6 1/2 Great Stories


Anton: I received a call from a very worried real estate agent on a Friday afternoon. Her client Jim was a gentleman of advanced years, his solicitor, a sole practitioner, was in London on holiday and her client’s fragile health had just taken a turn for the worse. Jim’s health was one of the reasons for the sale of his ‘original condition’ Brisbane property. The agent was very worried that Jim was going to die over the weekend without signing the documents to transfer his property to Anton, our client.

Without that signature, it could be problematic for his estate to complete the sale of the property to Anton. The agent had known Anton and his wife for 20 years and they were a bit concerned too. Were they going to lose their dream renovator? If Jim died, the estate wouldn’t be able to settle the sale in time, confusion would reign and legal costs would rise. The weekend passed very slowly.

Fortunately, Jim’s solicitor arrived back towards the end of the weekend and was able to witness Jim’s signature on transfer. The story has a bittersweet ending because although it all worked out and the property was transferred to Anton at settlement, Jim did pass away in the next few weeks.


Ellena: was in the market to buy another commercial property to add to her portfolio. When we read through it, the contract seemed fair and was subject to a due diligence condition. That meant that she had 14 days to check over the property knowing that if there were any major issues she could simply terminate the contract and walk away.
Clearman Lawyers helped Ellena carry out her due diligence searches and when she received the results from Brisbane City Council there was something important missing. Although the commercial building itself had a certificate of classification (it’s safe to live or work in the building), one of the tenancy fitouts apparently didn’t. Generally you can’t use or occupy a building without a certificate of classification and this would obviously have insurance ramifications.

Still, the seller was very keen to get rid of this 10% yield property and Ellena was still interested if the problems were fixed up. After Ellena extended the due diligence period, the seller jumped into action. He pushed the tenant, who had the fit out work done, hard and produced the missing certificate of classification. Ellena confirmed due diligence when the seller agreed to a $7,000.00 less adjustment. Once that was resolved the path was clear for settlement.

Clearman Lawyers also helped Ellena to review all of the leases, gather up the bank guarantees, make arrangements with her bank to bring the funds and settle on the property. It’s an excellent addition to her portfolio.


Brandon: had cash and made an offer for a beautiful Brisbane house. He was ready to buy and his current lease was ending soon. The selling agent provided Brandon with the contract to sign at the agreed price. The selling agent handled the negotiation themselves and, very unusually, would not provide the seller’s solicitor’s details. This was the first red flag.
Luckily, Brandon had agreed to our recommendation to set his offer to expire after two business days. Brandon extended the expiry date of his offer by one day (to COB on Friday). This was because the selling agent told him that the seller’s solicitor wasn’t happy with how the contract was drafted. This was the second red flag because it was the agent who had prepared the part of the contract her own clients’ solicitor apparently didn’t like. Why didn’t the seller’s solicitor just pick up the phone and call our office to straighten it out? The mystery was growing deeper.

On Friday morning we spoke with Brandon and advised him that in our view the seller was simply using his offer as a backup contract in their negotiations with other buyers. The seller used their solicitor and their working hours as a diversionary tactic to try to drag out the process out over the weekend so they could look for higher offers. Once Brandon realised the game he moved on to other property.


Kirk: The client was buying a very large house over two separate levels with a boat house. The house had recently been renovated and was the right price.

We received a very comprehensive building and pest report from our excellent, recommended building and pest inspector, setting out a number of items needing rectification. There were pool fencing issues, water damage and sealing issues in the new bathrooms.

The building and pest condition date came and went while the parties were negotiating. Kirk had provided us with a spreadsheet setting out about 20 items he wanted the seller to rectify and the parties gradually whittled down the items one by one. You’d think that an oven ignition switch wouldn’t be worth arguing about until you hear that the oven alone cost $18,000.00.


Peter and his lovely wife: were in their 80s and wanted to sell their home of more than 50 years and move into a retirement village while they were still young.

We reviewed the documents for their new retirement apartment. Those documents were cutting edge because they complied with changes to the Retirement Villages Act 1999 which had been made only 26 days before.

Long story short, if you know anyone who is moving into a retirement village, Clearman Lawyers has plenty of experience. We can also help with the conveyance of the family home. It can be a stressful time and we work hard to give clear explanations and communicate regularly.


Katie: We helped some lovely clients with the conveyance of their townhouse investment property. They had it for ten years from new and wanted to use that money for other purposes now. The buyer confirmed finance, building and pest and the body corporate condition and we helped Katie prepare for settlement. There was no mortgage and our clients were ready, willing and able to settle in a couple of weeks. Luckily the buyer got their ducks in a row too and it settled smoothly.


Marcus: had bought his mum a new microwave with really big numbers and writing because she just couldn’t understand the old one any more. Unfortunately it didn’t help. Early onset Alzheimer’s sometimes takes no prisoners. Luckily his mum had signed an Enduring Power of Attorney when she was still competent.

Marcus is a good, responsible son. Still, managing someone who simply can’t help themselves is a lot of work on top of your normal busy life. The Enduring Power of Attorney means that he can just help when necessary instead of making applications for guardianship and dealing with the public sector.

The time came for Marcus to sell the house and move his mother into a care facility. He wanted advice about the best way to set everything up to get the best result for his mum but also to leave a clear document trail to show that he had acted appropriately and carefully throughout the transaction.



This page is not intended to provide legal advice and does not create a client-lawyer relationship. This post is provided for general information purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for legal advice. If you need help with legal advice for your particular situation, please contact our office (details below or on ‘Contact’ page) and we’ll be happy to assist you.

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