Buying residential property

The technical term for the transaction of buying and selling property is known as a conveyance.  Conveyancing can be a daunting experience, especially if it is your first home.  We aim to make the process as smooth as possible and ensure you are in your new home with minimum fuss.

 

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FAQ

What should I do before I sign a contract?

What should I do before I sign a contract?

Once you are ready to put in an offer on a property, you may choose to provide our office with a copy of the contract for our staff to review.  We provide this service as part of our standard conveyancing fixed fee. Your real estate agent will provide you a copy of the contract upon request.  We will review the contract to ensure it is in the correct and most recent template and ensure all special conditions are drafted correctly to guarantee your needs are met. 

We will also look for any additional issues that could cause problems to arise throughout the transaction such as the misspelling of names or errors in other critical details.

It is ok if I have already signed the contract?

It is ok if I have already signed the contract?

It is preferable to contact us prior to signing the contract to ensure that your requirements are met and all details in the contract are accurate.  In Queensland it is common for real estate agents to use the REIQ Contract for Houses and Residential Land contract template.  This template is produced by the Real Estate Institute of Queensland and drafted in conjunction with the Queensland Law Society.  The template is regularly updated and is drafted to provide an equal balance of rights and obligations between the buyer and the seller. 

If you have signed a contract and you wish to terminate same, you may be able to terminate if you are still within the statutory cooling off period, which commences the day the contract is dated and remains open for five business days.  Dependant upon your contract and the conditions contained in same, you may have rights to terminate on conditions such as Finance and Building and Pest. 

If you have any concerns about a contract you have entered into, please contact our friendly staff immediately for specific advice.

What is the finance clause? Should the purchase be subject to finance?

What is the finance clause? Should the purchase be subject to finance?

If you are applying for a mortgage from a financier, you should ensure the finance clause in the contract is completed correctly. We recommend a specific financier is not named and the financier is "buyer choice".  This is to ensure your options remain open to you, and that you are not limited by the contract to one financial institution.

A reasonable time to obtain finance should be added to the contract.  Note that currently there are extended timeframes for finance approval.  This is the case even if you have been granted "pre-approval".  Please talk to your lender before filling in these details or call us for assistance in determining an appropriate time for this condition.

Did you know, not all imperfect building and pest inspection reports mean you may terminate the contract?

Did you know, not all imperfect building and pest inspection reports mean you may terminate the contract?

If you receive a less than satisfactory building and pest report, save for major damage or structural issues, it can be difficult to terminate a contract.  You can’t terminate a contract on the basis of a leaking tap or broken light fitting, so what can you do for minor issues?  As a buyer, you can seek that a seller rectifies minor issues prior to settlement, or seek a reduction in the purchase price, relevant to the quoted amount for repairs. This is at the seller’s discretion and the arrangement must be agreed to by all parties.

You should pay attention to such items during your initial inspections and ensure any such issues are resolved before signing a contract.

Contact our office for more information.

Does buying a property at auction comes with a different set of conditions?

Does buying a property at auction comes with a different set of conditions?

Be aware that purchasing a property under the hammer means you may not have the luxury of certain conditions to the contract. In fact, purchasing at auction means the contract will be unconditional. This means, you will not have a statutory cooling off period of 5 business days, the contract will not be subject to a building and pest inspection or finance.

Contact our office for more information and to discuss our fixed fee conveyancing prices.

 

 

When do I need to insure my new home?

When do I need to insure my new home?

Did you know, as a buyer when purchasing a new home you are liable for insurance over the property before settlement?

The property becomes at the buyer’s risk from 5pm the following business day after signing the contract. It is strongly advised you arrange insurance over the property, even though settlement is yet to be effected.

In certain circumstances, where damage occurs to a property i.e. fire or vandalism, the contract will be enforced, and you will be required to set...tle on the damaged property. Call insurers to obtain further information on policies that suit your situation.

What searches do I need to undertake?

What searches do I need to undertake?

As part of our fixed fee conveyancing, the standard searches we will genearlly conduct include a Title search, Registered Plan, Land Tax, Local Rates and Water search.

During the initial conveyancing process, we will provide you with a searches list, outlining searches you can instruct us to undertake on the property. Any additional searches outside the scope of our standard conveyance will incur additional costs.

What is the cooling off period and how does this affect me?

What is the cooling off period and how does this affect me?

When the Buyer signs the standard Contract of Sale for a residential property they receive a statutory five business day cooling-off period in which they can terminate the contract without providing a reason to the Seller for doing so. If the Buyer elects to terminate during this period the Seller is entitled to keep 0.25% of the purchase price from the Buyer’s deposit. This will not apply in some instances such if the property was purchased at auction. If you have any concerns about the Property or the Contract you have entered into, please contact our office immediately for advice.

What happens if I do not pay my deposit on the due date?

What happens if I do not pay my deposit on the due date?

In the standard REIQ, Deposits are commonly due when the Buyer signs the Contract, on a fixed date, a Special Condition or when the Contract becomes unconditional.

If a Buyer does not pay the Deposit to the nominated deposit holder by the due date, they will be in default under the Contract. If a Buyer is in default under a Contract, the Seller may have a right to terminate the Contract.

If you have signed a Contract and have not yet paid the Deposit or will be unable to pay by the due date, please immediately contact our office. We may be able to arrange an extension of time but is at the discretion of the Seller.

When and where do I collect the keys?

When and where do I collect the keys?

Once settlement has been effected, we will notify the Real Estate Agent in writing and request the release of keys. Keys will be collected from the Real Estate Agent unless an alternative arrangement has been agreed between the parties.

