Buying a home is one of the most stressful and expensive things you will ever do. It’s vital that you seek advice from someone experienced and who knows the area.
Before You Start
The first round of decisions you will likely need to make is in regard to finance. Make sure you read everything thoroughly, from the pre-contractual statement which outlines the fees and charges to which you’ll be subject to the actual mortgage contract itself. Remember you are entitled to legal advice and are under no obligation to sign anything on the spot.
Once you have found a property you like, you will need to arrange a pre-purchase building inspection report and perhaps a pest inspection report. These are written reports about the condition of the property and helps you find out any potentially costly problems. You may be able to use this information to negotiate a reduction in the purchase price. If you’re not sure who to trust to do this inspection, talk to your Conveyancer. They will be able to assist you.
Making an Offer
If you’re happy to proceed, you can make an offer. You might be asked to pay a small sum as an initial deposit, but this is fully refundable if you don’t end up signing the contract. It does not mean that the property is yours yet either, as the agent can take other offers.
Signing the Contract
If your offer is accepted then take the contract you’ve been given to your Conveyancer and discuss your situation with them. There may be several things that can be negotiated in your favour, and you need to be absolutely clear on your rights and responsibilities before signing.
When you do sign the contract you will need to pay the 10% deposit, unless your Conveyancer has negotiated a special condition otherwise. This is held with the real estate agent and is released to the seller after the property is settled. If you don’t have 10% available your conveyancer can advise in regard to getting a deposit guarantee in lieu of the cash.
The property usually remains at the risk of the Vendor until settlement, however there have been circumstances where damage has occured to the property prior to settlement and the Vendors insurance was inadequate.
We therefore strongly advise you to take out insurance at the time of signing the Contract, as at this period of time you hold an equitable interest in the property.
Your lending institution will also require you to have building insurance in place prior to booking in your settlement.
When you are negotiating your purchase price, please rember to take into account your Government fee for your stamp duty and registration fees to lodge your documents at the Land Titles Office.
You maybe eliagable for Stamp Duty reduction and/or exemption, please contact our office to discuss this further.
As a purchaser you have a right to a final inspection on the property and this will take place in the week leading up to settlement and will be arranged through your selling agent.
Your final inspection is to ascertain that the property is in the same state of repair as at the time of signing your Contract of Sale (save and except for fair ware and tare).
Settlement usually cannot be delayed if things are not to your satisfaction, so please contact our office to discuss your options.
After the contract has become binding, your conveyancer has a number of tasks to perform including:
- Arranging payment of stamp duty
- Liaising with the lender in regard to the mortgage
- Checking with various government authorities to see if they have a vested interest in the property
- Checking to see if there are any outstanding debts to local council
- Calculating adjustments for council, water and strata rates
- Making final checks on the title
On settlement day your Conveyancer will attend a meeting that will include the seller’s lawyer/conveyancer as well as any lenders involved and the funds will be handed over in exchange for the title and the keys.
Once settlement has taken place (and unless specified in your Contract) you will collect the keys from your selling agent.
Telephone, Gas & Electricity
It will be your responsibility to arrange connection of the Telephone, Gas and Electricity to your property and we will notify both Council and the Water Authority of the change of ownership.
Statement of Adjustments
Prior to settlement we will prepare the Statement of Adjustments which will adjust Council and Water rates and any other adjustable items pursuant to the Contract.
Usually at settlement all outgoings on the property are adjusted as being paid and you will allow an adjustment in favour of the Vendor from the settlement date to the ending of the current rating period.
Any arrears of outgoings will also be reflected in the adjustments and paid by the Vendor at settlement.
Contact us to discuss the specific property you are considering buying.