How is Eckermann Lawyers different from the big law firms in Adelaide?

Eckermann Lawyers has a wealth of experience and expertise in all aspects of commercial law, property law and all types of property transactions. What you’ll find different at Eckermann Lawyers is our commitment to a personalized and very much bespoke service. Large or small, every client at Eckermann Lawyers is treated with the same high level of personalised service that only a boutique legal firm can provide.

  • Our team has a depth of property law knowledge that ensures timely and informed practical advice, whether you consider acquiring a large rural estate, leasing retail premises in a shopping centre or selling off-the-plan apartments in a mixed-use development.
  • When dealing with Eckermann Lawyers, you are not only being helped by some of the best lawyers in Adelaide, but you have the added convenience, should you choose to do so, of working with our other Eckermann Group members, including Adelaide’s leading conveyancing firm, Eckermann Conveyancers.
  • Eckermann Lawyers complements the existing Eckermanns businesses including Eckermann Conveyancers and Eckermann Property Forms. Established in 1976, Eckermanns have earned a reputation as a leader in their industry providing first-class service.

If a personalised, timely and informed legal service is what you are looking for, please contact us to understand how we can assist you.

What is conveyancing?

Conveyancing is the legal process of transferring the ownership (the rights, title and interest) of Real Estate Property from one legal entity to another. A conveyancer is required for both sides of a real estate transaction – buying and selling

At Eckermanns, we have the knowledge, systems and expertise that you’ll need as you prepare for the official transfer of your new place into your own name. We deal with Residential, Commercial, Leasing, Subdivisions, Family transfers, Deceased Estates and more. We keep you updated throughout the journey from the start until finish, liaising with all parties to ensure that everything happens as planned.

What is a Form 1?

In South Australia, it is a legal requirement (under Section 7 of the Land and Business (Sale and Conveyancing) Act 1994) when selling a property to disclose certain particulars relating to the purchaser’s land. This disclosure is called a Vendor’s Statement or Form 1.

Serving a Form 1 to a purchaser will activate the two clear business day cooling-off period when it is possible for purchaser to change their mind and “cool-off” on the contract in writing.

When buying at auction where there is no cooling off period. The Form 1 is required to be available for viewing for at least three working days prior to the day of the auction at the office of the real estate agency conducting the sale. The Form 1 must also be on display for 30 minutes prior to the start of the auction. It is a lengthy document and we recommend you ask your conveyancer to review the Form 1 for you.

What are the areas of specialisation at Eckermann Lawyers?

Eckermann Lawyers is an Adelaide-based boutique law firm renowned for providing service excellence across practice areas including:
• General Commercial
• Commerical Property
• Agribusiness
• Estate planning including, Wills, Advance Care Directives, Powers of Attorney, Contested Wills & Estate Disputes
• Hospitality & Licensing
• Franchising


Can I do my own conveyancing?

Property sale transactions of any kind are a minefield of legal documents and paperwork which can be complex, time-consuming, and sometimes overwhelming – this isn’t something you do every day so we wouldn’t recommend doing it yourself.

At Eckermanns we strive to provide the best conveyancing services to our clients regardless of which side of the transaction they are on. We do it every day of the working week. You can be assured that we will walk you through each step with a full and clear explanation and make this as stress-free an experience as possible.

I have signed and contract to buy a house and I’ve been sent a Form 1. What do I do next?

You should have your Form 1 examined by a Registered Conveyancer. Upon receipt of the Form 1 and following the signing of the private contracts, your two-day cooling off period begins. It is important that the Form 1 is reviewed to ensure that there is nothing within the legal information provided that will cause you concern as the purchaser. And if there is, you need to understand the implications.

If you appoint Eckermann Conveyancers to conduct your conveyancing, we will review your Contract of Sale and Form 1 for you at no charge. Remember to get in touch as soon as you have both documents in hand because it’s then that the clock starts ticking.

I want to subdivide my property. Can Eckermann Conveyancers help me?

If you’re looking to develop a property by subdividing, it’s important to understand the implications of different types of subdivisions so that you can make an informed decision for your site.

