The Role of a Solicitor

June 25, 2014

Your Solicitor performs an important and critical part of the process when purchasing a house.  Too many people proceed with a house purchase before they have sought the advice of their Solicitor and this can be a costly mistake.

Ownership Structure

Your Solicitor can give you advice on ownership structures – such as whether you would benefit from a family trust or whether you should purchase as joint tenants (most common) or tenants in common.  It is advisable to understand the options and establish your ownership structure before you go house shopping.

Searches

If you want to get a Land Information Memorandum (LIM) report on the property you are looking to purchase, your Solicitor can assist with this.  Your Solicitor will also arrange to access any Certificate of Title searches.

Contractual Obligations

When you make an offer on a property your Solicitor can check the sale and purchase contract to ensure it is satisfactory.  They will give you advice with respect to any conditions that may be placed on the contract by you (or conditions placed by the vendor).  This will also help to ensure prompt satisfaction of the conditions.

Mortgage Documents

Your Solicitor will also receive mortgage documents from the lender which you will then be required to sign. He/she will advise you on the full terms and conditions of the mortgage documents. Your Solicitor will also advise you on what to bring to this meeting.  It will include, house insurance on the new property (with no exclusions) and photo ID for each borrower.

Settlement

Finally, your Solicitor is the one who will manage the settlement process on the purchase.  They arrange for full payment of the purchase price, co-ordinating your deposit, funds from your KiwiSaver and Housing New Zealand subsidy (if applicable),  and the loan from the bank and getting payment to the vendor’s Solicitor.  He/she will also lodge the change of ownership and registration of mortgage with the land transfer office.  You will receive a full settlement statement, showing you what money went where.

If you do not have a Solicitor who can act for you, ask your Home Loan Shop Advisor for a referral to a good one. We have relationships across New Zealand with quality Solicitors who will look after you.

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