Property and Conveyancing Lawyers

We provide a competitively priced fixed fee professional conveyancing service.  All work is done by lawyers, we do not use conveyancers.  As a result of this we can handle any dispute or problem that may arise.  Buying and selling can be a stressful situation, we recognise this and will keep you fully informed throughout the process.

Call us to arrange a free 20 minute no obligation consultation that includes case evaluation and cost estimate.

Brander Smith McKnight’s Property and Conveyancing Lawyers

Brander Smith McKnight’s expert conveyancing lawyers can assist you in all your conveyancing and property matters. Our lawyers are committed to providing cost efficient and premium conveyancing services in Sydney.

Our conveyancing lawyers can help you with matters such as:

  • Buying property
  • Selling property
  • Buying off-the-plan property
  • Put and call options
  • Related party transfers

Our conveyancing lawyers have experience with the purchase and sale of various kinds of property, including residential, commercial and off-the-plan properties.

Brander Smith McKnight also has extensive experience with non-residential leases in Sydney and can review your contract and negotiate the best terms for you.

Should a property dispute arise in your conveyancing matter, our experienced lawyers can assist you in resolving the dispute. Our lawyers resolve the vast majority of property disputes without the need for expensive litigation.

Our conveyancing lawyers understand the stress associated with property matters and work hard to reduce this by keeping you well informed and explaining each stage in clear and simple language.

We provide a fixed fee premium conveyancing service provided by lawyers in Sydney.

Brander Smith McKnight has offices conveniently located in Sutherland, Parramatta, Wollongong and Sydney CBD.

Call us to arrange a free 20 minute no obligation consultation that includes case evaluation and cost estimate.

What is conveyancing?

The process of conveyancing involves the transferring of property from a seller to a buyer.  Brander Smith McKnight’s expert conveyancing lawyers in Sydney can assist you with this process.

What is included in the conveyancing process?

  • During the conveyancing process, a conveyancing lawyer can assist you with:
  • Title searches
  • Preparing legal documents
  • Ensuring rates, land tax and water consumption charges are paid
  • Organising the payment of fees and charges
  • Identifying whether there are any restrictions and encumbrances on the property
  • Ensuring special contractual conditions are met
  • Resolving disputes between the parties
  • Arranging building and pest reports (if required)

Call us to arrange a free 20 minute no obligation consultation that includes case evaluation and cost estimate.

What is property law?

Property law is an area of law that governs the rights over individuals to their property.  Different kinds of property have different legal rights and obligations. Brander Smith McKnight’s property lawyers have extensive experience and can assist you in all property law matters.

Breaches to sale contracts prior to settlement

Brander Smith McKnight’s expert property lawyers can provide you with assistance in relation to circumstances where a party has breached a contract for the sale of property prior to settlement.  Our Sydney lawyers can assist you with resolving a dispute and enforcing the contract outside of court through alternative dispute resolution. Resolving a dispute arising from a breach of contract outside of court can save both parties money and time.  Alternatively, our lawyers can commence legal proceedings against a party who has breached a contract and seek either compensation for the breach or seek to have the contract performed.


chevronAre a property lawyer and a conveyancer the same thing?

Property lawyers and conveyancers are not the same.

A property lawyer is a qualified lawyer who can provide both conveyancing services and address any other legal issues associated with property. For example, our property lawyers can provide you with commercial and contract law advice and assistance. In addition, property and conveyancing lawyers can identify other legal issues outside the area of property law as they arise in your matter and provide you with advice and assistance accordingly. Knowing that a property lawyer can assist you with handling complex legal issues can give you a level of confidence that cannot be provided by a conveyancer alone.

A conveyancer is only permitted to practice and assist people with conveyancing. As such, conveyancers only specialise in the sale, purchase, transfer and leasing of property. Conveyancers are not qualified to provide clients with advice in relation to legal issues outside of conveyancing.

At Brander Smith McKnight we do not use conveyancers.

chevronDo I need a lawyer to sell my property?