Whether you’re a developer, investor or a homeowner, our specialist Land and Community Division team is experienced in undertaking complex divisional-related conveyancing work in Adelaide and throughout South Australia, including land, community and community strata divisions, amalgamations, and easement transactions and will work closely with you through the entire division process to ensure you plan appropriately and navigate any potential issues effectively.

What is a Form 3 and can Eckermanns prepare a Form 3 for me?

Once you have signed a contract to purchase a property, you will be served a Form 1 or Vendor Disclosure statement. This document provides important legal information about your property.
The cooling-off period for your purchase expires at the end of the second clear business day after:

  • the contract was made if the purchaser received the Form 1 prior to making the contract, or
  • the Form 1 has been served on the purchaser if the purchaser received the Form 1 after making the contract. By law, a Form 1 must be served on a purchaser of real property in South Australia.

Sometimes a purchaser may choose to waive their cooling off rights. To do so requires the preparation of a Form 3 is required and the Form 3 must be certified by a legal practitioner. Eckermann Lawyers is experienced in the preparation of Form 3s and in explaining clearly to clients, the implications of waiving their cooling off rights.

Who uses Eckermann Property Forms?

Eckermann Property Forms was established in 2010, providing real estate agents and vendors a dedicated team of Form 1 specialists to:

  • relieve the burden of Form 1 preparation and certification from agents, allowing them to concentrate on what they do best, and
  • provide additional comfort to vendors safe in the knowledge that specialist subject matter experts are preparing this important documentation on their behalf. Given the serious consequences of defective Form 1s this is extremely important.

What is the Eckermann Forms Portal?

Eckermanns Form 1 Portal is an online platform developed by the Eckermann Property Forms team to provide partner agents with an easy way to manage their Form 1 requests at Eckermanns. Not only do you get the I’s dotted and T’s crossed, you know that once you have requested the preparation of your Form1 via the portal that there is an expert team of specialists behind the scenes making sure that the Form 1 process is completed as soon as possible.

With the Eckermann Forms Portal, you can complete the Vendor’s Questionnaire directly with the Vendor, have them sign page 3 and then serve Form 1 on the Purchaser via email by just hitting a submit button.

Is it better to use a conveyancer or a solicitor for conveyancing?

Both conveyancers and solicitors can provide assistance with conveyancing, and the choice of which to use will depend on your individual needs and preferences.

Conveyancers are licensed professionals who specialize in property settlement and are specifically trained in the conveyancing process. They typically offer a more specialized and cost-effective service for property transactions. Conveyancers are often able to provide faster and more streamlined services, as they focus solely on property transactions and do not handle other legal matters.

Solicitors, on the other hand, are lawyers who are qualified to provide legal advice on a wide range of legal matters, that may include property transactions. They can provide more comprehensive legal services, including advice on complex legal issues that may arise during a property transaction. Solicitors may be better equipped to handle more complex property transactions, such as commercial property transactions or properties with unique legal issues.

Overall, the choice between a conveyancer and a solicitor will depend on your individual circumstances and the complexity of your property transaction. If you are buying or selling a straightforward residential property, a conveyancer may be the most appropriate choice. However, if you have more complex legal issues or are dealing with a commercial property transaction, you may benefit from the additional expertise and services provided by a solicitor. Using Eckermanns provides you with the best of both worlds – conveyancers with the backup of a specialist law firm.

Can I buy or sell a house without a conveyancer?

In most cases, it is possible to buy or sell a house without a conveyancer, but it is not recommended. Conveyancing is a complex legal process that involves a variety of legal and financial considerations and attempting to navigate the settlement process without professional assistance can be risky and potentially costly

Engaging a conveyancer is particularly important when buying or selling a property, as they can help to ensure that the transaction is legally valid and binding, and that your interests are protected. They can also provide advice on any potential financial or legal issues that may arise during the transaction and help to resolve these issues before they become a problem.

In addition to their professional expertise, conveyancers also have access to a range of resources and tools, such as property searches and legal documents, that are essential to completing a property transaction.

