• New laws introduced on 30 November 2016 allow for the forced sale of units in an apartment

    The strata management industry is in for a significant shake up with the “once-in-a-generation” changes to strata laws being introduced on November 30, 2016. The NSW Government has amended the laws regarding the management of apartment buildings allowing 75% of owners in apartment blocks will be able to sell...

    Read More

  • ATO targeting property investors

    A recent taxpayer alert [Trusts mischaracterising property development receipts as capital gains] concerning property development and the use of trusts is significant for property developers. Taxpayer Alert 2014/1, describes an arrangement whereby a trust undertakes property development activities as part of its...

    Read More

  • Chinese regulators may turn off the money flow that is funding the Australian real estate bubble

    A Chinese Government crackdown on the recently exposed activities of the Bank of China's money laundering efforts in Australia will have repercussions on the sustainability of high property values in Sydney and Melbourne. China’s state broadcaster CCTV has launched an attack on one of the country’s most...

    Read More

  • Changing A SMSF Trustee to a Corporate Trustee

    Benefits of a Corporate Trustee 1. Changing Members If an SMSF is set up with a corporate trustee structure you can add a member (e.g. a spouse or child) or remove a member (e.g. if a member dies or can no longer act as trustee) with much less hassle than an individual trustee structure. If there is a ch...

    Read More

  • Our Legal Fees & Services

    At GMH Legal we believe that client relationships matter more than time sheets which is why we offer a range of alternative fee arrangements to best suit your needs. Our focus is on client service and establishing mutually rewarding relationships with our clients. We think that billing by the hour does not ...

    Read More

  • Homebuyer’s Guide to Conveyancing

    Buying your first home can be a confusing process, particularly when it comes to conveyancing. Taking your first step on to the property ladder can be an exciting time. But for those who have never been involved in a property purchase, the conveyancing process can often seem hard to understand. What i...

    Read More

Contact Us

Suite 309 – 310, Level 3
13A Montgomery Street

Ground Floor
54 Martin Place

Email: solicitors@gmhlegal.com
Phone: (02) 9587 0458
Facsimile: (02) 9587 2936


Whether you’re buying or selling property, we make the process stress-free

We will beat any comparative quote by 5%

Call us today for a free contract review


Making an offer and entering into a Contract for Sale without knowing your legal rights can be intimidating and have profound long-term consequences on your finances and overall quality of life. At GMH Legal we are here to assist you and make the conveyancing process as easy as possible for you and your family.

In New South Wales, there are two different ways a property can be purchased: by private treaty or by auction.


A purchase through a real estate agent or directly from the owner is called a purchase through a private treaty. This is the most common way to buy a house or apartment in New South Wales.

Generally you will negotiate with the seller and agree on a sale price with the assistance of an agent.

Before signing the contract, feel free to ask questions and do not hesitate to request to see the property for a second or third time. Do not be rushed, pushed or persuaded by comments made by the real estate agent or current owner of the property during the first inspection of the property.


Most auctions of property have a reserve price. A reserve price is the lowest amount the seller is prepared to accept for the property. The reserve price, however, is not made available to the purchasers.

An auctioneer or agent is not bound to accept the highest bid, if this is below the reserve price, or accept any bid until the fall of the hammer.

Please note that if your bid is successful, you will be required to pay the deposit (usually 10% of the purchase price) on the spot.


Our lawyers always go over and above to give you the best advice as quickly as possible.

Whether its quick information over the phone for a question that’s been on your mind for while, or general information about an area of law, we’re happy to help. Call us today and experience the difference.


Fees will vary between Solicitors and conveyancers as there is no official charge for conveyancing. However it is important to note that in addition to paying for the purchase price of the property and legal service fees, you will also be charged for disbursements made ahead of the finalization of the transaction.

Generally, disbursements can include:

  • A title search
  • Certificate fees charges by authorities responsible for water, electricity, roads, schools etc.
  • Photocopying
  • Registration of the mortgage (if any)

Costs other than legal fees and disbursements will usually include:

  • Building and pest inspections
  • Survey report
  • Establishment of mortgage
  • Home building insurance
  • Valuation fees
  • Mortgage insurance
  • Stamp duty and mortgage duty
  • Council and water rates

Please note that legal practitioners and conveyancers are required to disclose their costs to clients, including the client’s right to negotiate a costs agreement, receive bills and be advised of changes.