In NSW you are not required to have legal representation when selling a property. However, due to the legal nature of selling property it is very wise to have a lawyer assist you.

A lawyer can provide a seller with invaluable legal advice in relation to issues that may arise during the sale of your property. In addition, a lawyer can assist you in drafting an effective and legal contract of sale. This is particularly important as there are various documents that must be included in the contracts for the sale of different kinds of property. Furthermore, a lawyer can assist you with negotiating with the buyer of your property and can also help to resolve disputes between you and a buyer.

chevronCan I do my own conveyancing?

You can do your own conveyancing, but it is not wise to do so.

The process of conveyancing is complex, time consuming and can be very stressful for people without experience.  In addition, the consequences of misunderstanding a contract or not performing the adequate checks and searches can be extremely costly to an individuals who does their own conveyancing.

Before deciding whether to do your own conveyancing you should consider seeking legal advice.  Brander Smith McKnight offers a 20 minute obligation free consultation.

chevronWhat are covenants?

Covenants impose certain obligations on landowners in relation to their land, they are either created by an agreement or by law.

For example, a covenant may impose an obligation on developers to comply with certain construction standards in relation to the land. This may include limiting the size of structures developed on the land or limiting the kind of materials that can be used in construction on the land.

Covenants may also attach to property leases, for example, a lease may include a covenant to repair. A covenant to repair is a covenant which imposes an obligation on the tenant of a property to repair damages to the property leased to them.

A property lawyer can assist you in identifying whether any covenants exist in relation to a property.

chevronWhat are easements?

Easements are registered interests on land that grant specific rights to parties who do not own the land to use it for a particular purpose.

A common example of an easement includes a situation where a landowner has the right to access their property thorough the use of a shared driveway. An easement may also exist where part of a person’s property is used commonly as a thoroughfare for pedestrians.

A property lawyer can assist you in identifying whether any easements exist in relation to a property.

chevronWill I need financing to purchase a property?

You may need to access a loan if you are looking to purchase a property.

Before entering into a property transaction, you should try to find out the extent of your borrowing capacity. This will allow you to make a more informed financial decision when it comes to purchasing a property.

chevronCan I transfer ownership in property to a family member?

You can transfer a property or a share in a property to a family member through what is referred to as a “related party transfer”.

In simple terms, a related party transfer is a means through which to transfer ownership or part ownership of a property to a related party. There are unique legal issues which must be considered in a related party transfer.

A related party transfer may also not require a contract of sale, this is because in some instances a transfer document may be sufficient.

Where a related party transfer can occur without the need of a contract of sale, parties can save both time and money.

It is important to note that you may also have to pay transfer duty on a related party transfer. However, there are circumstances where specific parties to a related party transfer may not need to pay a transfer duty.

chevronWhat are electronic settlements?

Electronic settlements are a way to avoid completing settlements in person.

Electronic settlements can save parties to a property transaction time and is a convenient way to complete settlements.

chevronHow much will a lawyer cost?

Brander Smith McKnight’s conveyancing lawyers provide a fixed fee professional conveyancing service.

Our lawyers will provide you with clear and transparent descriptions of all costs.

chevronWhat costs arise in relation to the buying of a property?

Before buying a property, it is important to be aware of the various costs that may arise throughout the transactions, these costs include:

  • The purchase price of the property
  • Transfer duty
  • Title search fees
  • Lawyer fees
  • Fees associated with mortgage and loan documents
  • Registration fees
  • Insurance
  • Removalists
  • Property inspections

chevronWhat should I expect at settlement?

Settlement is the last step in the sale/purchase of property.

At settlement the ownership of the property is transferred to the buyer following their payment of the purchase price.
Settlement typically takes place 6 weeks following the exchange of contracts between parties.

The date of settlement can be negotiated to a date that suits both parties, a conveyancing lawyer can assist you with these negotiations.

Settlement can be a stressful time in a property transaction, having an experienced conveyancing lawyer take charge of all legal aspects and perform all of the requirements will help alleviate this stress.

chevronShould I have a lawyer review my contract?

