Legal information for property buyers and sellers
0800 PPTYLAW (0800 778 952)


Can I buy or sell a house without using a real estate agent?

Yes, you can buy or sell a house without using a real estate agent. Although many people opt to have professional real estate agents handle their house sale, a growing number of people choose to market and facilitate the sale of their property themselves. As a buyer, it’s important to check whether the seller of a property has already engaged an agent. If they have, and if the property has been brought to your attention through an agent, commission may be payable by the seller.

Can I change my mind after I sign a contract?

A contract is a binding document. In most cases you cannot simply change your mind once a contract is signed unless there are special conditions. Before you sign any contract, and particularly when you’re buying and selling property, you should see a lawyer before you sign.

If you’re having trouble meeting the conditions of a contract you’ve already signed, you should seek legal advice as soon as possible.

Why should I get a LIM report?

People who are buying a property often want to get a LIM (Land Information Memorandum) report from the local Council. The report will give you a lot of information that is held by that Council about the property.

Some of the facts that you may find useful in a LIM report might relate to the previous use of that land, whether it is prone to flooding or what building permits have been issued.

To apply for a LIM report from the local Council get the relevant details about the property from the Real Estate agent you are working with or the Lawyer who is helping you with the purchase. Fees for LIM reports vary from Council to Council.

It usually takes about 10 working days to get a LIM report. Some Council’s are able to process urgent LIM requests (5 working days) however such requests will incur a higher fee.

Do I need a property lawyer when I am buying or selling property?

Yes. You will need the assistance of a property lawyer or registered conveyancer to at least complete the registration of the transaction. It is advisable to see a lawyer as soon as there is a contract that needs to be signed or when you have enquiries about the title or methods of ownership.

What does it cost to see a property lawyer?

It depends. Always ask about costs when you first see a lawyer. Ask for a quote and feel free to shop around to get the best deal for you. Remember the cheapest is not always the best. Engage a law firm that you feel happy with. Ask your friends and look for testimonials.