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The standard fee when selling an apartment is around $1000 with no mortgage and can be $200-300 more if there is a mortgage involved.  If you have a complicated situation or need a lawyer with specific needs it can cost you up to $2500 when selling your apartment.

SUMMARY: 

The standard fee when selling an apartment is around $1000 with no mortgage and can be $200-300 more if there is a mortgage involved.  This extra cost is due to having the mortgage discharged.

If you have a complicated situation or unique specifications it can cost you up to $2500 when selling your apartment. This is where we recommend you find a lawyer with expertise in property.

The apartment industry is a different to houses so finding someone who can help you in this area is worth paying the money. At Apartment Specialists we can help you source an appropriate person in this situation. An example of a more complicated sale may be if the property is Leasehold or there are tenant issues.

TRANSCRIPTION:

Good day, Andrew Murray here from the Apartment Specialists. How much does a lawyer charge you or cost you when you sell your apartment? Typically speaking, on average they’ll charge between around about $800 and $1,000 for the transaction when you sell your apartment and if you’re discharging the mortgage, ie, if you have a mortgage on your apartment, you’ll probably– allow another $200. On average, you’re looking really probably around between $1,000 and $1,100 when you sell your apartment.

However, with a little asterisk, there are times where you need to spend more, and this is when you’re dealing with properties that are, for example, leasehold or have issues, have renting problems, or just complicated in some way. That’s where you really need to use the expertise of your lawyer. The reason for this is the lack of understanding with apartments.

So many lawyers around New Zealand just haven’t dealt with them. They’re so used to dealing with houses and understandably, because apartments when you think about it are relatively new. When you think back to 1991, there were only 564 apartments in the CBD and now there’s 20,000 plus. In those cases, are looked for by particular lawyers that are recommended by vendors who specialise in leasehold or apartments with issues or special leases.

In those situations, those lawyers are worth their weight in gold cause they can be the difference between a mediocre offer going through and a sale happening and ending up falling over; and the reason for that is they actually end up educating the other lawyer. For example, I just leave after this one point.

The reason why I did this podcast this I’m coming across more and more situations where lawyers are going. Well, I don’t and they’re actually saying that “I don’t have the expertise here. Can you recommend another lawyer?” Or in some cases, “I just don’t understand it”. That’s good when I lawyer does that.

They’re doing their job properly, but it’s when the lawyers take on the work because it’s work when they actually don’t know what they’re doing there the problem lies. You know, usually a house.

Andre Murray, Apartment Specialists. How much does a lawyer cost.

If you have any questions, flick me an email at andrew@apartmentspecialists.co.nz or call +6421 424 892 and I’ll be happy to answer your queries.

Cheers.

Summary:

Don’t go for a choice of lawyer upon a recommendation from someone you know. Unless it is a lawyer that has expertise in the sale and purchase of apartments. Apartments are different to houses and can be complicated in terms of regulations and inspections of not just the property you are purchasing but the entire building too. If you require further information in regards to finding the appropriate lawyer to aid your purchase and sale, we can assist at Apartment Specialists.

TRANSCRIPTION:

Choose your lawyer on their expertise, not because of friends or you have used them before. Choose them on what they are good at. Now, I am talking obviously about lawyers that you can use when you buy or sell an apartment. And I do not mean it by saying in bad terms towards other lawyers. I am talking it in the same sense that, if you asked to sell your house in Papakura or in Wellington or Christchurch, I am not the best man for the job, if you ask me to sell your apartment; the same thing goes with lawyers.

Good day, it is Andrew Murray from Apartment Specialists. I will be talking about the importance of making sure a good lawyer who has expertise in apartments is looking after you when you are buying or selling. I have seen this mistake cost people tens of thousands of dollars, either through when they are purchasing an apartment. Not picking up particular issues or when they are selling deals.

What sparked this podcast was recently, I just had a lawyer and I was almost going to settle. It was about three days before settlement and the lawyer who was acting for the vendor rang back and said, “I don’t know what to do.” I rang back and go and had a conversation with him. We spoke about them and basically gave them the gist of how to convey the property. It was a lease on an apartment, so it was more complicated than normal.

The person said, “Look, I’m down in Hamilton,” which is a city in Central North Island. “There aren’t any apartments down here. We haven’t dealt with this and I literally don’t know what to do.” And I said, “Look, can you please tell me this so then I can tell my vendor.” Just be straight with them, and say, “Look, you’re not the best person for the job.” They can get another lawyer who is. Obviously, it happened but it should have never happened. Another reason is when someone is purchasing and I have had lawyers who are asking all the wrong questions.

Even though, in most of the cases, the buildings are fine, because I have to disclose them yet. They are asking questions that are completely irrelevant to apartments or they do not understand the Unit Titles Act and the due diligence. What they are doing, on behalf of the purchaser, is not the best due diligence. What I am saying is, before you choose your lawyer, make sure they have expertise in apartments and unit titles. How many have they actually done before? And if they are in a town or a city where there is no apartments, you can pretty much almost guarantee they have not dealt with them before.

Again, this is not putting down the law community. It is the same reason why a lawyer specialises in family law or a lawyer specialises in commercial law. You are good at what you specialise at. Anyway, I hope that helps and please follow this advice whether you are purchasing or selling. Especially when you are looking for a lawyer.

Thank you. Cheers!