Buying a home is one of the most stressful and expensive things you will ever do. It’s vital that you seek legal advice from someone experienced in property law 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 us. We are aware of which inspectors are worth hiring.
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. If you want to prevent other buyers gazumping your offer you can sign a contract with cooling-off rights. If you cool off you will lose 0.25% of the contract price. On one million dollars this is $2,500.00. This can add up if the building reports don’t come up to scratch or the contract turns out to have unacceptable terms such as the release of deposit clauses. We can assist by providing you with a ‘red flag’ assessment of the contract which normally costs between 300-400 dollars. This will reduce the likelihood of you needing to cool off and losing your 0.25%. If you then exercise under the cooling-off provisions this work will go towards a more comprehensive review of the contract during the cooling-off period.
Signing the Contract Without using Cooling off Rights
If your offer is accepted and you don’t want to risk 0.25% of the price then take the contract you’ve been given to us and discuss your situation with us. 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 and paying a 10% deposit.
When you do sign the contract you will need to pay the 10% deposit, unless we have 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 we can advise in regard to getting a deposit guarantee in lieu of the cash.
After the contract has become binding, there are 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
- Arranging settlement
Contact us to discuss the specific property you are considering buying.