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Property prices and dining experiences have replaced sex and the footy as primary topics of conversation in urban Australia. Choosing the wrong restaurant is a mistake, poor property decisions can spell disaster.

A home or investment property is usually the largest investment people make. Most people engage professional lawyers to ensure their purchase is secure but a growing band of home buyers are opting for do-it-yourself legals. Experts advise caution as property purchases are seldom straight forward. Respected Gold Coast lawyer Simon Bennett says the legalities of buying or selling property is often considered a routine exercise.

“In reality it is anything but. Thoughts of simply processing data or managing it yourself is not the best way to handle what can become one of the trickiest sectors of law. “Legislation introduced to protect property buyers has resulted in an extremely complex web of procedures. Failure to comply often means the contract can be terminated,” Simon says. Residential property comes under the Property and Motor Dealers Act. Buyers and sellers must comply with a strictly formatted contract. Simon says additional warnings and directions to particular elements of the contract must be given to buyers before and after a contract is signed.

“It takes a great deal of effort just to get a binding contract. The law allows contracts to be sent by fax or email but watch out; this means there are even more procedures to follow. It is far smarter to consult a properly qualified property lawyer to handle all aspects of the transaction,” he says. Simon says a qualified, experienced property lawyer can advise on all aspects of the contract and compliance with the relevant legislation. “A lawyer can usually foreshadow a potential problem and deal with the issue before it arises.

“Legal representation should not be seen as an option when purchasing property. It is essential to get it right, the cost of professional legal representation is nothing compared to the risks of DYI legals,” he says.

This article was featured in Label Magazine, by Simon Bennett

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