Questions for your NZ conveyancing lawyer
Buying a house at any stage of your life is a big deal, and if it's your first home, it's an even more daunting prospect. After you've put in your offer and had it accepted, it's time to go through with the conveyancing legals. You'll no doubt be looking for a lawyer to help you through this part of the transaction - but what does that lawyer do? And what should you be asking them about?
The first question you need to be asking your lawyer is if they are a property and conveyancing specialist. The law in New Zealand is vast, so you'll find that lawyers specialise in certain areas. A criminal lawyer won't be in a very good position to help you with your property transaction, just like a conveyancing lawyer won't be the best advocate for you in criminal court. If you're on this site, our lawyers are all property law specialists, so you can have confidence that they have experience in the right area of law.
Next up you'll want to get to the nitty gritty of what your lawyer is going to cost you. What you'll probably find is that alot of lawyers will quote you their services 'plus GST and disbursements'. They'll possibly give you a rough estimate of fees, but will often fall back on their hourly rate as well. Everyone is pretty comfortable with GST in New Zealand (15%), but 'disbursements' is not something your average Joe would necessarily understand. They are basically all the incidental fees the lawyer incurs in undertaking your transaction. That will vary from lawyer to lawyer, but it could include postage fees, photocopying, filing fees and the like. On our homepage you'll find our pricing for property law transactions both inclusive and exclusive of GST & disbursements. That just let's you have a better gauge for comparison. The GST & disbursements could be $300+ with some firms, so it's important to keep in mind.
Once you've engaged your lawyer then it's down to the important legal part of the equation. You'll want to get them to suggest any clauses they think are worth adding to the contract (finance is a standard example, but there might be specific circumstances with your transaction that could need additional clauses), have them explain the LIM to you, and if it's a unit title then they should be discussing what that might mean for you. Every property transaction can be slightly different, so it's a good idea to have your client look over your contract for you before signing it. Alternatively, if you can't see a lawyer before signing your Agreement for Sale & Purchase, then it's always worth including a "solicitor's approval" clause - which means you can sign the contract and have your lawyer look through it after the fact.
Finally your property lawyer will ensure the conveyancing all goes through smoothly. They should let you know what happens on settlement day - when the money and property transfer takes place. Having the right property lawyer in your corner can make the entire house buying and selling process alot less stressful, so it's always worth considering.
Be sure to fill out our online application form if you'd like one of our conveyancing solicitors to help you through the process. They're pro's at what they do, so don't hesitate to ask them about any of the above as they work with you through your conveyancing journey.
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