Conveyancing Cairns

When you hire WGC Lawyers to handle your conveyancing in Cairns, whether you are buying or selling property, our team will explain everything in plain English and help with all the necessary steps. If you’re buying a property, we can guide you through reviewing the contract for sale, ensuring it contains all relevant disclosures. Among other legal obligations, we can also facilitate contract exchange and settlement. If you’re selling a property in Cairns or elsewhere, we’ll be by your side to ensure your contract for sale meets your legal obligations, negotiate the terms of settlement and, if necessary, notify the mortgage lender. 

Read on to learn how we can help to ensure each of these steps is carried out fairly and accurately, and feel free to contact us with any questions about conveyancing in Cairns.

Are you buying or selling residential property in Cairns? There are many legal and practical issues to consider and steps involved in completing the transaction. Using professional conveyancing Cairns residents have trusted since 1972 is the surest way of ensuring the process is seamless.

The team at WGC Lawyers are here to help you manage the legal process of a property transaction. Unlike many legal matters, conveyancing tends to be completed quickly, and important issues governed by over 20 pieces of state and federal legislation may be overlooked.

If You are Buying

Unless you are a cash buyer, it’s essential to have pre-approved finance (finance subject to valuation), so you can move forward once you find a suitable property. You should not enter a contract without formal finance approval or a special condition allowing you to rescind (cancel) the contract within a reasonable time if finance is not approved.

Reviewing the Contract for Sale

The contract for sale sets out the legal obligations of each party and must include accurate title particulars and details of any encumbrances affecting the property. The seller must make certain disclosures in the contract regarding matters such as:

  • compliance with swimming pool
  • electrical safety and smoke alarm regulations
  • whether the property is subject to an environmental protection order; and
  • details of recent renovations, building work and relevant insurances.

Most standard contracts include optional provisions making the purchase subject to formal finance approval, satisfactory pest and building reports and / or the issue of a pool safety certificate. A contract should be reviewed to ensure it is compliant with statutory requirements, dispute resolution procedures and includes rescission terms necessary for your protection.

Cooling Off and Contract Exchange

When you are comfortable with the property and conditions, and finance is formally approved, contracts may be signed and exchanged. The deposit will need to be paid to the agent or seller’s legal representative and immediate insurance cover for the property should be organised.

Buyers purchasing a residential home typically have statutory cooling-off rights allowing them to rescind the purchase within five business days of receiving the signed exchanged contract. In this case, a buyer avoids any obligations under the contract but will forfeit 0.25% of the purchase price even if a deposit has not been paid. Cooling-off rights do not apply in some circumstances, such as purchasing under auction conditions, or may be waived or shortened by agreement.

Final Inspection and Settlement

After contracts are exchanged additional searches and enquiries are usually recommended and ordered by your lawyer. Throughout the conveyancing process, communication with the lender takes place to ensure that borrowed funds will be available in time to complete your matter.

A final inspection of the property is arranged through the agent before settlement to ensure that it is neat and tidy, all items removed and in the same condition as when it was inspected. Settlement of your purchase may take place physically, where your legal and bank representatives meet to exchange cheques and title documents, or on-line through electronic conveyancing processes, which can be managed by a property lawyer specialising in conveyancing Cairns.

If You are Selling

The first step in selling your property is to understand your legal obligations and have a contract prepared that meets the prescribed disclosure requirements. Incomplete or incorrectly prepared contracts can lead to confusion or may enable a buyer to pull out of the sale, so it is important to have everything in place from the start.

Preparing the Contract for Sale

The contract must include accurate title details of the property and specify all encumbrances. Sellers must also give certain warranties regarding the property and disclose matters concerning compliance with various regulations. Every property is different, and in some instances, it may be necessary to have special conditions drafted to deal with anomalies and meet your disclosure obligations.

Once a sale has been negotiated, the contract is completed with details of the buyer and purchase price together with any additional conditions that have been negotiated. After contracts are signed and exchanged, any contingent conditions satisfied and the statutory five-day cooling-off period either waived or expired, the parties are committed to the agreement.


Settlement is usually arranged around 45 days after contracts are exchanged however shorter or longer settlements may be negotiated. If there is a mortgage, the lender is notified so arrangements can be made to release its security over the property on settlement.

Consult a Conveyancer Cairns Trusts

By seeing a conveyancer, Cairns buyers and purchasers can avoid the potential pitfalls before committing to this large financial transaction. The conveyancing team at WGC Lawyers has assisted many clients with the sale and purchase of real estate, and offers conveyancing Cairns residents can rely on.

We will explain the contract and steps involved in plain English, negotiate conditions if necessary, identify risks and recommend investigations to protect your legal interests. Contact us today and find out how we can help.

Key Contacts

conveyancing cairns
Michael Huelin
conveyancing cairns
Graham Dutton
conveyancing cairns
Rhys Larsen
conveyancing cairns
Chloe Moes
Senior Associate