Suite 904, 10 Help Street Chatswood NSW 2067

Property Lawyer

Property Lawyer

Property is among the most essential and costly purchases you make in life, whether it is for your house, business, or investment. We have a skilled and experienced team of property and estate lawyers at CMI Group that understand all aspects of property law and transactions related to it and know how to protect your interests while providing a professional and friendly service. Whether you’re buying or selling a home, or an unplanned property, or require legal help with restrictions and boundaries, or related to party transfers, our property and estate team can help whenever needed.

What types of issues can our Property lawyers team help with?

At CMI Legal, our experienced team of lawyers can help you out with the matters related to:-

purchase

Purchase Of Property

propertysale

Sale Of Property

propertylease

Lease Of Property

easement

Easement

government

Compulsory Acquisition: For Government

developers

Compulsory Acquisition: For Developers

What types of issues can our Property lawyers team help with?

At CMI Group, our experienced team of lawyers can help you out with the matters related to:-

All types of residential and commercial property, including the unplanned properties
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Call Options and Put & Call
Easements and Contractual obligations
Transfers between related parties

Furthermore, our team of skilled property lawyers can help with any non-residential leases, including commercial, industrial, and retail leases, as well as real estate licensing and general commercial and retail leasing assistance.

Why should you work with CMI Legal for your real estate and property needs?

Property disputes can be stressful, especially if you’re awaiting settlement or acknowledgment of the other party’s deposit. Our pleasant and approachable estate and property lawyers will keep you updated throughout the procedure in plain and basic English. CMI Legal prides itself on providing prompt, straightforward, and to-the-point guidance. We use a best service approach to resolving your property-related issue as quickly as possible, removing the stress from the process.

Purchasing Property Law and Estate:-

Your real estate investment: –

Purchasing a home is one of the most significant financial decisions to make, and it can be intimidating and stressful for individuals who are unfamiliar with the legal process.If you need a loan to buy a home, you should first visit a mortgage broker or bank to get pre-approval for financing before looking for a home. This will lay the groundwork for the types of homes and neighborhoods you can afford.

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It will also help to expedite the process of receiving unconditional financing approval. When you find a house that you want to buy, you should have the contract evaluated by an experienced real estate lawyer. The contract will provide details about the property that would not be evident from a physical inspection, and it will frequently inspire additional inquiries about the property. The legal classification of the property will be included, as well as any interests influencing the land, like restrictions, covenants or easements. Your lawyer can indeed negotiate more favorable terms in the contract for you as the buyer.

Our knowledgeable property and estate lawyers can go over the agreement with you and assure that you know your rights and obligations as well as answer any queries you may have. If you are a successful purchaser, this is a vital step to follow.
Procedures for purchasing property
Exchange of contracts
In NSW, contracts are exchanged when two copies of the contract (one signed by you as the buyer and one signed by the seller) are swapped or exchanged, and the buyer pays the agreed-upon deposit.
Until contracts are exchanged, the parties have no legal rights or responsibilities. A property solicitor, conveyancer, or real estate agent can exchange contracts on your behalf. Each contract’s first page includes the date of exchange.
When you buy a property through private sale, the seller sets the sale price with the help of a real estate agent. After a price has been agreed upon, property talks can continue until the contracts are unconditional.
A property is auctioned off with prospective buyers bidding on it at a specific location and time, with a minimum bid set well before auction. If you plan to buy a property at auction, make sure you have acquired the essential documents for the property and that any contract requirements and revisions are negotiated and agreed upon before the sale.

Period of relaxation
Contracts may be swapped subject to a cooling off period if the property is sold by private sale. Buyers normally have five business days to cancel the transaction, but they will forfeit 0.25 percent of the purchase price to the vendor. By negotiating, the cooling-off period might be waived, decreased, or extended. If you need help with your property negotiations, contact one of our experienced property and conveyancing lawyers at CMI Legal now.

If the property is sold at auction, there is no relaxation period. The contract becomes unconditional if you’re the highest bidder at auction, and no amendments can be made after the sale.

After exchange
The standard settlement period in NSW is 42 days (6 weeks) after contracts are exchanged, but this can be extended or shortened by negotiation. During that same time, your property lawyer will conduct property search queries and enquiries to acquire exceptional council and water rates, which will be used to calculate settlement adjustments, as well as obtain additional information from the vendor which may not have been disclosed prior to the exchange of contracts.
Your broker or bank will also draft and have you sign the mortgage agreement, which outlines the terms and conditions of the home loan. The importance of stamp duty and insurance will also be explained.
A settlement report will be prepared closer to settlement, including the total balance due to the vendor, including any rates, levies, or taxes due at the time of settlement. The required amount for settling the amount owed to the vendor, legal fees, stamp duty, and bank fees will be advised by your property solicitor or conveyancer (if applicable).
Shortly before settlement, you should do a final check of the property to ensure nothing has been damaged after your last assessment and that all of the contract’s inclusions are still there and undamaged.

