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The Legal Eagles: Finding a great property lawyer

Finding a good property lawyer can make the difference between months of headaches and stress or carrying out your transaction in a smooth and timely fashion.

It is essential that you begin your search long before reaching the final stages of your property acquisition. Mistakes can be both financially and emotionally (yes!) costly and could even derail the whole transaction.

Getting started

Get online and begin your search. Keeping in mind that those who pop up immediately when you Google may not necessarily be the best. Keep searching. Once you have shortlisted a couple you need to dig deeper and look into what sort of experience they have, which qualifications do they have (are they certified with the Law Society?), do they have a convincing record of transactions? Are they mentioned in forums and what do people say about them in the reviews? 

And, don’t be afraid to ask your property agent for his or her opinion – it matters!

Read more: The 7 reasons why you still need a real estate agent

Next Step

Once you are happy with your shortlist, ask questions .At the top of your list should be: how they charge, (by the hour or by transaction), how do they invoice and what are the potential hidden costs. You need absolute clarity.

 

You also want to know who would handle your case; you need to know if you will be passed at some stage to a junior team member who may slow the pace and you also want to know if they have contingency plans in the event of holidays and unexpected leave of absence.

"you need to know if you will be passed at some stage to a junior team member who may slow the pace..."

Draw up a table and categorise your results

You are now ready to factor in the indicated costs against the various lawyers experience. If there are personal complicated factors to be considered such as joint ownership, divorce, inheritance, family disputes or tax issues you must ensure and feel comfortable that the lawyer you choose understands these issues and has the necessary experience and qualifications to deal with such matters.

The due diiligence in a share sale case is much more complicated than a straight forward traditional asset transfer case. 

The final leg

Your findings allow you to make a knowledgeable decision.  Now it is your time to get your own act together.

Organise your paperwork and finances required for the transaction. This will enable your chosen lawyer to set to work immediately on the property transaction and allow them to accomplish their tasks quickly.

Read more: Buying a property? Think twice before taking the plunge

Check & double check

Completing property transactions involves a ton of paperwork and a sensible timeframe to adhere to. Ensure that your lawyer is completing and sending things off in a timely manner. It is very easy to fall behind schedule if you do not keep a check on progress, things go missing and before you know it the entire agreed timeline could snowball.

Happy hunting – do your homework and enjoy a smooth and worry free transaction – you will sleep better knowing you are in safe hands.

Our team is always happy to help - please contact us.