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When you buy or sell property, you need to engage a solicitor or conveyancer to handle the legal side of the transaction for you.

By Helen Collier-Kogtevs, Managing Director with Real Wealth Australia

Some investors opt to do this themselves… technically, it is possible to handle your own conveyancing, but I highly recommend using the services of a professional qualified who can give you advice and answer your questions along the way.

There’s so much you need to look out for. For instance, when you’re buying a strata-titled property like an apartment or unit in Queensland, you’ll receive a body corp disclosure statement as part of the process.

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If you’re handling your legals yourself, how will you know how to interpret this statement? I’ve reviewed them before myself and I barely know what I’m looking at.

I know one investor who received a disclosure statement with a small note reading, “Roof needs fixing”. Her solicitor picked up on it and phoned the strata committee, where they learned the complex needed urgent roof repairs at a cost of over $25,000.

It wasn’t covered by insurance and had the investor proceeded with the deal, she would have been forking over cash for roof repairs within weeks of settling.

It just reinforces my point that your expert dream team is worth its weight in gold! And, as with every expert on your dream team, your solicitor should be interviewed to make sure they know what they’re doing.

You’ll need to use a conveyancer in the state or territory that you’re buying in, so it’s a good idea to ask around for referrals if you’re buying out-of-state.

When you’re interviewing potential solicitors, ask the following five questions:

  1. Do you invest in property yourself?
  2. How long have you been working as a conveyancer?
  3. How long have you been working with property investors – not just home buyers, but investors?
  4. Will I be able to contact you via phone or email between now and settlement and is this access included in your fees?
  5. Can I speak to any previous clients?

Their answers to these questions will help you qualify their expertise and ensure you have the right person working on your team.

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Helen Collier-Kogtevs
Helen Collier-Kogtevs

Helen Collier-Kogtevs is the Founder of Real Wealth Australia, an education company based in Briar Hill, Victoria. Helen is a self-made millionaire who built her wealth with her property investment expertise. Over the years, Helen has pioneered mentoring programs dedicated to helping Australians create property portfolios. She is the author of books including 59 Biggest Mistakes Made by Property Investors and How to Avoid Them, and How to Start Creating Wealth Through Real Estate.