Settlement
This is the point at which the property purchase is complete. The remaining transaction price is paid to the vendor at settlement, and ownership of the property transfers to you as a buyer. Unless the contract specifies differently, the property must be vacant on the day of settlement for the buyer to take possession. The keys to the property can be received from the real estate agent once the settlement has been completed.

Selling A Property Or Estate

It’s critical to understand the general process and your responsibilities when you’ve made the decision to sell a residential property. At CMI Legal, our property lawyers have helped numerous clients with the selling of their residential property, and we look forward to assisting many more clients.

Placing your property on the market and preparing a contract

Residential property in NSW cannot be advertised for sale unless a formal contract is accessible to potential buyers.

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By law, certain information and disclosure documents must be included in the contract of sale. If these documents are not included in the contract, the buyer may be able to cancel the deal and receive a refund of their deposit.
If you’re selling your home through a real estate agent, the contract will be given to them for marketing purposes before being distributed to potential buyers. At CMI Legal, our knowledgeable property and conveyancing lawyers can draft a Contract of Sale for you, complete with all needed legal disclosures, to guarantee a smooth transaction.

If you’re selling your property by private means, the sale price is determined by your real estate agent or, if you’re selling it yourself, by an online property service. Negotiations on the property can continue until the contracts become unconditional once a price has been agreed upon between you and the interested purchaser.

If you’re selling your home at auction, potential buyers will show up at a specific time and location to bid on the property. Before the auction, a reserve price is set, which is the lowest sum you are ready to accept for the property. The property is sold to the highest bidder if their bid is more than the reserve price.

Contract negotiations with the buyer
In NSW, an exchange of contracts occurs when two copies of the contract are switched or exchanged and a deposit is paid. At CMI Legal, a property lawyer, or real estate agent can exchange contracts on your behalf. Each contract’s first page includes the date of exchange.

  • Is there an opportunity to back out?

Contracts may be transferred subject to a “cooling off period” if the property is sold by private means. Buyers normally have five business days to cancel the purchase. By negotiating, the cooling-off period might be waived, decreased, or extended. It is crucial to understand that there is no cooling down period when selling your home at auction.

  • After contracts are exchanged, what happens next?

The standard settlement period in NSW is 42 days (6 weeks) after contracts are exchanged, but this can be extended or shortened by negotiation. If you are also buying property at the same time as the seller, settlement can be arranged so that the proceeds from the sale of your current property can be used to fund the purchase of your new property. If the home has a mortgage, your lawyer will ask you to sign a discharge authority so the bank is aware of the sale and approaching settlement. Shortly before settlement, the bank will verify the payout figure for the existing loan and will arrange for the mortgage to be paid off.
A settlement report will also be prepared, which will include the final total due to you, including any rates, levies, or taxes due as of the settlement date. These data will be checked by your property lawyer and confirmed by you. If the property will be vacant at the time of settlement, you should take your possessions out before that date. The buyer will undertake a final check to ensure that the property has not been destroyed and that all of the contract’s inclusions are still present and undamaged.

  • Settlement

This is the last step in the selling process. At settlement, the purchaser will pay you, the vendor, the rest of the purchase price plus any required adjustments, and ownership of the property will transfer from you to the purchaser.

Purchasing an unplanned Property

Purchasing a property off the plan involves purchasing a property which has not yet been built or is still being built. The decision to purchase a property off the plan is based on the finished product’s appearance as depicted in building plans, blueprints, and specifications. Because of the unique nature of this type of purchase, extra considerations must be taken in addition to the standard issues that arise when purchasing existing property. If you are thinking about buying a property off the plan, our property and estate lawyers at CMI Legal would be delighted to help.

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Contracts are being reviewed

A contract for an off-the-plan property is usually longer than one for an existing property. Because the contract is structured primarily in favour of the property developer, buyers must be informed of key terms and conditions to avoid unpleasant surprises. If you’re thinking about buying a property off the plan, we recommend having the contract reviewed as soon as you locate one you like. Our expert property lawyers will go over the contract in detail with you, explaining all of the terms and conditions and offering advice so that you make an informed decision.

