Property Services

What is the process of buying/purchasing a property?

pre-contract inspection
Step 1

PRE-CONTRACT INSPECTION

Before buying a property, a purchaser will need to inspect the property. If it is an established or older property, then it is recommended that you obtain a building and pest report which will show you if there are any structural or other defects with the house and any infestation such as termites. We can help you organise the building and pest report and go through it with you.

If you are buying an apartment, unit, or townhouse that is part of a strata plan, we recommend that you obtain a strata report where a strata inspector goes through all of the records of the strata body corporate to provide a comprehensive report on the building and its management. This report will also show whether there have been any defects in the buildings, any claims or special levies which will need to be raised from each owner, the harmony of the owners, and the finances of the body corporate generally.


Step 2

NEGOTIATING AND EXCHANGE OF CONTRACT

It is crucial that your lawyer now reviews the contract and explains the terms and conditions of the sale, as well as what is on the title of your property. We will also negotiate any changes required to the contract, to ensure that the contract is acceptable. Once agreed, two identical copies of the contract for sale are signed by both you as the purchaser and the vendor, and a payment for the deposit is made, the contracts are "exchanged" making the contract binding on both parties.

Cooling Off Period - you will have a statutory right to a 5-day cooling off period after Exchange, where during this time you can pull out of the contract and forfeit 0.25% of the purchase price (this does not apply to purchases at auction). The benefit of the Cooling Off Period allows you to take the property off the market, and provides you with a short period of time to arrange your building and pest inspections as well as finance. The vendor may require a certificate waiving your right to the 5-day cooling off period which only your lawyer can provide, and once provided will result in the contract being immediately binding and enforceable.

negotiation and exchange of contract

pre-settlement
Step 3

PRE-SETTLEMENT

During this time, we will order any searches or certificates over the property that you require, including the mandatory council and water rate certificates, a strata certificate if you are buying a strata property, so that we can prepare the settlement calculations.

If this is your first home purchase, we will also advise whether you are eligible for any of the government first home owner grants, and help you complete the relevant application forms. Stamp duty on your purchase is payable at settlement or 3 months after Exchange (whichever is earlier).

A final inspection is also warranted prior to settlement to ensure that the property is in the same condition as it was when first inspected (subject to fair wear and tear).


Step 4

SETTLEMENT

We will calculate the final settlement figures accounting for adjustments in council and water rates, etc, and the payment of stamp duty and our fees. We will arrange for these amounts to be available at settlement from either you and/or your bank, and do everything else required for settlement to take place so that you do not have to attend. Once settlement occurs, you will own the property and the real estate agent is authorised to release the keys to you.

settlement

What is included in our legal service for acting on a purchase?

  • Review the contract for sale and provide you with advice which is in “plain English” and which covers all the important contract terms. We will also go through the property title with you and explain any easements, restrictive covenants and zoning restrictions.
  • Recommend banks and mortgage brokers so that you can obtain a loan for your purchase, if requested.
  • Negotiate the terms and conditions of the contract for sale with the vendor’s/developer’s solicitors.
  • Review the terms of any leases or tenancies on the property.
  • Assist you to sign and exchange contracts.
  • Attend to all conveyancing procedures, including preparing the transfer, calculating the settlement amounts for rates, water, taxes as well as arranging settlement.
  • Liaise with your agent, your lender and the vendor’s solicitors.
  • Arrange the payment of stamp duty and stamping of the transfer.
  • Finally, settle your property purchase, whether it is your dream home, an investment property or a future development site.
  • We also provide additional and specific property services, such as, preparing leases as well as a wide range of property agreements and instruments including options, caveats, easements, covenants, and all manner of property title applications to the land titles office.

Am I eligible for a grant?

If this is your first home purchase and you are an eligible first home buyer, we can help you apply for the First Home Owners Grant (FHOG) as well as any stamp duty exemptions or concessions.

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