Are you looking to buy a property? Or, have you decided to sell your property? Perhaps you are not entirely sure what the process involves, or have a number of questions that have gone unanswered. Like most people, you are also probably struggling to find expert advice at competitive prices.
Our Sydney conveyancing services are 5 star all the way. We provide clear cut friendly legal advice on all conveyancing and property law matters for fixed fees.
Expert advice, delivered in a timely fashion and in a language you can understand.
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Conveyancing is the process of transferring property ownership from one party to another when buying or selling any property: residential, industrial, commercial or rural.
A conveyancer can draw up the necessary paperwork, but they are prevented by law from providing any legal advice outside the strict conveyancing process. The ultra-competitive property market in Sydney can make conveyancing an especially complex process.
To better understand the implications of these technical documents and to receive advice on the process, you should ask a property lawyer to draw up the contracts or to review them. After all, this is one of the largest transactions most people will ever be involved in.
Documents in a conveyancing transaction can contain a number of variables, along with many onerous or risky terms. They can have any number of flow-on effects, depending on the nature of the transaction, the property and the parties’ expectations.
The process involved, however, should not be complicated or unnecessarily onerous if the right steps are followed from the beginning. By engaging an expert from the outset, you won’t need a property lawyer to resolve any disputes later.
Gavel and Page Lawyers is a Sydney property and construction law firm. Our focus is on conveyancing and all things property. Given that focus, we are good at what we do. Not only do you get market-leading experience, but you also get great value from a team of experts conveyancing lawyers.
We are lawyers, not conveyancers. There is a difference. We are qualified to provide legal advice on your conveyancing transaction. We do not merely follow a checklist but provide tailored and meaningful advice to enable you to make informed decisions at every turn.
Also, should an issue or property dispute arise, our qualified and experienced lawyers can provide the advice and assistance required to resolve it. All the aid and guidance you need are under one roof at a competitive rate.
That extends to other services. For example, you may want to have wills drafted, or you may intend to undertake some construction works or other items requiring legal assistance. We can help you with that also—all under one roof.
We have the expertise in handling your conveyancing transaction, and we pride ourselves equally on the customer experience. What does that mean? It means we are contactable first of all. You are not emailing and leaving countless messages without a reply. It means we take the time to thoroughly explain the contract and issues to be aware of, address your queries and go the extra mile in ensuring your understanding of all relevant aspects of your conveyancing transaction.
We do not treat you like a number; each client has a tailored service and approach specific to their needs, circumstances and experience.
We aim to build lasting relationships with our clients, and our business has thrived over a decade mainly on word of mouth, which is a testament to this objective and the satisfaction of our clients.
It is important for buyers to seek out timely and meaningful advice as to the various terms, risks and pitfalls associated with purchasing off-the-plan, selling off-the-plan, splitting property or just purchasing a property. Visit our comprehensive Conveyancing Price Guide For Sydney to find out more information.
See some of the most common questions we get asked all the time by our Sydney clients who are about to purchase or sell a property? If you have any other questions please contact our team of expert lawyers who specialise in conveyancing. We will get back to you asap.
|YES||Good work on taking the necessary first step. If you are still deciding on the most suitable agent, please let us know, we have a healthy network of agents, and Sydney buyers agents with a proven track record and we would be happy to make an introduction.|
|NO||There are a number of key factors you should consider when deciding which selling agent to appoint, such as, the location and convenience of their office, whether they have any particular specialty, or knowledge of a particular area, the reputation of the sales team or a team member in particular and their success rates. Most importantly is your level of comfort and confidence with your selected agent.|
|YES||We suggest ensuring these repairs are made prior to enlisting an agent and putting your home on the market. This is so that you can maximize the value of your home with the new repairs. Also, sometimes, any potential buyers will request that certain repairs are carried out as a condition of purchase.|
|NO||Excellent news, you are ready to proceed to the next step.|
|YES||Great, a necessary step.|
You will need to engage a solicitor or conveyancer so that they can obtain information from you to prepare the Contract for the sale of a residential property. The agent will not be able to market the property or start advertising until there is a Contract available. This is required by law in NSW.
