Purchasing a property

Purchasing a property is often an exciting event, whether it be for your own home or an investment property. Sometimes it can be hard work and there are pitfalls you need to look out for.

This area of our site explains the process of purchasing property by providing you with easy to read information and useful resources to assist you during your purchase.

When you find the right property

Negotiating the purchase
When you have found the right home and negotiated the price the Real Estate Agent may ask you to sign a contract and exchange contracts there and then. Exchanging contracts with your agent gives you the protection of a cooling off period of 5 working days in which you arrange your finance and we can make our pre-purchase inspections and property searches.

Choosing a lawyer to handle your conveyancing

Experience has shown us that when selling or buying a property that you are best served by having a Property Lawyer who spends the majority of their time on conveyancing to act for you. We are qualified Solicitors who specialise in Central Coast Property Conveyancing and, for your protection, meet all the stringent requirements of the Law Society of New South Wales and its Conveyancing Code of Practice. Our job is to help you by making sure the property you buy is trouble free and by making your purchase as stress free as possible. As Property Lawyers we are able to negotiate strongly on your behalf and to ensure you achieve a trouble free and stress free purchase or sale.

Pre-Purchase Inspections
By contacting us as soon as you have chosen your new home we can begin making our searches and checks of the property. The object is for you to be able to secure your property quickly so another buyer doesn’t buy it from under you or the sellers change their mind.

If you are buying at Auction
If you are buying an auction property it is important that you have made all of your pre-purchase inspections such as pest and building inspections and arranged your finance before bidding. We recommend you Contact us well before the auction to advise you what you must do to be protected should you be successful in buying at the auction. You will want to receive legal advice on the purchase contract and negotiate changes prior to the auction.

Exchanging Contracts on the Purchase

It doesn’t matter whether you exchange the contract with the agent with a 5 days cooling off or you simply leave the exchange to the Solicitors. We will obtain all necessary searches and will obtain a Pre-Purchase Building Inspection and Pest Report.

If you are buying a strata unit we can arrange an inspection of the Strata Records. During this time you will be required to arrange your finance. If you wish we can assist you here too.

As soon as the necessary pre-purchase inspections and searches are completed and the contract has been thoroughly checked and you have official go-ahead on your finance we are in a position to secure the property for you.

Your purchase is made secure by exchanging contracts unconditionally with the seller and paying a 10% deposit or securing a deposit bond.

From then countdown to moving in begins.

Questions Buyers Ask

Q – I want to buy a property. What should I do first?
A – The first thing to do is to find out how much you can spend. Talk to a mortgage broker or bank to see how much you can borrow. They will be able to help you set your budget. and give you a guide to how much you can borrow and spend.

Q – Now that I know how much I can spend, what next?
A – It’s time to visit some real estate agencies to look at properties. Once you have decided on a property and negotiated the price you may be asked to sign a contract.

Exchanging a contract with a ‘five day cooling off’ period secures the property for you and gives you a five working days to get pest and building inspections carried out and for your finance to be formally approved. A deposit of 0.25% of the purchase price is paid at the time you sign the contract. This is called ‘exchange of contracts’.

At the end of the cooling off period once everything is okay to proceed you will pay the balance of the deposit or secure a deposit bond.

Q – Do I really need a Solicitor or Licensed Conveyancer to help me?
A – Simply, yes. You need a professional who will explain your rights and protect you from the pitfalls of buying a property. Solicitors have for over 150 years in NSW done all conveyancing of property. That means they are very experienced in protecting their clients’ interests when buying or selling property.

Solicitors have the full backing of the NSW Law Society and carry professional indemnity insurance of at least $1.3 million against negligent advice. Solicitors are able to look at their client’s affairs as a whole when giving advice considering all issues like family law protection, GST, capital gains tax, land tax and estate planning issues.

Since the 1990’s we have seen the emergence of conveyancing companies. These businesses are able to do conveyancing but are not solicitors. They may not have the same experience as a solicitor and are not conversant in other areas of the law and as such can not give you full and complete advice about how your purchase or sale will effect your other affairs such as tax liability and family law issues.

Q – Is there always a ‘Cooling Off’ period?
A – If you sign a contract in the real estate agent’s office you will have a five-day ‘cooling off’ period however, if you elect to wait to sign the contract with your solicitor once your loan is approved and your pest and building inspections have been performed (which may take 5-10 days) then your solicitor will usually waive your right to having a ‘cooling off’ period.

Please remember that without an exchange of contracts the property can be sold to another purchaser. The only way to secure the property you want to purchase is to exchange contracts.

Q – Will I be able to move from one house straight into another?
A – Yes. In most cases you can move out of your old house into your new home, provided all the parties involved with the transaction agree and your bank is ready.

Q – I am buying an investment property. How much money do I need to have upfront?
A – It is really easy. You will pay for any pre-purchase inspections (such as pest and building) and government searches. Together with the solicitor’s profesisonal fees of doing the conveyance you need to allow between $1700 and $2500 depending on what needs to be done. Stamp duty is extra.

Depending on your equity in your other properties you may be able to borrow 100% of the property value. Check with your lender what their requirements are. You will be able to get a deposit bond and not have to worry about having the 10% cash deposit.

Q – How long will it take from the time I have chosen a home until I move in?

A – Allow six to eight weeks although if both purchaser and seller are in agreement the time can be lengthened or shortened.

Q – Do I need to always pay a ten percent deposit of the purchase price?

A – Normally, a ten percent deposit is required. This is unless the vendor agrees to a five percent deposit. Alternatively a deposit Bond can be arranged which is essentially an insurance bond that covers the vendor in case you do not proceed with the purchase. The fee for s deposit bond is currently 1.2% of the purchase price and can be ar
ranged arranged wither by your solicitor or bank.

If you may have difficulty with finding the full 10% deposit ask us what alternative arrangements can be made.

Q – How do I pay a deposit if I am borrowing all the money or if my money is tied up in my existing property?
A – There is an answer. It is to obtain a deposit guarantee bond. The fee for the deposit bond is around $250. No money is borrowed; it just provides a guarantee that a deposit will be paid if you default. Ask us to arrange this for you.

Q – Is a pest inspection always necessary?
A – On the Central Coast the answer is a categorical YES. The inspection will report on whether the property has active or past termite activity and whether there is wood rot and borer damage. We can arrange this inspection for you. We only use pest and building companies who have full professional indemnity insurance to protect you and who are prepared to talk to you about the inspection.

Q – Is a building inspection always needed?
A – Again, on the Central Coast whether you (or a relative or friend) has the ability to perform these inspections, it is highly recommended to do this report. Remember, “caveat emptor” – let the buyer beware.

It is up to you to check out the property. A building inspection can be organised by our office for you.

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