Here at HomeLegal, property conveyancing is our specialty. We provide specialist residential conveyancing services to both buyers and sellers, but never at the same time. However, our property lawyers are often asked to represent both parties in a transaction. The common basis of this request is that it keeps costs down and speeds up the transaction, which sounds like it “makes sense” from a practical perspective. Unfortunately, we can’t do it.
Here’s a breakdown of why this is and the solutions we offer:
Why property lawyers can’t represent both sides
First, we are prohibited by the New Zealand Law Society from representing both buyers and sellers unless there is no chance of potential conflict.
Second, being on both sides of the residential conveyancing fence is not good practice. Our job is to represent one party to the exclusion of all others. As soon as we have a second client, that duty is compromised, especially if there is even a slight possibility that the parties’ interests are not aligned.
If we perceive that there is more than a “negligible” chance of a conflict, we can act for both parties. The problem with this is that “negligible” is always measured with hindsight. If we do choose to act for both parties, we cannot act for either party if a conflict arises, in which case both parties then have to get new lawyers.
Your property lawyer’s role in buying or selling a property includes providing independent advice, knowing your personal circumstances, and acting in accordance with the law to protect your interest. Having both feet on opposite sides of the fence will only compromise the transaction for you. A lawyer’s responsibility is to act with loyalty, confidentiality and in your best interest. First and foremost, we ensure your rights and needs are protected.
What can we do?
The property conveyancing lawyers here at HomeLegal can help you identify any potential conflict, put in place a process for dealing with the conflict, and then refer you to competent lawyers who will provide independent legal advice that will protect the other party to the transaction. We will work closely with the other legal advisor to resolve any issues and ensure a smooth and trouble-free transaction for both parties.
We believe this process is the best solution for buyers and sellers so both sides can achieve the best possible outcome out of a property sale, while aiming to save on costs and reach an agreement within a timely manner.
HomeLegal – The Property Conveyancing Specialists
HomeLegal’s residential conveyancing lawyers provide professional conveyancing services, dealing with all legal aspects of the transaction while providing the right legal advice to suit your needs. Whether you’re buying or selling, we have the right experience. Just contact us today at 0508 HOMELEGAL to get the most trusted specialist residential lawyers Wellington wide!