Seek legal ad­vice

The Weekend Post - Real Estate - - Front Page - Cait Bester

ASolic­i­tor Jake Robert­son takes a client through a con­tract. He rec­om­mends us­ing a so­lic­i­tor to un­der­take the con­vey­ac­ing process. GENTS are warn­ing prop­erty hun­ters to choose their con­veyancer care­fully as it could be the dif­fer­ence to scor­ing the keys to your new home.

In the past few months many Cairns agents have no­ticed deals fall­ing through be­cause buy­ers are try­ing to cut costs and us­ing con­veyanc­ing clerks, which in some cases haven’t been able to carry out the cor­rect job.

“In the cur­rent cli­mate it is hard enough to get a deal to­gether, how­ever this is just the be­gin­ning as it is very of­ten more dif­fi­cult to keep it to­gether,’’ Powe Prop­erty agent Lu­cas Sex­ton said.

“For ex­am­ple we’re find­ing up to 90 per cent of con­tracts re­quire rene­go­ti­a­tion on B/P in­spec­tions alone, with buyer re­morse also a dis­tinct pos­si­bil­ity in these un­cer­tain times it is no longer pos­si­ble for an agent to for­get about the buyer once the con­tract has been signed and ex­pect to have a set­tle­ment oc­cur as many are guilty of.

“One of, if not the, sin­gle most im­por­tant as­pects of this process is to en­sure that all par­ties in­volved in a trans­ac­tion seek pro­fes­sional and com­pe­tent legal rep­re­sen­ta­tion to han­dle con­veyanc­ing from the many op­tions in the mar­ket place to­day.

“An ex­am­ple of this re­cently hap­pened to one of my col­leagues who has been deal­ing with a over­seas buyer on a con­tract. This buyer or­gan­ised their fi­nance, had it ap­proved by their cho­sen lender on time, how­ever the con­veyancer failed to send the no­tice that fi­nance had been ap­proved by 5pm on the fi­nance date. The seller then ex­er­cised his right to ter­mi­nate the next morn­ing at 8.30am.

“I sim­ply can’t stress enough how im­por­tant it is for all in­volved to seek ad­e­quate legal ad­vice when buy­ing or sell­ing as it very of­ten can make or break a deal. Once the con­tract has been ex­e­cuted the agent is no longer in con­trol.’’

Devenish Law so­lic­i­tor Jake Robert­son said buy­ing and sell­ing prop­erty was not as sim­ple as it used to be.

“Con­veyanc­ing is be­com­ing more and more com­plex due to the in­creas­ing reg­u­la­tory bur­den im­posed by gov­ern­ment, es­pe­cially on sell­ers,’’ he said.

“Con­veyanc­ing law is now gov­erned by nu­mer­ous pieces of leg­is­la­tion, such as Prop­erty Agents and Mo­tor Deal­ers Act, Body Cor­po­rate and Com­mu­nity Man­agers Act, Build­ing Act, Prop­erty Law Act and the Land Ti­tle Act.

“The sale of a house now in­cor­po­rates five dis­clo­sures. The sale of a unit or town­house will in­volve at least seven dis­clo­sures.

“Apart from the reg­u­la­tory bur­den, the re­quire­ments of buy­ers and sell­ers of real es­tate change in line with gen­eral mar­ket re­al­i­ties.

“ For ex­am­ple, in the cur­rent mar­ket buy­ers are of­ten seek­ing to ef­fec­tively rene­go­ti­ate the pur­chase price af­ter re­ceiv­ing build­ing, pest and pool in­spec­tion re­ports.

“These days, there is no such thing as a “stan­dard” con­veyance. There are now many more po­ten­tial traps and pit­falls to be wary of when you are buy­ing or sell­ing real es­tate.

“Tra­di­tion­ally, law firms have used con­veyanc­ing clerks to un­der­take the firms’ con­veyanc­ing files. How­ever, as con­veyanc­ing be­comes more com­plex, the in­stances of con­veyanc­ing clerks un­wit­tingly fail­ing to com­ply with reg­u­la­tory re­quire­ments, waiv­ing their clients’ rights and even cre­at­ing ter­mi­na­tion rights in the other party is on the rise.

“As a re­sult, clients are de­mand­ing a greater amount of care and at­ten­tion to en­sure that their con­tract pro­ceeds smoothly to set­tle­ment.

“The best way to en­sure the best level of care and at­ten­tion is to use a firm where so­lic­i­tors (not con­veyanc­ing clerks) un­der­take the en­tire con­veyanc­ing process.’’

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