If you have bought or sold a business or a property you will know that exchanging the contracts is not the end of the matter. Settlement only happens when the money is paid into the seller’s account, but there are certain things that must be done first and these are part of the conveyancing process. It is wise to get conveyancing legal advice to take care of this because there is quite a lot involved in it.

The time between the contracts being exchanged and the money being paid is put to good use in doing searches to ensure several things: –

  • That the vendor or seller has a legal right to sell the property.
  • That all legal obligations are being met.
  • Their client’s right are protected.
  • Certificate of Title searches must be done.
  • Many documents must be prepared, executed verified and lodged.
  • Government searches are done to ensure all goes according to plan.
  • Adjustment of rates and taxes are worked out.
  • Settlement statements must be prepared.
  • They also liaise with lenders and attend the settlement. You don’t have to be in attendance at this time.

While a buyer should inspect the property they are purchasing carefully, there are many things they would find difficult to do, or not even realise should be done. For instance, there may be council regulations against doing something with the property that the buyer really wants to do. It could be anything from putting up another warehouse to adding extensions or even adding a commercial kitchen where there was none before.

So when the solicitor does searches, they will find out all about these things and let the buyer know. Even though the contracts have been exchanged, there will – hopefully – be a clause stating that the sale will not go ahead unless such things have found to be satisfactory.

So if you have heard people say their sale ‘fell through’, it is because one of the conditions in the contract has not been met.  A common condition is that the sale can only go through if the buyer can get the finance, but there are many others that can be put in when you have the advice of a lawyer.

This can save you a lot of money and heartache in purchasing business premises that are found to be structurally unsafe, or that have been damaged in some way in the time between the exchange of contracts and the settlement. Or if it is unsuitable for any other reason/s.

So the value given by your solicitor is incomparable and certainly worth it when you consider all the things that can go wrong when buying – or even when selling a business or a property.