A conveyancing lawyer has the ability to read complex and difficult to understand legal contracts and explain what it means and your rights and obligations.  They will also negotiate the amendment of terms if required.

Having a lawyer review contracts in a property transaction provides a clearer understanding of the buyer and seller’s contractual obligations and legal complications.

chevronWhat is transfer duty?

In NSW, transfer duty is a tax that must be paid when you buy property.  The amount of transfer duty that needs to be paid is dependent on the characteristics of the property purchased.

Transfer duty must also be paid when you acquire property without buying it, such as where property is transferred as a gift.

Transfer duty was once known as stamp duty.

chevronWhat is a ‘simultaneous settlement’?

A ‘simultaneous settlement’ refers to situations where the sale and purchase of property occur at the same time.

A conveyancing lawyer can help you organise a simultaneous settlement.

chevronHow long does conveyancing take?

There is no definitive description of how long conveyancing takes.

In NSW, it typically takes 6 weeks for the process of conveyancing to be completed, however you can negotiate for the completion of conveyancing in a shorter time or longer period.

A conveyancing lawyer can assist you when negotiating how long conveyancing will take, this negotiation should be done as early as possible.

chevronWhat is a cooling off period?

In NSW, a cooling off period is a period of time that commences after a buyer enters into a contract for the sale of certain kinds of property.

During the cooling off period the purchaser can decide to rescind their contract for the purchase of a property.

The length of a cooling off period is set under law by default but a shorter or longer cooling off period can be negotiated in your contract for the sale of property.

chevronIf I have a property dispute, do I need to go to court?

If a property dispute arises during the process of conveyancing, Brander Smith McKnight’s lawyers can assist you in resolving the dispute without going to court.

Our expert conveyancing lawyers resolve the vast majority of property disputes without the need for expensive and time-consuming litigation.

We have the expertise to achieve excellent results using alternative dispute resolution.

chevronIs there a difference between selling my property at auction and selling my property by private treaty?

There are various differences between selling property at auction versus doing so by private treaty, these differences should be considered carefully when selling a property.

When selling property by auction you will sell your property to the highest bidder and there is no cooling off period. There can also be no amendments to the contracts following the selling of a property at auction.

When selling a property by private treaty a price is agreed upon by a seller and purchaser. Following the exchange of contracts there is a cooling of period and negotiations to the contract can be undertaken.

A conveyancing lawyer can assist you in further understanding the nuanced differences between selling a property at auction versus by selling a property by private treaty.

chevronWhat is an ‘off-the-plan’ property?

An ‘off-the-plan’ property is a property that is not built yet, these properties can be purchased.
When deciding whether to purchase an ‘off-the-plan’ property, prospective buyers should review the properties plans, schedules and perhaps visit developments that have been completed by the same developer.

You may want to consider seeking legal advice in relation to your contracts when purchasing an ‘off-the-plan’ property so that its terms, conditions and obligations can be explained to you.

It is important to recognise that ‘off-the-plan’ properties can take months or years to develop. Accordingly, contracts for the sale of ‘off-the-plan’ property typically provide a specific date by which the development must be completed.

chevronCan I negotiate the terms of my contract after I sign it?

You can negotiate special terms and amendments to your contract for the sale of property following its signature during the cooling off period. A conveyancing lawyer can assist you in negotiating these special terms and amendments to your contract.

chevronWhat is ‘title’?

In property law, ‘title’ refers to the rights of ownership over property.

The title to a property is typically acquired through the process of conveyance.

chevronWhat is an ‘option’?

In property law, an option is best understood as a right to buy or sell property at some point in the future.

There are various kinds of option agreements that can be made in relation to property.

A call option is an agreement which affords a party the right to buy some specific property from a seller at some point in the future.

A put option is an agreement which affords a party the right to compel a purchaser to buy a specific property at some point in the future.

A put and call option is an agreement which affords both parties to the agreement the right to compel the sale or purchase of a specific property at some point in the future.

Your Property and Conveyancing Legal Team

William Onishi

Senior Associate

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Property and Conveyancing Legal Services