What is transfer duty and when is this payable?

What is transfer duty and when is this payable?

Also known as ‘stamp duty’. This is a state tax levied upon the transfer of property and is payable by the buyer. The transfer duty amount varies from state to state and depends on the value of the property. There are concessions available in certain circumstances that may be available to the buyer, such as a home, or first home concession.

Transfer Duty must be paid within 30 days of the Contract or 30 days of the unconditional Contract date, whichever date is earliest. It can be calculated either as the unencumbered value of a property or the amount that has been agreed under the Contract, whichever is greater.

For more information on transfer duty or to determine if you are eligible for a concession, please contact our office.

What is ‘time is of the essence’?

What is ‘time is of the essence’?

‘Time is of the essence’ is a term that genearlly governs all of the conditions under a standard Contract of Sale in Queensland. Essentially it means that each deadline must be fulfilled by the specified time on the due date. During the conveyancing process in Queensland there are many dates and times that must be adhered to and a failure to comply with these can place you in breach of the Contract and may allow the other party to terminate the Contract or sue for specific performance.

Can we request an extension of time if we are unable to satisfy a condition?

Can we request an extension of time if we are unable to satisfy a condition?

Generally, if you are unable to provide the Seller with confirmation that a condition has been satisfied before 5pm (or the required time) on the due date, then you can instruct us to request an extension of time from the Seller. However, the granting of an extension is at the discretion of the Seller. Depending on the situation, the Seller may grant the extension without penalty or grant the extension subject to specific conditions.

If the Seller is not agreeable to the extension request, and you are unable to satisfy the condition, you will be in breach of Contract and may allow the Seller to terminate or sue for damages or specific performance.

If you are unable to satisfy a condition by the due date, please contact our office immediately.

Should we conduct a final inspection on the property before settlement?

Should we conduct a final inspection on the property before settlement?

Under the usual conditions used in Queensland, you are entitled to and we strongly recommend you arrange a final inspection of the property before settlement occurs (or you take occupation of the property if you are taking early possession thereof). You should arrange with the Real Estate Agent to inspect the premises on the morning of or day before settlement to check that there has been no damage done to the property since the date of exchange of Contracts (fair wear and tear excepted) and that the Seller has removed all their furniture and belongings from the property. Once settlement takes place, it is too late to find out that some of the inclusions are missing or that something has been damaged.

Purchasing a property with a pool? What does the Seller need to provide?

Purchasing a property with a pool? What does the Seller need to provide?

 Depending on the terms of the contract, if a seller has a valid Pool Safety Certificate, a copy must be provided to the buyer prior to settlement.

If there is no Pool Safety Certificate in effect before entering the Contract of Sale, the seller must usually provide the buyer with a Form 36 – No Pool Safety Certificate. Form 36 advises that the pool may not comply and the steps the buyer must take to ensure the pool complies with regulation. A copy must also be provided to the Queensland Building and Construction Commission (QBCC). It is the seller’s responsibility to obtain a Pool Safety Certificate prior to settlement.

Should the seller fail to obtain the Pool Safety Certificate by settlement, the buyer may terminate this Contract and all moneys paid shall be refunded and the Contract will be at an end. The buyer may waive the benefit of this clause.

If the buyer settles the contract without receiving a Pool Safety Certificate from the seller, then the buyer will become responsible at its cost to obtain a Pool Safety Certificate. Buyers will be given 90 days from the settlement date to obtain a Pool Safety Certificate. Once this 90-day period expires, the buyer will face penalties should they fail to obtain the Pool Safety Certificate for the pool. (Your contract may contain different terms, please contact us for specific advice.)

CTS: What searches do I need to undertake?

CTS: What searches do I need to undertake?

As part of our fixed fee conveyancing, the standard searches we will conduct include a Title search, Registered Plan, Land Tax, Local Rates and Water search and a Body Corporate Management Certificate.

During the initial conveyancing process, we will provide you with a searches list, outlining searches you can instruct us to undertake on the property. Any additional searches outside the scope of our standard conveyance will incur additional costs.

CTS: What is common property?

CTS: What is common property?

This refers to the areas in the building that are owned by the strata scheme. When you buy a strata property you generally own everything inside your unit but not the actual building structure. Common property can include external walls, driveways, gardens, stairwells, roofs, pools, lifts etc. All of the individual owners in a strata property share the responsibility for looking after common property and must abide by the strata rules. The areas that are deemed ‘common property’ vary from one strata scheme to the next, so you will need to familiarise yourself with these when you buy your unit. For example, some may include balcony railings or garage doors.

CTS: What is a body corporate?

CTS: What is a body corporate?

A body corporate is a special type of company set up to manage the common property in a complex for a set of units. There is a community management statement which outlines how the body corporate is to be managed. Each unit owner pays fees to the body corporate for the ongoing maintenance of the complex.

From the body corporate fees paid by the unit holders, the body corporate must maintain, manage and control the common property, while also establishing rules and maintaining building and public liability insurance for the common property. The common property will usually include driveways and often the building containing the units.

The unit holders are also required to pay yearly fees into a sinking fund. The body corporate management committee to fund large cost maintenance and capital works when needed retains these fees.

CTS: What are By-Laws?

CTS: What are By-Laws?

Each complex has a registered set of By-Laws being the rules and regulations for the complex. These are more specific to each complex and set out the do's and don'ts over and above the Body Corporate Community Management Act. Owners and residents are required to abide by these By-Laws.

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