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Property & Conveyancing

You may be thinking of buying or selling a property in New South Wales. In that case, you may also feel a little daunted at the thought of such a major financial transaction. It can be particularly stressful if you are new to the conveyancing process, or if you are perhaps not familiar with how conveyancing works in New South Wales.

Selling Residential Property

When you decide to sell a residential property, you need to choose between private treaty and auction. You can either set a price for your home and negotiate the final sale price with prospective buyers (the private treaty method), or hold an auction where prospective purchases bid against one another to “win” the property once it goes over the reserve price.

Purchasing Residential Property

Once you have chosen the property, you should have a property solicitor or conveyancer look over the contract of sale. This step will ensure that you understand your legal rights and obligations under the contract and answer any questions you have before you sign. Your solicitor can even negotiate the terms of the contract to be more favourable to you, such as changing the settlement date or reducing penalty clauses saving you money.

In NSW, the buyer and seller sign and exchange two copies of the contract. At this time, the buyer pays an agreed amount as a deposit. The deposit is held securely by a third party (the real estate agent or the seller’s solicitor), to be passed onto the seller after settlement. 

The standard settlement period in NSW is 42 days after exchange of contract, but you can negotiate a longer or shorter period. The purchase of the property is completed at settlement, where the balance of the purchase price is paid to the vendor and ownership passes to you. In NSW, all settlements now take place electronically.

Prior to settlement, a statement will be prepared setting out the total balance payable to the vendor, considering any costs, rates and levies. Your solicitor will advise you on the exact amount you need to pay the vendor on the day. You should take the time on settlement day to carry out a final inspection of the property to make sure that there has been no damage since your last inspection.

Cooling Off Period

When you buy a property via private treaty in NSW, you typically have five business days to change your mind (although you forfeit 0.25% of the price to the vendor if you withdraw from the contract under this clause). Conversely, if you buy via auction, there is no cooling off period, so the highest bidder enters into an unconditional contract. So remember to keep your head while bidding!

Residential Units

If you buy a unit, you own your lot but share common property (such as external walls, stairwells and driveways) with other owners. Our conveyancing experts can explain your responsibilities under the strata scheme and clarify any future expenses such as strata levies.

Commercial Property

Commercial property conveyancing can have complex legal nuances. It can involve big budgets and complex regulatory requirements. We support investors, landlords and commercial tenants to manage property transactions and negotiate agreements and commercial property issues.  

Commercial and Retail Leasing

You should contact a lawyer before you sign a commercial or retail lease agreement. At this early stage, your lawyer can negotiate the lease terms and conditions. Most importantly, they can ensure that you understand the obligations that you are taking on.

If you need assistance contact one of our lawyers at [email protected] or call 02 9150 6991 for expert legal advice from experienced conveyancing and property lawyers.