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Buying & Selling Residential Property

Property Lawyers Nelson Tasman

Our team of specialist property & conveyancing lawyers are experts in buying and selling residential property, conveyancing, residential property law, refinancing, and building contracts. Trust our team for a smooth & successful transaction.

For a good overview on buying and selling property, check out our On the Move guide.

A little bit of advice…

We will always encourage clients to bring the Agreement for Sale & Purchase to us before signing so we can review it, this is included in our price to do your transaction. However, the world is not perfect and many people do not do this! So next best thing is to make sure your real estate agent includes some appropriate conditions hence making your Agreement conditional. Failure to include some conditions means you are saying your contract is unconditional and nothing stands in the way of settling your purchase. Some of the most widely used conditions are listed here.

Lawyers Approval
The Agreement can be conditional upon your solicitor’s approval of the form of the Agreement or of the title. A solicitor is only entitled to refuse approval if there is a genuine legal problem with the form of the Agreement or with title. So if we discovered that there was an illegal right of way not registered on the title, the Agreement could be cancelled. Likewise, if we found that there was a legal problem with the Agreement, then the Agreement can be cancelled. Remember solicitor’s approval does not allow you to simply walk away from a contract you have regretted signing.

Finance Approval
If the Agreement is conditional upon your arranging finance on terms acceptable to you then the Agreement can be cancelled and you can walk away if you are unable to arrange finance on terms suitable to you. You must, however, make a genuine effort to obtain finance and once again, this condition cannot be used to get out of an Agreement simply because you have changed your mind. Even if you have pre-approval of finance, it is still important to insert this clause as your lender will still want to look at the property before finally committing to mortgage finance

LIM Report
A Land Information Memorandum (LIM) report is issued by the local Council and contains all information held by that council concerning the property you are looking to purchase. If the Agreement is conditional upon your being satisfied with the content of the LIM then we will be able to cancel the Agreement if there is anything in the LIM that you are not satisfied with. Depending on how this condition is worded, if there is a problem with the LIM then you may have to give the person who is selling the property an opportunity to fix the problem.

Builders Inspection
If you are concerned over any aspects of buildings on the property you are purchasing, it is wise to make the Agreement conditional upon your having the house inspected by a builder or a building inspector and your being satisfied with their report. If you have concerns, our advice is to get us to draft an appropriate and more detailed clause.

Remember – if one of your conditions is not straightforward and potentially complicated, please come in and get us to do the wording for you. It could save a lot of heart ache further down the track. And also remember, including conditions in your Agreement are designed to help minimise risk – not as a tactic to walk away from the Agreement because you have changed your mind or acted in haste.

Why you should update my Will when buying or selling property
If you die without a Will, then your property and other personal possessions will be distributed in accordance with the Administration Act 1969 and it is possible that your estate may go to people that you did not wish to benefit from it. A Will also enables you to add more specific wishes as to what happens to your property upon your death – for example, allowing a relative to reside in the house until that person dies.

What you need to know about relationship property
The Property (Relationship) Act 1976 applies to anyone living together as a couple (be it married, un-married, same sex or in a civil union). Depending on the nature and length of time together in the relationship or marriage, the Act will have implications for each person’s entitlement to a share in the relationship property and which will often include the family home. In cases where property relationship does include the family home and the relationship or marriage is of a long term duration, then the Act provides that both of you should have an equal share in the property. This applies if the house is in both of our names or even if it is in the one person’s name only. This may not be problematic if each person’s contribution to the property is roughly equal, but it has the potential to be troublesome if one person owned the property and the other person moved in later or where either of them has a family and an interest in a home from an earlier relationship. It is worth bearing mind that problems can occur with division of the parties interest in the family home not only in the event of separation but also in the event of the death of either person where there is a contest with one or both of their estates. The good news is that with careful planning and advice it is possible to avoid these sorts of problems. In most cases we recommend what is called a Contracting Out Agreement which entitles you to provide your own agreement for division of your interest in the property which better reflects your contributions and/or your expectations in that regard and thereby avoid the equal sharing provisions in circumstances where they would be unfair.

The ways to own your own property


22 Oxford Street, Richmond, Nelson
New Zealand

+64 3 543 8601



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