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Buying and Selling Property - Conveyancing Canberra

Legal i Riordan | Conveyancer Canberra.

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Question: Why should you engage a lawyer when you are buying a house/unit? Aren’t all contracts for sale of property the same anyway? Isn’t it worth doing it yourself and saving the lawyer’s fees?

Answer: You should always engage a lawyer when buying or selling property. A lawyer will look after your interests.  A recent decision in the ACT Civil and Administrative Tribunal (ACAT) showcases a prime example of what could go wrong when signing a contract for sale without first obtaining legal advice.  A couple were impressed by an off-the-plan unit located in the ACT on display (the property). They both signed documents and paid a sum of $1,000. Prior to proceeding with the sale the couple notified the seller they were unable to proceed with the purchase as they could not afford it. They claimed that they thought the documents they signed and the fee they paid were to reserve the property, not to purchase it.  Their claims that they signed by mistake (amongst other arguments) were unsuccessful. The Tribunal confirmed the contract was valid and they were ordered to pay the remaining debt, plus interest a substantial amount totalling 'over $25,000'. They also ended up without the property.

Whether you are buying or selling we are here to assist you through the conveyancing process. Steps in the process include:

  • Sales Instructions: We will review the Sales Instructions provided by the agent once the offer and acceptance between buyer and seller has been reached.
  • Contract for Sale:  Prepared by the seller’s solicitor, we pay attention to the details and ensure the building and pest inspection and energy rating reports are included as part of the contract in requirement with the law. We review the contract for sale prior to exchange of contracts to ensure both buyer and seller contracts are identical.
  • Finance:  We discuss the financial aspects of the contract for sale with you to ensure you clearly understand your obligations to pay the deposit and under what circumstances you may lose the deposit if you do not proceed with the sale.
  • Settlement:  If you are the buyer we will communicate with the seller’s lawyer and obtain settlement figures and details of the cheques they require on settlement. We will prepare and provide you with a detailed Settlement Statement setting out adjustments for rates, deposit paid, allowances for pest & building reports, legal fees etc. If you are the seller we prepare the settlement figures on your behalf.



This legal information is general in nature and should not be regarded as specific legal advice or relied upon. Persons requiring particular legal advice should consult a solicitor.


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