June 22, 2019
Lance Shearman
All Blogs

Engaging a Solicitor: More Than Words

A good solicitor can make the world of difference when it comes to saving yourself from painful property mistakes.


We all know the playground saying, “Sticks and stones can break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” However, injuries might be painful, but they’re also typically temporary. Conversely, words can hurt long after the fact, sometimes nagging us for years or decades. Words can have carry the pain in property.


The downstream effects from the words you write (or don’t write) on a Sale and Purchase Agreement could bring immense and ongoing financial pain to you, your immediate family and often your wider family.


The antidote to these negative side effects of our words, is today’s word of the day: solicitor.


Many believe that simply saying the word “solicitor” out loud can trigger fees to be automatically deducted from your savings account. But is this a good enough reason not to engage your friendly local solicitor early in the house buying process?


I have heard it said numerous times, “I will contact the solicitors after I get my offer accepted.” This is a crucial mistake, because solicitors are not magicians. If you have signed and agreed to something, it is pretty difficult and expensive to get out of it, and sometimes it isn’t possible to get out at all.


We all need solicitors to purchase property/land, and they are far more helpful to us when we use them prior to our seal being inked to paper. For a relatively small investment up front, they can prevent all sorts of painful mistakes in the future. 


Here are some things to consider with your solicitor prior to making an offer:

·      Do you know the detail of the contract?

·      What work has been done on the property and has it been consented?

·      What about the neighbouring properties? Do they have future work consented? And how will this affect you or the future value of your property?

·      Can you get insurance for this property? If not, then the bank will not be lending any money.

·      What are your rights regarding the builders report?

·      What should I or should I not circle, tick or cross out?

·      Can I get my KiwiSaver out in time?

There are far more questions to answer than this, and each property has its own quirks, but you get the idea of the things a solicitor can help you with. 


Also, if time is money, then having a solicitor read through screeds of documentation on your behalf will save you plenty. An experienced solicitor will know what to look for and will sum up the risks very quickly. Allowing you peace of mind when making your offer.


Lance Shearman is a Registered Financial Adviser with Velocity Financial. No investment decision should be taken based on the information in this blog alone. A disclosure statement is available free of charge upon request.

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