Overall, while it is possible to buy or sell a house without a conveyancer, it is not recommended. Engaging a conveyancer can help to ensure that the transaction is completed smoothly and efficiently and can provide you with peace of mind knowing that your interests are protected throughout the process.

How long does the conveyancing process take?

The length of the conveyancing process in South Australia can vary depending on a variety of factors, including the complexity of the transaction, the efficiency of the conveyancers involved, and any potential legal or financial issues that may arise during the process.

Typically, the conveyancing process can take anywhere from 6-12 weeks to complete. This timeframe includes the time required for searches and checks to be conducted on the property, the preparation of legal documents, and the exchange of funds between the prospective home buyer and seller.

However, the process can sometimes take longer if there are any unexpected legal or financial issues that arise, such as disputes over property boundaries or outstanding debts on the property. In these cases, the conveyancers may need to take additional time to resolve the issues before the transaction can be completed.

Overall, it is important to allow enough time for the conveyancing process when buying or selling a property in South Australia, to ensure that everything runs smoothly and to avoid any potential delays or issues. Engaging an experienced and efficient conveyancer can also help to speed up the process and ensure that the transaction is completed as quickly and efficiently as possible.

Can the vendor and the purchaser use the same conveyancer?

In most cases, it is not recommended for a vendor and purchaser to use the same conveyancer, as this can create a potential conflict of interest. A conveyancer’s primary responsibility is to their client, and they are required to act in their client’s best interests at all times. If a conveyancer is representing both the vendor and the purchaser, they may not be able to provide impartial advice to both parties.

However, in some situations, such as a family transfer or where both parties are known to each other and agree to the arrangement, it may be possible for a vendor and purchaser to use the same conveyancer. In these cases, the conveyancer must disclose the potential conflict of interest to both parties and obtain their informed consent.

So, while it is possible for a vendor and purchaser to use the same conveyancer in certain situations, it is generally not recommended. Engaging separate conveyancers ensures that each party has an advocate who is acting solely in their best interests and can provide impartial advice throughout the transaction.

What is e-conveyancing?

E-conveyancing is the process of conducting property conveyancing transactions electronically. It involves the use of digital technology to transfer documents including the property title and other legal documents between parties involved in a property sale or purchase. At the moment the main platform providers operating in Australia are PEXA and Sympli.

The main aim of e-conveyancing is to simplify and streamline the process of property conveyancing work by reducing the need for manual paperwork and increasing the efficiency of communication between parties. E-conveyancing platforms enable real-time access to relevant property information, including land titles, mortgage details, and other legal documents.

E-conveyancing is currently being implemented in several countries around the world, not just Australia. It is used also in New Zealand, and Singapore. It offers several benefits, including faster processing times, reduced errors and costs, improved security, and increased transparency in property transactions. E-conveyancing was mandated in South Australia in August 2020, driven largely by the global pandemic which saw the closure of face to face settlement operations.

What to Check at Pre settlement Inspection: A Quick Checklist

If you are purchasing a property in South Australia for the first time and you have purchased a property interstate beforehand, you may be familiar with the concept of a pre settlement inspection. This usually occurs a few days before settlement and is a chance for the purchaser to confirm that the condition of the property they are about to settle upon is as it was inspected and with the same inclusions contained in the Contract of sale.

The pre settlement inspection gives the purchaser the opportunity to examine things like:

  • Electricals – checking the doorbell, fans, light fittings, exhaust fans, heating units and air conditioning
  • Appliances – making sure they are all operational e.g., dishwasher, oven, rangehood, cooktop
  • Garden – making sure that the property has been maintained between contract and settlement
  • Fixtures – turn on every tap and make sure they work for both hot and cold water, check the toilets and ensure they flush properly, check the washing machine taps
  • Curtains and blinds – making sure that if they were included in the contract of sale, they are still at the property
  • Doors and windows – checking that keys and locks work properly
  • Check that rubbish bins are present and that they are in good condition
  • Checking that the hot water system, gas meter, pool pump, smoke detectors and pool pumps are operational

As we said, while pre-settlement inspections are common in some states they are not in South Australia. If you specifically require a pre-settlement inspection, this can be considered for inclusion as a special condition when you sign the Contract of Sale.


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