Got Questions? We Have the Answers!

Rose Lawyers on 26 March 2015

If You're Not Sure Where to Start, Start With Us.

Buying property is exciting. The best way to make this process an enjoyable one is to be prepared.

There are many things to think about during the process of purchasing land. We have complied a list of commonly asked questions by property buyers. Whether this is your first home, or fourth, it’s always important to get familiar with the basics.

Of course, your own situation is unique. If you need to discuss your own situation in detail, why not give us a call for a free 15 minute phone consultation?

We can identify and explain any tax implications, restrictive covenants, easements, and building considerations. We can also help with obtaining finance, communicating with Estate Agents and dealing with mortgagees.

We leave no garden stone unturned. Call us today!

Purchase of Land FAQ

Not familiar with some of these words? Check out our glossary of common terms used during the Transfer of Land.

What are some things I should consider before purchasing a property?

  • Property price and access to finance. Will you sell your current home? Will you get a mortgage?
  • Does the property meet legal requirements? Is the pool fenced properly? Was there a permit for the extension or for the removal of trees?
  • Does the property comply with a Restrictive Covenant on the land?
  • Is there an Easement, such as sewage and water pipes, and where are they located?
  • Are the fence lines the same as the boundaries on the plan – you can get a surveyor to do this for you.
  • Is there a Caveat on the property?
  • Will this be an investment property or your Principal Place of Residence (PPR)?
  • Does everything work? – always check doors, lights, even the garage remote.
  • Are there visible renovations or extensions?
  • Is the garden in a reasonable condition? 
  • Is it an area prone to certain insects like termites? You might consider a pest inspection, so you don't get a nasty surprise when you move in.

looking at house plans

What are some things should be contained in a Vendor’s Statement (Section 32)?

The Vendor’s Statement must contain all information that will enable the purchaser to make an informed decision about whether they should purchase the property. Detailed information about Vendor’s Statements can be accessed here.

Do I pay rates before Settlement?

No. Things like rates, water charges (drains and sewage) and rental will all be adjusted at Settlement. The actual purchase price may vary slightly depending on what needs to be adjusted.

The Vendor pays these rates and charges up to and including the day of Settlement. You are responsible for payment after Settlement. Paying rates before will complicate matters.

What arrangements need to be made with my bank?

If you are obtaining a mortgage to finance the purchase, then you will need to obtain formal finance approval to cover the cost of the purchase. This is paperwork that we can assist you with. If you require a mortgage to finance the purchase, you should make sure it is a condition in the Contract that the sale is Subject to Finance.

If the purchase is Subject To Finance, then you must advise us if you have been formally approved (not conditionally) by the due date. If you do not tell us before the due date, then it is presumed that you have been successful and the contract becomes unconditional. This means that you will be held liable for the purchase monies.

If you do not need a mortgage to finance the purchase in whole or in part, then you do not need to make any arrangements with your bank.

What about the Vendor’s bank?

We ensure that the appropriate paperwork has been completed prior to Settlement for the Vendor's mortgage to be discharged.

Our service will obtain the mortgage repayment amount from your Vendor’s conveyancer or Lawyer so that the Vendor's bank receives the correct amount from you at Settlement. If this is not done, then the Vendor’s bank will not hand over the title to you or your bank and Settlement will not go ahead.

What information do I need to give to you?

The most important things are the Contract and the Section 32 Vendor's Statement.

You also need to let us know:

  • If you are obtaining finance
  • If this is your first home purchase
  • Whether it will be a rental property or your Principal Place of Residence
  • If you have any government concessions

purchasing property

What is your process for preparing documents for Settlement?

  • Ensuring that the conditions of the Contract have all been met.
  • Ensuring that all the cheques are in order.
  • Making arrangements for the Transfer of Land document and Goods Statement.
  • Preparing the Statement of Adjustments.
  • Ensuring Stamp Duty will be paid in time to avoid penalty interest.
  • Preparing and sending a Notice of Acquisition. This document notifies the proper authorities that you are the new owner of the property.

I signed the Contract yesterday, but I didn’t tell my partner. We discussed the property over the weekend and now we don’t want to buy. Am I stuck?

No. You have a “Cooling Off Period” of 3 business days after signing the contract. You can change your mind in this period if you decide you don’t want to go through with the purchase.

You must tell the vendor that you are cooling off within that period otherwise the contract becomes unconditional.

Where do I need to go for Settlement?

Settlement will usually occur at the Bank’s office. If there is no bank involved, the Vendor will usually nominate a place of Settlement, such as their office or at a Settlement Centre.

As part of our service, you do not need to attend Settlement. Our agent will attend the Settlement for you.

Where do I get the keys?

You can usually collect keys from the agent once you have been notified that the Settlement has taken place.

If there is no agent, then it depends on the alternative arrangements which have been made. You may need to collect them from our office, or the vendor’s conveyancer’s office.

handing over house keys

The garden is all overgrown and looks like it hasn’t been touched in years. Can I make the Vendor clean it before Settlement?

Generally, you purchase the property “as is”. If the backyard was a jungle when you signed the Contract, then it’s time to put on the gardening gloves!

In some cases, however, a Special Condition negotiated in the Contract may force the Vendor to do this for you.

The air conditioner doesn’t work. Make the Vendor fix it.

The vendor has an obligation to maintain the premises up to the day of Settlement.

Much like the garden, this means that if the air-conditioner wasn’t working at the time you signed the Contract, then it’s up to you to repair or replace the appliance.

The best way to avoid this is to check all appliances before signing to ensure everything is in working order. The golden rule: when inspecting the property, don’t be afraid to test everything!

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