I can provide you with free no obligation advice at the outset, before things "get serious" for you. If you have the knowledge you can reduce the risk, avoid the pitfalls. You would want to do that wouldn't you, especially if my initial advice is "free no obligation" and you have not even decided on which lawyer you are going to chose? I am just a phone call away. I hope you will "chose me" but I am realistic enough to know that not every phone call or piece of initial advice is going to turn you from a prospect into a client.

It is hard to choose a lawyer from advertising such as the Yellow Pages. It may interest you to know that in fact most of my clients are "on referral" from other clients and people in banks, mortgage brokers, accountants and other professionals who know me. That is a good recommendation isn't it? You trust that I am the man to do the job for you, because of the past experience of others. But I welcome new clients too, so please feel free to phone me. I want to help you.

About buying or selling a property

In my "initial advice" the conversation often covers a range of information you require. You need to be sure of your "borrowing capacity" before you decide on the price range of the property you are thinking of buying. Then you need to identify the property you are interested in. Often folks will visit 20 to 40 homes before they actually decide to "put in an offer". You should have me in mind at that stage, because I can assist you with some initial checks on any property before you "sign up".

I can then assist you with a draft sale and purchase agreement presented by the real estate agent for you to sign or prepare and agreement for you if it is a "private sale" with no agent involved. If you have not already signed I can prepare your "Further Terms of Sale" clauses or review the agent's draft clauses.

I will discuss with you issues such as what types of interest in land your chosen house sits on, I can quickly attend to rates, Terranet and title searches, arrange with you referrals to Banks and mortgage brokers, building inspections, valuations, engineering reports, searches of local Council records, Property and LIM Reports and so on. I discuss with you the steps in the buying and selling process and my fee structures. When your sale or purchase is finally underway with a signed agreement, we will sign a letter of engagement for my legal services, so that you know what services are being provided and the likely cost. My fees are competitive and realistic for the work involved. They will vary depending on a number of factors which are outlined in the letter of engagement. There is no standard fee that fits all situations. The fee will vary. For example, there may be a need to negotiate "better terms" before you as a buyer are satisfied with the building inspection report etc.

If you do not in the end proceed, but need to cancel the contract because of an unsatisfactory building inspection report or valuation etc, then a minimal will be charged. After all you are likely to "keep looking" and will want to use my services again. I want to encourage you to do that.

Once the sale and purchase agreement is "rendered unconditional" then I will attend to the actual conveyancing for you. If you are buying, there may be a deposit to pay, house insurance to attend to and loan and mortgage documents for you to sign. If you buy under a company structure there may well be bank guarantees and other documents. There may be a mortgage on the title to secure your bank loan. If you are selling, there may be a bank mortgage to discharge, a loan to repay and other documents to attend to, especially if it is your company as vendor. If you are buying or selling through a family trust, then again a different set of documentation relating to the trust will apply. If you are buying you may ask me to set up a family trust for you.

To return to my opening remarks on how stressful the whole process can be, I want to make sure that you have as little stress as possible. I will "spend the time" with you to help you each step of the way. Property law matters are often particular to you and can be somewhat bewildering. They are not thankfully, bewildering to me.

I pride myself in assist you with making the whole process as stress free and as enjoyable as possible, right from the first legal steps before you "sign up" to the final inspection when you buy and move in, or when you finally turn the door key as you leave when you sell. You will receive full pre-settlement reports from me before the sale or the purchase and if there is a need then post – settlement reports as well.

Free will service

In addition, I provide a "free will" service for you whenever you buy or sell a property. It is a package of real worth to you and can be taken up right after the transaction or later if you prefer to.

Financing and refinancing a property

You may be financing a property loan for the first time. You may be refinancing an existing loan with your bank or with another bank altogether.

Either way there will be a set of loan documents and a mortgage to attend to. If you are re-financing with another bank, I will need to discharge the existing mortgage off the title to your land and replace it with a new mortgage to your new bank. House insurance needs to be updated with the particulars of your new bank. You will receive a letter of engagement for legal services, in which I will be pleased to give you a firm and competitive fee quote. Please enquire about this service.