The role of a solicitor

Trust us, you want a good solicitor on your side. Solicitors play a crucial role in helping you buy your home. It’s important to find one early on as their advice can save you from making costly mistakes.

A solicitor can help you with:

Sorting out the best ownership structure

There are different ownership structures when it comes to buying a house. Depending on whether you’re purchasing as a company entity, in a trust or in your personal name, your solicitor, often in tandem with an accountant, can help you figure out which structure is right for your needs.

Searches

Your solicitor can help you get hold of a LIM (Land Information Memorandum) report, if you need one. This report gets into the details like plumbing, drainage, water reticulations plans, building consents, permits and licences about the property. Your solicitor can also help out with getting a Certificate of Title for the property you’re interested in.

Checking the contract

Before you make an offer on a property, your solicitor can help you with advice on what conditions to put in the ‘Agreement for Sale and Purchase’.

You can put in an offer without talking to your solicitor, but your solicitor can help you out by reviewing the agreement and giving you advice on the terms and conditions . This is a big one, if you do make an offer without 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).

The paperwork for KiwiSaver and Homestart Grant

If you are using your KiwiSaver fund or the Homestart grant to purchase your property, you will need to work with a solicitor to complete your application. A statutory declaration needs to be made as part of your withdrawal application and your solicitor will be able to take your declaration. Your 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 your lender, they will go through the terms and conditions of the loan with you and give you advice before you sign the loan agreement.

They will also let you know what documents you need to provide at this point. Generally, you’ll need to show copies of identification for each applicant and a copy of the house insurance policy for the property you’re purchasing.

As your settlement day nears your solicitor will manage the process of your purchase, receive the bank loan and your KiwiSaver withdrawal payment and Homestart grant funds. Lastly, and importantly, they will arrange for the payment of the purchase price to be made to the vendor’s solicitor.

All in all, your solicitor plays a pretty crucial part in your home buying journey.

If you’re stuck we can help you with more information about using a solicitor and how to find one that’s right for you.

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.