Deadline (Sunset Date)
A development’s construction time might range from a few months to several years. Given the uncertainty of any development’s timeline, it’s critical to understand the deadline by which the project must be done. The contract will also include clauses allowing the developer to extend the deadline if delays arise beyond their control.

Settlement
It is crucial to understand that settlement for off-the-plan properties does not occur until the project is completed. Before a settlement may take place, a number of additional events must normally occur. If more than one incident is needed to trigger settlement, the settlement date is determined by the most recent event. An Occupation Certificate must be issued for new dwellings, and the new submitted plan must be registered if the land is also being subdivided.
As soon as the Occupation Certificate is issued and the strata plan or deposited plan is registered, settlement can be called for new properties. In NSW, written notification of these occurrences must be supplied to the purchaser’s solicitor or conveyancer. The contract will specify the amount of notice necessary, which is at least 21 days before settlement.

Covenants and Easements
A covenant is a written agreement that binds the owner to certain obligations in connection to the land. When land is partitioned as part of a property development, covenants are commonly used. With the goal of protecting the aesthetics and quality of housing, developers may choose to include construction standards in the covenant, such as a minimum house size or a restriction on the sort of materials used in the construction of the dwelling.

A covenant in favour of a specified authority, like a town council, can also be made. These authorities can enforce covenants on their own land and third-party land, as well as terms and circumstances for the fulfilment of such obligations.
If you intend to build a home on unoccupied property or extensively renovate an existing home, you should investigate any land covenants that may exist to ensure that your planning process comply with the covenants’ duties.
At CMI, our property lawyers may evaluate your contract and give you personalised advice on the implications of any covenants or easements on your purchase.

Easement

An easement is a legal privilege granted to an owner who does not own the property or statutory authority to use the land for a certain purpose.

How can CMI Legal assist you?
The following are examples of easements:

A neighbour or statutory authority has the right of way to move or pass across a defined area of the land.A common roadway used by a landlocked owner to access their property is an example of a right of way easement.

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A service easement authorises a statutory authority to repair and maintain services on the property. These services may run above or below the ground (for example, overhead power transmission lines).
Cross-easements allow neighbours with reciprocal rights to utilise each other’s property for the same purpose. A common party wall between neighbouring terrace houses is the most common example of a cross-easement.

At CMI Legal, our team of skilled lawyers can help you out with:-

  • Drafting and registering covenant or easement documents
  • If your property has a covenant or easement, we will review and advise you on your rights and obligations.
  • Identifying and outlining your rights and responsibilities if the property you want to buy has a covenant and/or easement
  • Providing guidance on the various choices for dealing with an easement or covenant.
Transfer of ownership to a Related Party

The procedure of transferring property or a portion of a property to a related party is known as a related party transfer. Spouses, family members, and people in a professional or personal relationship are examples of related parties.
Transferring ownership of a property to a related party can be a quick and inexpensive process. While this is a typical method of transferring property between family and friends, it is critical that a transfer of property between related parties be conducted appropriately to avoid future problems.

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In some instances, a Transfer document may be adequate instead of a Contract for Sale. A Transfer document is sufficient if property ownership is to be transferred according to a court order. If a property transfer between involved entities can be completed without the use of a Contract for Sale, all parties concerned will save money and time.

There are also key points which you must keep in mind before a party transfer:-

  • Transfers between related parties are subject to stamp duty. Unless an exemption or concession applies, stamp duty is imposed even if the property is being bought as a gift.
  • If there is an outstanding mortgage on the property, the mortgagee must be notified of the planned transaction, and a discharge and/or refinance will be necessary.
  • The related party transaction may result in tax issues such as capital gains tax and GST. Before completing the transfer, you should seek advice from your lawyer or tax expert.
  • Costs like stamp duty, bank fees, lawyer fees, title registration fees, and lodgement fees should all be considered.

Our skilled property lawyers at CMI can walk you through the procedure and create all of the relevant documents for stamping and filing.

Put and call options

While option agreements can benefit both the buyer and the seller, they must be carefully prepared and examined to avoid unforeseen stamp duty and tax consequences. Our skilled property and estate lawyers at CMI Legal can help you understand your legal rights and duties when it comes to put and call options, as well as establish the best course of action for your specific situation.
An option is a contractual right to buy or sell a property at a later date that is granted via a written agreement.

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When it comes to property purchases, there are three types of option agreements:-

  • A call option gives a prospective buyer the power to compel the seller to sell the property at a predetermined price.
  • A put option gives the property owner the power to compel a potential buyer to acquire the property at a certain price.
  • A put and call option gives one side the ability to compel the other to complete the property sale and purchase.