  • STEP 1 – Look for a property
  • STEP 2 – Check the Contract for Sale
  • STEP 3 – Express your interest in the property
  • STEP 4 – Applying for a loan
  • STEP 5 – Arranging inspections
  • STEP 6 – Deciding on type of ownership
  • STEP 7 – Exchanging contracts
  • STEP 8 – Paying the deposit
  • STEP 9 – Paying the stamp duty
  • STEP 10 – After exchanging contract
  • STEP 11 – Organising insurance
  • STEP 12 – Making a final check
  • STEP 13 – Day of settlement


Inspecting a property will tell you about its features and condition and give you a sense of the local area.

At GMH Legal we encourage you to make several visits to a property before deciding to buy it. If you are inspecting a number of properties in one day, take a notebook and record any identifying features.

For assistance during your inspections, we suggest that you download the NSW Family and Community Services’ “Home Buyer’s Checklist”.


A seller must have the Contract for Sale ready before offering a property for sale. The seller must also provide with the contract:

  • A section 149 Certificate from the local council, detailing zone and other information;
  • A sewerage diagram;
  • A copy of the title folio from the Land and Property Information NSW;
  • Copies of all documents creating easements or restrictive covenants;
  • A cooling-off statement;
  • A notice directing parties to the Conveyancing Act 1919 (section 52A) and the Conveyancing (Sale of Land) Regulation 2000;
  • If it is a strata unit, copies of the folio of the Register for the lot and common property and a copy of the strata plan.

If the above mentioned information is not attached, you may be entitled to cancel the Contract within 14 days of exchanging it. You may also reserve the right to cancel if the seller breaches certain warranties required by the Vendor Disclosure and Warranty Regulation.


Once you have found the property you intend to buy, give a copy of the Contract for Sale to your Solicitor or conveyer to check.

Once you make an offer, most real estate agents will ask you to pay initial or part deposit as a sign of good faith. If you have not signed and exchanged Contracts this payment does not secure the property.

You can make arrangements through your Solicitor or conveyancer with the agent to exchange Contracts with a five day cooling-off period in order to secure the property.


We encourage you to submit a formal application to your lending body for a loan on the property as soon as possible.

The lending body will value the property to determine whether the property is adequate security for the amount of the loan. The lending body lends a percentage of the valuation of a property, not a percentage of the purchase price.

Please note that you should not exchange Contracts for the property before your finance has been approved in writing.


Depending on the type of property you intend to purchase, different types of inspections may take place:

Building inspection (checks the structural soundness of the property)

  • Foundations;
  • Conditions of all structural timber;
  • All load bearing walls and members;
  • Outer skin of the building;
  • Plumbing and electrical wiring;
  • Kitchen and bathroom;

Pest inspection

You should have the property inspected for pests before buying it.

Please check that the company carrying out the inspection carries professional indemnity insurance.

Strata inspection (Analyses written records – for purchasers of apartments only)

The seller’s Solicitor will supply a Section 109 Certificate which should show some relevant information about the management committee, insurances, cost of levies, deeds and books.

We encourage you to also arrange for a pre-purchase strata inspection covering other written records, as there can be problems that might otherwise go undetected.


If you are buying the property with someone else, you will need to decide the type of ownership you will have. There are two types of shared ownership:

Joint Tenant

  • The property is held by 2 or more people in equal shares
  • If one dies, his/her shares goes to the survivors

Tenant in Common

  • The property is held by 2 or more people in equal or unequal shares
  • If one dies, his/her share goes to a person named in his/her will.


When all the reports are in order and the loan is formally approved, your Solicitor or conveyancer will organise the exchange of contracts.
The Contract is a legal agreement between the seller and the purchaser. It sets out the conditions of the sale. Any fittings you are purchasing with the property, such as curtains, blinds, TV antenna etc., should be listed in the contract to avoid disputes at or after settlement.


