Your Legal Property Checklist

The vital steps we take to secure the smooth and successful sale and/or purchase of your property:

  • On your sale
  • On your purchase
  • What you will need to do
  • The Agreement
  • Taking legal title
  • Joint tenancy
  • Tenancy in common
  • Town houses and home units
  • Finance

What we can do for you

On your sale we will:

  • Provide you with an estimate of our fees and disbursements in respect of your sale.
  • Negotiate the terms and conditions of your sale agreement where appropriate.
  • Prepare, check or approve your sale agreement.
  • Attend to a title search to ensure title can be transferred free of any encumbrances.
  • Obtain any discharges of mortgage or other charges registered on your title.
  • Liaise with the purchaser’s solicitors to finalise settlement arrangements.
  • Attend to settlement on the settlement date including repaying any mortgages or charges required to be repaid.

On your purchase we will:

  • Provide you with an estimate of our fees and disbursements in respect with your purchase.
  • Negotiate the terms and conditions of your purchase agreement where appropriate.
  • Co-ordinate settlement with settlement of any sale having particular regard to penalty interest payable for late settlement.
  • Prepare, check or approve your purchase agreement.
  • Attend to a title search of the property and advise in respect of that search.
  • Obtain a Land Information Memorandum (LIM) from the local authority in relation to district plan provisions, building and drainage matters which may effect the property.
  • Assist you in obtaining mortgage finance.
  • Prepare all documentation (including the change of ownership notifications) for the transfer to you of the legal title to the property.
  • Attend on settlement and arrange to uplift the keys to the property.
  • Attend to the registration of the transfer of your title and mortgage (if applicable).

Land Information New Zealand requires electronic registering of transfers and mortgages.You will need to provide a current photo identification (eg. passport, drivers licence) and we will need to keep a photocopy. You will need to sign an Authority and Instruction Form (we will prepare this for you) to authorise us to transact the dealing electronically in the Landonline Workspace.

In respect of your sale and/or purchase we will keep you regularly informed about the services we are performing on your behalf.

Throughout the entire transaction we will ensure that your legal interests are protected and upon completion will provide you with a comprehensive report including a summary of the financial transactions involved in your sale and/or purchase.

What you will need to do

Co-ordinate your shift with the vendor (the seller) or purchaser of the property, as the case may be.


  • Packing and carrier
  • Arrange insurance on your new home
  • Insurance of your household contents during the shift and at your new home when purchasing
  • Final readings for gas and electricity when selling
  • Transfer or arrange new connection for telephone
  • Care of pets for the shifting period
  • Newspapers deliveries or cancellations
  • Redirection notice with NZ Post for your mail
  • Advise your friends, family, doctor and business associates of your change of address

When purchasing, check with vendor before settlement

  • Arrange a date with the vendor immediately prior to settlement to check the property out to ensure that any chattels are in working order
  • Names and addressed of the plumber, electrician, builder and other trades people who have serviced the property
  • Obtain old house plans, wall paper and old paint samples and descriptions, instruction booklets and guarantees for any appliances
  • Rubbish collection times
  • Forwarding address for vendor
  • Location of water, gas and electricity mains supplies and electricity and gas meters and fuse boxes

Property agreement can be extremely complex. That is why you need a widely experienced law firm.

Some further considerations when entering into a property transaction are discussed below.

The agreement

An agreement for sale or purchase of a property is usually presented by a real estate agent or a lawyer acting on behalf of one of the parties.

If you are uncertain about any aspect of the agreement, or the legal implications of it, please do not sign until you have discussed these matters with us. Once a agreement is signed by both parties, that agreement will constitute a legally binding contract. Ask the agent to fax us a copy of the proposed agreement.

Before signing a purchase agreement, obtain (where possible) as much information about the property including local authority information particularly building information and ideally obtain a plan of the building held by the local authority.

It is wise to check before signing an agreement to purchase a property, which includes a swimming pool or a spa pool that the local authority has approved the fencing around the swimming pool or spa pool.

Taking legal title

If two or more people are purchasing a property, a decision must be made as to which of the two types of ownership is appropriate – we will need to discuss this with you. The two types of property ownership are:

Joint tenancy

In the event of one owner dying the other owner automatically inherits the property regardless of whether or not instructions to that effect were included in the deceased persons will. This form of ownership is often used by married couples.

Tenancy in common

The property is held in distinct shares by the owners and does not automatically pass onto the other owner in the event of death of one of the owners of the property. Rather, ownership can only be passed on by a direction in the will of the deceased person and not by the survivorship of the other owner of the property. Where a tenancy in common is used a property sharing agreement may need to be put in place.

Town houses and home unit

These have a variety of titles which include cross lease and unit titles. You should contact us to discuss the aspects of these titles before you enter into the agreement to purchase a town house or home unit.


You can arrange you own finance for the purchase of your new house or, alternatively, we can assist you in obtaining finance from the appropriate lending institutions.

With over 100 years of legal experience in Auckland, Fortune Manning has developed particular expertise in buying and selling domestic and commercial property, processing many such transactions each year.

Our team of experts can provide an immediate independent and totally professional legal service to help you complete any property transaction quickly and efficiently. Our fees are competitive. Our resources are immense. We can also assist with mortgage finance, updating your will, arranging enduring powers of attorney, arranging insurance, the formation of a trust and a range of other associated services.

To assist you to understand the legal requirements of a property transaction these are the steps we take on your behalf.