It is important to understand the differences between a solicitor and a conveyancer. While there are a number of differences, primarily, a solicitor is legally qualified to provide you with legal advice, whereas a conveyancer cannot and generally, a solicitor’s knowledge and experience in being able to tailor solutions to your circumstances and handle any disputes or more complicated transactions, make them the preferred choice for most.
|YES||Good work on being prepared. Please ensure you advise your solicitor of any advice provided to you by your accountant in respect of GST or otherwise|
|NO||We recommend that you obtain advice from an accountant or finance specialist to ensure you are not missing any taxes that you may be liable for and are comfortable with the financial implications of the sale. Again, we have a healthy supply network of such advisers and would be happy to make an introduction.|
|YES||Please check with your mortgagee what their standard settlement period is to ensure that they have enough time to prepare to discharge your loan for the purpose of settlement of the property.|
|NO||You should speak with your mortgagee regarding your intended sale of your property to ensure that there is no delay in preparing for any settlement and / or that there are no complications that need to be addressed. Your solicitor will obviously assist with this process.|
|YES||Usually, your solicitor will let you know once contracts are exchanged and will begin preparing for settlement. If your agent is exchanging contracts, be sure to let your solicitor know, so that this can be confirmed.|
|NO||Please inform your solicitor when you anticipate to exchange the contract so that they may ensure any outstanding requested amendments have been replied to and that you are comfortable with all the terms proposed.|
|YES||While it is definitely reassuring to have the cooling off period waived, a lot of purchasers may not be willing to waive their cooling off rights as they are quite essential from their perspective. A purchaser will prefer to have the option to back out of the contract if possible, especially for finance reasons|
|NO||If the purchaser has a cooling off period then they are entitled to rescind during the cooling off period and will only forfeit a 0.25% deposit. The contract does not become unconditional until the cooling off period has expired.|
|YES||That is fine, as no land tax is generally payable when the property is your principal residence.|
If it is not your principal residence, consider whether you wish to adjust on any land tax for which you are liable. This means that the land tax payable in respect of the property will be adjusted between the purchaser and vendor on settlement. If you choose to adjust the land tax between purchaser and vendor then you may receive requests for the adjustment to be deleted if the purchaser is intending on residing in the property as their principal place of residence.
Further, if you have a copy of your land tax assessment notice, this should be given to your solicitor. However, depending on the value of the land you own in NSW, you may not have received a land tax assessment notice if the value is under the threshold. We suggest speaking to the Office of State Revenue to check whether the property is liable to land tax to be sure.
Please note that if you are selling an investment property, you should ensure that the property is registered with the Office of State Revenue as soon as possible so that any land tax liability is dealt with well before settlement.
