Mee & Henry Law Limited incorporated the firm of James S Mee in July 2014.

We are an established small general practice law firm based in Invercargill, with clients all over New Zealand. For over twenty years our clients have trusted us to provide quality legal services in an exceptional and cost-effective way.

We are accessible, approachable and friendly and provide efficient service. We work together with our clients to ensure objectives are achieved and problems solved in a cost-effective way using common sense and practical solutions. We also take the time to explain the law in a way that our clients can understand it, using plain English and not legal jargon.

All our clients are valuable to us and we pride ourselves on the long-term relationships we have built with our clients over the years and continue to build with future generations.

We provide a range of legal services in Property Law, Business and Commercial Law, Relationship Property Advice, Estate Planning and Administration, Trusts, Wills, Senior Law and Powers of Attorney.

Mee Henry Law Ltd - general practice law firm based in Invercargill

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Things to do

before signing an agreement to buy a property

The process starts with working out what your goals are and taking a good look at your financial situation.

For most people, it is tempting to start searching for places and going to open homes, but there are a couple of things to do before this.

First up – talk to a bank or lender about getting yourself pre-approved for a home loan.  This might also mean applying for  pre-approval for withdrawing your KiwiSaver and applying for the First Home Grant.

Secondly, engage a lawyer before you start looking at properties and attend to the Identity Verification process so that your lawyer can start acting for you as soon as an Agreement is available.

After you have worked out what you are looking for and how much you can spend, you can start the house hunting process!

Most of the time you will purchase a property through a licensed real estate agent who is paid by the seller.    You need to  understand the different types of  methods of sale (Auction, tender, Deadline sale, or  by Negotiation or advertised price). 

Ask the real estate agent or your lawyer if there is anything you don’t understand.

Buying a house is stressful, but you can help manage that stress by undertaking an appropriate due diligence exercise on each property you look at.   This is probably the biggest purchase you will make in your life, so make sure you allow suitable time and energy to get a builders report, LIM report, Toxicology Reports and Valuations for the property to ensure that it is suitable for your needs.   If you are being pressured to rush into the purchase and limit your conditions then take the moment to ask yourself whether the risk of an unchecked investment is worth a quick purchase.

In most cases you’ll make an offer by filling in and signing an Agreement for Sale and Purchase of Real Estate.

This is a legal contract that sets out how much you will pay for the property (including how much deposit you will pay), any conditions of the offer, and when the change of ownership will take place. 

You and the seller both sign this contract, and then work to meet any conditions in it (for example, a buyer might say that the offer is conditional on getting a satisfactory building inspection, or on the seller fixing a broken fence).

This agreement becomes unconditional when all the conditions are met.  Usually a deposit of up to 10% is payable upon going unconditional.

You can then look forward to settlement day, which is when you pay the balance of the purchase price and the property becomes yours.

Buying a house is  much easier if you have a good support team around you. 

While you can ask a real estate agent anything you like about a house, they are acting for the seller.

Friends and family can be a great source of advice, but it is wise to get professionals on your side too.

Choose the right lender – this will help save you a lot of money.

Get accredited inspectors for building reports and property inspections.

You may not a builder who can check the property, but there are risks with this approach that may cost more in the long run.  Always do your own research into who you want as your support team

Having legal assistance from those experienced in conveyancing is very helpful, they can help you understand the lingo and help you through a process that is unfamiliar and could have you struggling to make sense of it all.

General enquiries

Contact Us

45 Gala Street, Invercargill 9810

(03) 218 9855 Mon - Fri: 8.30 am - 5.00 pm

reception@meehenrylaw.co.nz Leave your message here