BUYING A PROPERTY
At GKN Law Firm, we understand that buying a property can often be overwhelming, and one of the biggest financial decisions you will make.
Our dedicated team of property solicitors and conveyancers will apply their extensive skills and expertise to ensure that the transaction runs smoothly, and is as simple and hassle-free as possible.
Before You Start
If you are borrowing money for your purchase, 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 the actual mortgage contract itself. Remember you are entitled to legal advice and are under no obligation to sign anything on the spot.
If you require assistance in obtaining finance, we have a wide network of contacts in the finance industry who will be happy to assist you.
Once you have found a property you like, you will need to arrange pre-purchase building and pest inspection reports. These are written reports about the condition of the property, which will help you to identify any potentially costly problems. You may be able to use this information to negotiate a reduction in the purchase price. If the property is strata title, you may also wish to consider arranging a strata inspection report.
If you’re not sure who to trust to do this inspection, talk to us – we have a trusted network of inspectors we can engage to carry out the inspection on your behalf.
If you want to secure the property, 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 until such time as the contract is signed.
Signing the Contract
If your offer is accepted and you are asked to sign a contract, you need to be absolutely clear on your rights and responsibilities before signing. There may be several things that can be negotiated in your favour, so it is important that you get in touch with one of our experienced property solicitors or conveyancers who will explain the terms and conditions of the contract to you.
The Cooling-off Period
Statutory cooling-off provisions allow a purchaser of property to rescind a contract at any time before 5pm on the fifth business day after the contracts were exchanged. If the contract is rescinded, the purchaser forfeits 0.25% of the purchase price to the vendor.
The purpose of the cooling-off period is generally to enable the purchaser:
- To seek advice in relation to the contract;
- To negotiate the terms of the contract;
- To obtain finance approval; and
- To obtain any pre-purchase inspection reports and certificates.
Some vendors may request the purchasers to exchange contracts with a section 66W certificate. A section 66W certificate waives or shortens the cooling-off period and will generally expedite the exchange process.
Prior to expiry of the cooling-off period (or in cases where the contracts were exchanged with a section 66W certificate, at the time of exchange), the 10% deposit is paid and held in the selling agent’s trust account until settlement is completed.
In circumstances where the purchasers do not have the full 10% deposit, we will negotiate with the vendor’s solicitor or conveyancer to reduce the deposit payable, or to allow for the deposit to be paid by a Deposit Bond in lieu of a cash deposit.
After the contract has become binding, there are a number of tasks that we undertake on your behalf.
We can help with:
- Arranging payment of stamp duty
- Liaising with the lender in regard to the mortgage
- Ordering property certificates to determine if there are any outstanding debts to the local Council or water authority
- Calculating adjustments for council, water and strata rates
- Arranging settlement
- Making final checks on the title
At settlement, the parties’ representatives meet and exchange cheques and documents for the title. Settlement marks the final stage of the conveyancing process.
Talk to Us
If you are going through the process of purchasing a property, a good property solicitor or conveyancer can simplify the often complicated process of conveyancing for you.
Contact us to discuss the specific property you are considering buying with one of our experienced property solicitors or conveyancers.