Before investing in real estate, whether it is buying a home or commercial property or industrial land, you should always opt for hiring a property conveyancer to take care of all legal aspects, contracts and documentation. These are generally beyond the comprehension of the common man unless he/she happens to be a lawyer. It is always likely that the seller will have a lawyer to take care of the formalities of sale and hence you should have one too to understand clearly the required processes.
In Australia, real estate laws are different for States which again adds to the complexities. When hiring a lawyer to take care of your transaction, ensure that the person is definitely from the State where you are buying your house. For instance, if your chosen home is in the State of Victoria, your lawyer should be fully aware of the laws related to Melbourne property development.
The question now is why do you need a property lawyer to assist you when buying a home?
- Drawing up contracts – While the terms of buying a house can be decided after a face-to-face discussion with the seller, the terms must be clearly laid down in a contract form to prevent any unwarranted litigation in future. A lawyer will not only negotiate on your behalf but will also ensure that the finer points are clearly laid down in the contract and everything is strictly as per State laws. A lawyer will also thoroughly review the contract for any legal glitches that might affect future use of your property.
- Title search – A vital service offered by lawyers while advising you on buying a home is title search of the property. The purpose is to know whether the title of your home is free from all encumbrances or if there is any lien on the property. This is very important as it is a confirmation that the seller is the clear owner of the property without any individual or financial institution or other lenders having any right over it. If you plan to take out a mortgage on your home, you can only do so from lenders if the title is clear and it can be registered in your name only. If it is found that there is a loan outstanding against the property, the deal can be further sweetened by your attorney on your behalf through a suitable price reduction.
- Taking advantage of rebates – A lawyer will help you find out if you are eligible for any rebates under State laws or through Government provided programs. Laws related to this differ between countries. For instance in Canada, first time home owners are often entitled to an instant land transfer tax rebate. For this to happen, the owner or spouse should not be a property holder in any part of the world. Such laws prevail in many countries around the world and your lawyer will be able to guide you properly in this regard.
These are some of the reasons why you should engage the services of a property lawyer before buying a home.