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Coastal conveyancing?

By n2kaja - 6 March 2012 6

We are looking at buying a house on the coast, just wondering if someone here could recommend a conveyancing group, and do you contact them 1st? or get the loan 1st?. I

just don’t know exactly what our next steps should be since I’ve never bought a home here in Australia.  

Please help =)

What’s Your opinion?


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6 Responses to
Coastal conveyancing?
madamcholet 4:07 pm 06 Mar 12

djk said :

– Most ACT solicitors can do NSW conveyancing, so if you live here it may be easier to just use a Canberra solicitor. If you use one down the coast you will likely just get a letter explaining the contract to you rather than an in-depth discussion about the contract in the solicitor’s office (although you could of course drive down to go through the contract).

Solictors do have phones, and it’s only in their best interests to explain the contract to you. Ours provided a lot of detail on the contract and were keen to talk it over as well. They provided advice regarding recent legal wranglings that could affect our contract and also with regards to certain certificates we would have to provide if we did not want to waive the cooling off period as the receivers wanted to.

NSW has other laws regarding conveyancing as mentioned so if you are going down there to buy a property you may as well get a solicitor down there as well.

One thing that we did note that went slightly against us was the fact that our solicitor is in Merimbula, we are in canberra and the receivers lawyers are in Sydney. Express post from Canberra to Merimbula is not next day delivery which caused some headaches over where to send the contract for the purposes of meeting the exchange deadline etc. Just make sure you are organised!

djk 12:52 pm 06 Mar 12

dungfungus said :

Almost everything with conveyancing is done online these days.

Certainly not in the ACT or NSW.

dtc 12:39 pm 06 Mar 12

The ACT conveyancing system (based on leasehold) and the NSW conveyancing system (based on freehold) are very different. NSW is more complex and there are more documents and its more time consuming, which is why NSW conveyancing charges are higher than for the ACT.

Almost every ACT conveyancer will do NSW work as well and there are advantages in having a solicitor in Canberra, such as being able to visit them and sign documents etc. There is minimal if any price difference between a solicitor and a conveyancer. Just check out the previous threads for conveyancing recommendations.

There is no need to contact a solicitor before you have chosen a house BUT do not sign anything (including buying at an auction) before seeing a solicitor. Unless you understand s149 certificates, zoning laws, building certificates and easements. The lawyer can check out the documentation and let you know what issues there are, and recommend further inspections (eg getting a building report, pest report etc) if need be.

Having said that, there can be benefits in contacting a solicitor re a house you are interested in before making an offer (so you dont offer too much if there are problems). Of course, so long as you havent signed anything, your offer is not binding so you can reduce it after discovering issues (or be gazumped, the other side of the non binding offer coin).

dungfungus 12:20 pm 06 Mar 12

Why don’t you use the same solicitor you used in Canberra? If he can’t handle certain functions that are needed he can use a local solicitor as agent. Almost everything with conveyancing is done online these days.

djk 12:17 pm 06 Mar 12

The process is basically:
1. Speak to bank/broker, work out how much you can borrow, get an in-principle approval.
2. Find the house.
3. Decide on a solicitor, and probably just give them a courtesy call to let them know you will be using them, before passing on their details to the real estate agent selling the house.
4. Arrange for a building/pest/compliance inspection to be done if desired as these are not included in the contract in NSW (recommended imo). Get a copy of the report sent to your solicitor as well, or take it with you when you go to sign the contract.
5. Advise bank/broker that you have had an offer accepted, and they will get the ball rolling on their end to get unconditional loan approval. Advise the bank/broker of your solicitor’s details as well, so they can get a copy of the contract and anything else they need from them.
6. Once you have unconditional approval, arrange a time to meet with your solicitor and go through the contract and reports. You usually give them the deposit cheque at this appointment, but discuss with them what they want and when.

A few FYI’s:
– If it is your first time purchasing in Australia, you should be eligible for the FHOG and First Home Plus (stamp duty waiver) even if you have owned a house/s overseas before, assuming you will meet all of the other requirements (living in it, etc).
– Most ACT solicitors can do NSW conveyancing, so if you live here it may be easier to just use a Canberra solicitor. If you use one down the coast you will likely just get a letter explaining the contract to you rather than an in-depth discussion about the contract in the solicitor’s office (although you could of course drive down to go through the contract).

madamcholet 10:56 am 06 Mar 12

We are currently in the process of buying a property in Merimbula. We are using Felicity Overend at Sautelle White who are also located there. They are good – you hear from the principal regularly and they explained all the odd clauses associated with buying from receivers as opposed to your normal everyday vendor. They were recommended as they had done plenty of them before. Just one word of advice – they are pricey – $1400. We bought a house in Canberra 7 years ago and it cost us $800.

With regards to what to do first – get your finance approval rolling – that could take a week or maybe longer depending. Contact a lawyer/solicitor when you have got in-principle approval – so as good as in the bag barring the final submission of payslips etc. They can get moving on the contracts. Be sure to advise them if your loan is covering stamp duty etc otherwise they will expect cheques for these before you are ready to pay.

Good luck.

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