|YES||Great. This is important because you are liable for any risks up until settlement. Only after settlement does any risk pass to the purchaser.|
|NO||Ensure that your insurance policy is valid up to and including the day of settlement. If it is due to expire before the settlement date, we highly recommend extending the policy.|
|YES||Great. Generally, you should be aware that the purchaser is entitled to one final inspection prior to settlement. If there was agreement that certain things be done prior to settlement, or the purchaser observes any changes to the property that were not present at the time of exchanging contracts, such as damage, or alteration of some kind, then the purchaser can request it be rectified or the issue resolved prior to any settlement occurring.|
|NO||As stated, sometimes you as the vendor, will be obliged to repair certain items or carry out some agreed task and similarly, if the purchaser observes further damage or some other item not present at the time of exchange, then this can hold up settlement until it is resolved.|
|NO||Please note that unless there is a special condition in your contract indicating otherwise, you will be obliged to remove rubbish and debris from the property before settlement.|
|NO||We recommend arranging for removalists as soon as possible to ensure that there are no delays in vacating the property. As suggested, it is best to vacate the property at least 1 day before settlement. The property should be completely vacant by the time the purchaser completes their final inspection, unless subject to an existing tenancy.|
|YES||Great, please ensure your solicitor is advised.|
|NO||Please ensure the keys are with the agent before settlement takes place.|
|YES||Please ensure you completely understand the breakdown of the settlement costs and do not hesitate to ask your solicitor for any clarity.|
|NO||Please ask your solicitor to send you the Settlement Adjustment Sheet before settlement so that you are aware how settlement funds have been calculated and where funds will be distributed. This should be provided to you at least a day before settlement and thoroughly explained to you for your approval.|
|YES||Great. If there is no loan amount to be paid out to your bank it is also a good idea to ask your solicitor to bank any cheques on your behalf into your nominated bank account. This is to ensure that you receive the settlement funds as soon as possible.|
|NO||Your solicitor should ask you how you would like the settlement funds to be drawn by the purchaser closer to settlement. You will need to keep in
mind that if you have an existing mortgage on the property your bank will be providing your solicitor with a final payout figure to discharge the mortgage. If there are any surplus funds after paying out your mortgage you must direct the solicitor on how you wish for the surplus funds to be distributed.
|YES||Great work, we suggest ensuring that the disconnection date be a day or two after settlement in the event that settlement is delayed and you remain in the property for a few extra days.|
|NO||Please ensure you contact the service providers as soon as possible to ensure they have sufficient notice to book in the disconnection date|
|YES||Please advise your solicitor of the payment amount and how it was paid.|
|NO||Please ensure you specify whether you wish for the agent to deduct their commission from the deposit that they are holding after settlement, or whether you wish for a cheque to be drawn on settlement for their commission.|
|YES||That is a proactive and important first step. While seemingly obvious, quite often people look for properties they like in areas they would love to live in, only to realise that their budget or borrowing capacity just doesn’t stack up.|
|NO||It is important that you carefully consider your budget spend and/or borrowing capacity. Speak to your bank or a broker. Knowing these numbers in advance will make your search far easier and more focused. More importantly, you will not be wasting your time with proper ties and offers that just aren’t practical.|
|YES||One step ahead, fantastic! You can move forward with greater clarity
|NO||It is important to obtain loan pre-approval. It will not only give you a level of certainty as to what you are likely able to afford and assist you in your property search, but obtaining this early on is beneficial because sometimes things just move too quickly and your dream home may pop up and disappear in a flash.|
|YES||Great. Just be sure that the proper ties you are looking at are in line with your budget and loan approval. You should also consider the location of schools, transport and other amenities in the area. Simple, practical things are often overlooked in the excitement of purchasing property. It is good to get a feel for different types of properties in different locations, enabling you to make comparisons and informed decisions. If you need to speak to a trusted agent or want to speak with a buyer’s agent, let us know, as we deal with many we highly recommend.|
|NO||This will inevitably happen when the time is right . Either you’re not ready yet, or haven’t found a property suitable. The tips outlined in this guide should assist in making an otherwise time consuming process more efficient.|
|YES||If your intended use is permitted and/or there are no future developments planned in the locality that sway your opinion, you can move on. Just ensure you advise your solicitor of your intended use, as well as what council may have advised you.|
|NO||You need to consider your intended use of the property, such as a proposed development for instance, otherwise, you should consider any current or future proposed developments or changes to the area that may affect your decision. Ensure that you speak with the relevant Council prior to making any offers on a property. Again, it is important you inform your solicitor of your intended use of the property, so that any contracts they review on your behalf are tailored with that use in mind and proactive advice can be provided accordingly.|
|YES||Great, one less thing to consider.|
We highly recommend that you choose a solicitor/conveyancer prior to putting in any offer for a property. Your solicitor/conveyancer will be able to provide you with guidance on how to begin or continue your purchase process.
