The role of a solicitor

When you’re buying a home, your solicitor will play a crucial role in the process. This is why it’s important to engage one, nice and early in the process, before going ahead with the purchase of a home. Their advice can save you from making potentially costly mistakes.

So what can a solicitor help with?

Ownership structure

There are different ownership structures when it comes to buying a house. Whether you’re purchasing as a company entity, in a trust or in your personal name, your solicitor -sometimes in cohorts with an accountant- will be able to help you establish which structure is best your intended use of the property.

Searches

Your solicitor can assist with obtaining an LIM (Land Information Memorandum) report, if you wish to have one. This report contains details like plumbing, drainage, water reticulations plans, Building consents, permits and licences about the property. They also obtain searches of the Certificate of Title.

Check the contract

Before an offer has been made by you on a property, your solicitor can (if you want them to) assist you with advice on what conditions to put in the ‘Agreement for Sale and Purchase’. You can put in an offer without consulting your solicitor, however the solicitor will review the agreement and give you any advice on the terms and conditions in the agreement. If you do make an offer prior to taking legal advice make sure it is subject to “solicitor's approval of the form and content of the agreement.” That way your solicitor can make sure the conditions in the agreement meet your requirements and nothing has been left out (or adverse conditions put in).

Kiwisaver and Homestart Grant

If you are using your Kiwisaver fund and the Homestart grant to purchase the property, you will need to liaise with your solicitor as you have forms to complete which include a statutory declaration. A statutory declaration needs to be made as part of the withdrawal application and your solicitor is qualified to take your declaration. The Solicitor can also assist with advice on Kiwisaver and the Homestart grant.

Home loan documents and settlement

Once your solicitor receives the home loan documents from the lender, they will then go through the terms and conditions of the loan with you, give you advice on the loan terms and have you sign the loan agreements.

They will also let you know what documents you will be required to provide at this stage. Generally, it will be identification for each applicant and a copy of the house insurance for the property being purchased.

Now that settlement is near, your solicitor will manage the the process on the purchase, receive the bank loan, the Kiwisaver withdrawal payment and Homestart grant funds deposit and arrange for payment of purchase price to be made to the vendor’s solicitor.

A solicitor plays a crucial part in your journey of buying a home. They have the experience and knowledge to make the buying process easier for you. Your mortgage adviser can provide you with more information about the benefits of using a solicitor and how to find one.


If you’d like to find out more, please register for one of our first home buyers seminars or download our first home buyers guide here.

Can't wait? Speak to an expert mortgage adviser today.