The option agreement will specify what is required to execute the option, as well as the time frame for exercising the option. The parties come into a formal contract for the sale and purchase of the property if the option is exercised during the option period.
Property developers and property owners selling to a property developer are the most prevalent users of option agreements.

Property developers may engage into an option agreement for several reasons, including:

  • Setting a pricing that will not change regardless of market swings.
  • As a potential development location, conducting due diligence on the property.
  • Getting the required permission for their development project.
  • Stamp duty is deferred until the option is exercised and a contract to acquire the property is signed.
  • Allowing for a longer time to acquire finances in order to finish the transaction.

Important features to use in an Option Agreement

  • Fee for Option

This is the non-refundable charge that must be paid when the option is granted. A call option charge is typically a proportion of the property’s purchase price, while a put option fee is typically a small amount. If the option is exercised, the option fee paid is applied to the property’s purchase price. The option fee paid is forfeited if the option is not exercised.

  • Time period for option

This is the amount of time that the parties have to exercise their option within. It can be set for a specific time period or be activated by certain events, such as the receipt of development approval. If the parties agree to a put and call option, the prospective buyer can exercise the call option first, and if the call option is not exercised, the vendor can execute the put option after the call option term has expired. When neither of the party exercises their option, it will expire at the completion of the last option period.

  • Contract

The option agreement must include the whole contract for the property. This is the contract that the parties will enter into after the option has been exercised. Once the option is exercised and contracts are exchanged, the purchaser is responsible for stamp duty.
Our skilled property and estate lawyers at CMI Legal can help you with any put and call options on property purchases or sales.

FREE CONSULTATION

Contact us on +61 2 8386 8592 or come visit us at our personal office or you can even mail us at [email protected] and we will get you a personal consultation from one of our qualified property and estate lawyers.

*Free consultation is limited to 15 minute phone call for us to give preliminary advice

team
8
John Zhang
Principal
Matthew
Matthew Wu
Director
Winnie Tang-Headshot (white background)
Winnie Tang
Lawyer
Rita
Rita Lam
Lawyer
bf3b82e0863aca544c863826dd98801
Miranda Zeng
Lawyer
BEN01345
Malorie Tan
Lawyer
faq’s

While being legally represented when selling a property is not required in NSW, it is a legal process, and having a lawyer by your side to provide advice is beneficial. A Contract for Sale must also be prepared before a property can be listed for sale, whether you have hired a real estate agent to market and sell your property on your behalf or you have decided to sell the property yourself.

On purchase matters, most law firms will charge a flat fee, although some will charge an hourly cost. Professional fees are usually levied first, followed by disbursements, which are any costs incurred on your behalf by your solicitor or conveyancer. This could include anything from acquiring a land tax clearance certificate to rates certification. Our property lawyers at CMI Legal charge a fixed fee for purchase matters, which is determined by the kind of transaction, the complexity of the matter, and the expected purchase price of the property.

You can transfer a property or a portion of a property to a related party, such as a spouse, family members, or people in a business or personal relationship, through a related party transfer. This process has legal ramifications, therefore it’s crucial to hire an expert property lawyer to make sure it’s done right.

Depending on the size of the construction process, off-the-plan properties can take anywhere from a few months to a few years to complete. Because the timescale is unpredictable, it’s vital to check the contract for the deadline by which the development must be completed. The deadline can be extended if there are delays beyond the developer’s control.

Testimonials

Xunran Cheng
2022-04-12
John and his team helped my family on three property purchases, two business contract negotiations, and many visa applications, all with professional, efficient, and trustworthy legal services. Thank you all!
nancy zeng
2022-04-12
感谢CMI 律师认真负责任,非常专业的给我们服务。 我们家庭几乎所有的相关业余都交给了CMI律所,四年来,一直给我们服务,我们非常的满意!
Wilson Zhang
2022-04-11
We had a nice experience working with CMI to purchase a property, where they reviewed the contract of sale quickly but carefully, and prepared negotiation terms to communicate with vendor's solicitor. Their professional works helped my settlement process as simple as nod & sign. Great works and thank you!
xiang lin
2022-04-08
I am looking forward to our next meeting.We appreciate finding such professional team as CMI.
Phoenix
2022-04-03
Excellent service! Very efficient and friendly. John is very professional and helpful. Highly recommend !!!
Christina Chan
2021-12-07
Thanks so much John and Miranda. Second purchasing experience with your team! Professional and reliable! Highly recommend to everyone.
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