In either case, it is important to note the differences between a solicitor and a conveyancer. The main difference being that solicitors are legally qualified professionals who are authorised to provide you with detailed legal advice. A property lawyer for instance can have more experience and knowledge in terms of the process, as well as be able to answer, or tailor solutions to more complicated transactions and represent you in the event of a dispute.
|YES||Are you fully aware of the effect of waiving your cooling off rights? This is a crucial decision in the process of purchasing a property and should not be taken lightly. The consequences of waiving your cooling off rights can be significant, as it means that the contract is unconditional. One thing we recommend for instance, is to be sure that there are no issues with your finances and that they have been pre-approved at least. Please note that you will not be entitled to rescind the Contract and are bound by the terms and conditions of the Contract if there is no cooling off period.|
|NO||Please note that although we generally advise on not waiving your cooling off rights, some vendors may prefer for buyers to waive their cooling off rights as part and parcel of their offer. By not waiving your cooling off rights it may affect your position and bargaining power from a vendor’s point of view. The risks always need to be seriously considered and you should speak with your solicitor before committing.|
|YES||That is fine, however, frequently, vendors will be willing to accept a 5% deposit instead. You should request this if it is of practical importance to you. Remember though, once a contract becomes unconditional, you will be liable for the full 10% regardless of what lesser amount has been agreed. You should also speak with the agent about the method of the deposit payment i.e. whether you can pay the deposit by way of personal cheque or by EFT bank transfer and to whom.|
|NO||Sometimes it is possible to negotiate a 5% deposit or some other amount. If a deposit of less than 10% is negotiated and agreed that is fine, but please keep in mind the comments we outlined above.|
It is still always prudent to double check with your accountant and/or solicitor in relation to the name or names the property will be purchased under, as there are implications arising from this decision down the track. If it is purchased in more than one name, then note that in a joint tenancy the purchasers will own the property in equal shares e.g. 50/50. In the event that either of you pass away then your share will automatically vest in the other person.
As tenants in common, you can elect how the shares are to be proportioned between the purchasers e.g. 50/50, 30/70, 60/40 etc. In the event that either of you pass away, then your share will not automatically vest in the other person but will be distributed in accordance with your will (if any).
|NO||You should check with your accountant and/or solicitor in relation to the name or names the property will be purchased under, as there are important implications, such as stamp duty when changing names and other tax implications. Sometimes it is a simple decision and other times, there may be more to consider.|
|YES||You should make sure you are satisfied with the condition of the property and if in doubt, speak to your solicitor to review and advise on any reports you may have received in this regard.|
|NO||We recommend obtaining relevant and applicable reports prior to making an offer, or attending an auction. These preliminary inspections are important as they may uncover hidden defects or other issues in the property. A Contract usually includes a clause that a purchaser is accepting a property in its current condition and state of repair and therefore it is crucial that you are fully informed as to the condition of the property.|
|YES||A good and proactive step. Being prepared and organised in such transactions is crucial.|
|NO||We recommend that you contact you mortgage (bank) or broker to begin the process of obtaining and completing necessary paper work, as this process can be time consuming.|
|YES||Consider the minimum insured value that your bank will require and in any event, depending on the property type and location, ensure it is sufficient to cover any risks or loss.|
|NO||We highly recommend taking out insurance for the property (building and home and contents insurance if it is a house or otherwise the strata manager|
|YES||Your solicitor should remind you closer to settlement of the exact amount of stamp duty payable and arrange for this to be paid.|
|NO||It is vital that you allow for stamp duty to be paid before or on settlement. Stamp duty is mandatory and is calculated based on the purchase price. You may be eligible for some stamp duty exemptions or exceptions if you are purchasing a brand new property and it is your first home purchase. Many people fail to factor in stamp duty in their buying considerations|
|YES||Please ensure you carefully consider the purpose of each search and the result. Your solicitor ought to provide you with all relevant advice and explanations.|
|NO||Your solicitor should advise you which mandatory searches are required to prepare for settlement. Depending on your intended use of the property, its type and location, you may elect to order other post exchange searches which will provide further information about the property itself that may affect any plans you may have. Although you may be concerned about the costs of ordering all the post exchange searches, they are each individually valuable and important in different circumstances. In light of the investment you are making, these shouldn’t be second guessed|
|YES||We suggest making a list prior to settlement to ensure you haven’t missed any service providers.|
In any event, whether completed immediately or later, we still suggest making a list prior to settlement to ensure that you haven’t missed any service providers.
