a skilled and experienced real estate salesperson will be familiar with many of the legal issues involved in selling your home, they can't offer you proper legal advice.
Therefore you'll need to appoint a conveyancing lawyer (also known as a solicitor) to help.
If you don't have a lawyer, your salesperson should be able to explain how you can find one and possibly provide a selection of reputable professionals in your area.
Many lawyers offer a fixed-fee service for sale and purchase transactions (also known as "conveyancing"). They are usually happy to include a pre-contract consultation as part of that fixed-fee service. I suggest you give them a call as soon as you think you might sell, and they will guide you through the process.
Your lawyer's primary responsibilities are:
While you definitely need a lawyer to complete the settlement of your sale, you technically don't need a lawyer to sign a 'Sale and Purchase Agreement'. However, it's wise to speak to your lawyer as soon as you have decided to put your property on the market.
Here are some key things to remember:
You might need to contact your lawyer immediately if your sale is unusual in some way. Some examples are:
As you can see, solicitors have a critical role when buying or selling a property.
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