On the date that contracts are exchanged the agent will request that you pay the agreed deposit stated in the contract. While the amount is usually 10%, it can vary by agreement.

Your Solicitor will normally pay this deposit to the real estate agent and it will be held in the agent’s trust account.

After the exchange of Contracts, there is provision for a five day cooling-off period. This means you can change your mind and cancel the contract. If you decide not to proceed during the five day cooling off period, you will forfeit 0.25% of the purchase price to the seller.

Please note that there won’t be any cooling-off period if you instruct your Solicitor or conveyancer to sign a Section 66W Certificate which waives your cooling-off rights or if you are a successful bidder at an auction.


You will need to pay stamp duty which is calculated on the purchase price of the property. It must be paid within three months of signing the Contract.

To provide you with an estimation of the stamp duty payable after the Contracts are exchanged please refer to the NSW Office of State Revenue calculator.


It takes from four to eight weeks from exchange of Contracts until settlements.

During this time, enquiries and searches are made and documents prepared by your solicitor or conveyancer.


From settlement, when the property becomes yours, you are responsible for any damage. However you may wish to insure the property before settlement if you are not aware that the seller has a current insurance policy.


On the day of settlement, it is important that a final search of the title is obtained from the Land and Property Information NSW. This is to ensure that the property is clear from any interests of restrictions which may have been recorded between the date of exchange and settlement.
We also encourage you to carry out a final inspection of the property to ensure that it has not been damaged and all fixtures and fittings listed in the contract are intact.


Settlement is the completion of the transaction.

A date is arranged by both parties and your lender for settlement. It usually takes place at the seller’s lending body.
Parties present include representatives of the seller and the purchaser, together with a representative from the lending bodies of the seller and the purchaser.

The key to the property is handed over at settlement or you can pick it up from the estate agent immediately after settlement.


At GMH Legal our team of experienced Solicitors will provide a professional and efficient service, with friendly, helpful advice every step of the way to guide you through the whole conveyancing process.

Our aim is to gain a thorough understanding of our clients’ distinctive needs and objectives, before providing them with the best legal advice available in an efficient and cost effective manner – For that reason, our first appointment is always free!

We will offer the following services:

  • Prepare your Contract for Sale
  • Negotiate the terms of the Contract on your behalf
  • Attend the exchange of Contracts
  • Contact your lender to ensure the property will be released on settlement
  • Prepare the settlement of your transaction
  • Keep you updated on every step of the conveyancing process.

With GMH Legal, you can have peace of mind that your legal fees are fixed, with no hidden costs. The initial fixed fee conveyancing quote* will be the fee you will be paying upon completion.

In addition, we will beat any comparative quote by 5%!*

If you are thinking of buying or selling a property, call us today on (02) 9587 0458.


At GMH Legal, we will beat any comparative quote by 5%.

With over 60 years of combined legal experience, we have a history of providing sound and commercially astute legal advice in a decisive, efficient and client-focused way.

We understand that buying or selling real estate is one of the most important legal transactions that you will make in your lifetime and our panel of conveyancing solicitors will guide you through every step of the transaction, making sure the conveyancing process runs as smooth as possible, whilst providing excellent service.

Our outstanding track record demonstrates our team’s breadth of understanding and expertise in conveyancing law.

If you are thinking of buying or selling a property, call us today on (02) 9587 0458 so we can provide you with insightful and effective legal advice that will help you gain competitive advantage on the real estate market.

* The Low Price Guarantee is only available for residential conveyancing services. The offer does not extend to a quote from a license conveyancer and/or online conveyancer service or a quote on a non-residential conveyance. It applies to professional fees only.

Call the experienced team at GMH Legal to assist you in your matter. A free consultation with GMH Legal is an opportunity to gain deep insights into your legal situation and all of your options.

Why Choose GMH Legal?

  • Over 60 years of combined legal experience
  • Outstanding track record with a winning approach
  • First appointment is always free
  • Meet our team now.

banner banner banner banner banner banner banner banner banner banner