The following authorities will be automatically notified – local council, Sydney Water, the Office of State Revenue (for land tax purposes) and the strata manager (if any).
|YES||Please make sure that you have sufficient time to move into the property after settlement.|
|NO||We recommend arranging removalists to move your belongings into the property approximately 1-2 hours after the scheduled settlement time.|
|YES||Do you understand it? Do not hesitate to ask your solicitor if you have any queries|
|NO||Your solicitor may send you a settlement adjustment sheet at least a couple of days before settlement showing the breakdown of the settlement funds. It includes the adjustments made for council rates, water rates and strata levies (if applicable).|
|YES||Great news. If you are transferring funds into your solicitor’s trust account or in your nominated account please ensure it is cleared at least 1 day before settlement|
Your solicitor will advise you as to whether there is any shortfall between your final loan amount available and the final purchase price (including payment of stamp duty, legal fees and adjustments for rates). If there is a shortfall you can arrange for the shortfall to be paid in the following ways:
a. Provide your bank with an authority to debit shortfall funds from your nominated bank account.
b. Transfer funds into your solicitor’s trust account.
|YES||Please ensure you advise your solicitor of any differences in the property from when you first inspected it.|
|NO||You are entitled to 1 final inspection of the property prior to settlement. This is arranged with the real estate agent and is mainly for the purposes of noting any damage to the property that was not evident in the property during your first inspection, or any garbage / other items not cleared from the property.|
|YES||Great news, please note that you will not be able to collect the keys until settlement has completed and the agent has received confirmation from both parties.|
|NO||Make sure you have the exact office address of the agent to arrange for key collection after settlement.|
|YES||Please ensure copies are kept for future purposes including any tax returns.|
|NO||Your solicitor should provide you with a post settlement email including a copy of the settlement adjustment sheet after settlement. Please ask them for copies of these if you have not yet received them.|
|YES||Great, if all is in order then congratulations!|
|NO||Please instruct them to do so to ensure there has not been any delay in registering your interest as the owner of the property, which may leave your title exposed.|
I was a little cautious about lawyers generally, even more so since I was embarking on my very first development. A referral to Gavel & Page Lawyers let me put my previous concerns behind me. Open. Direct. Clear communication. Detailed and productive advice. Competitive fees. Down to earth and contactable. Not sure what else you need.
You guys were a pleasure to deal with! No nonsense, straight to the matter at hand and kept me calm the whole time… awesome!
Thank you for your service, much appreciated – we’ve moved in and very happy here.Joseph and Merlyn thank you both for our sell and buy transactions and everything in between – you always made time for us during the process. We really appreciate that you accommodated us with the 66W on the Saturday when we made the offer – it was crucial to our success in securing the property – we had been looking for a new home for over 15 months.
I engaged Gavel & Page lawyers to undertake some property conveyancing work for me and was extremely pleased with their service. During my search for a property they were very informative and made sure I understood my legal obligations under the ownership structure before I purchased so that I was set-up correctly from the beginning.After we purchased our property I was very impressed with their diligence, thoroughness and pro-active approach through the whole settlement process, completing all the necessary tasks in an efficient and timely manner. I would not hesitate in using their services again in the future and would highly recommend them. Many thanks for your help.