Buying A Property

Whether you are a first home buyer, a seasoned investor, or looking to purchase a commercial premises, we can help.

Buying a property is one of the largest financial commitments a person will make and the penalties for default on a contract can be significant. Engaging us early will enable us to fully explain the legal implications of entering a contract, review and negotiate conditions on your behalf, recommend searches and investigations so you understand exactly what you are buying and ensure you can undertake further due diligence for anomalies found, before you enter into a legally binding agreement.

What is conveyancing and why use a conveyancer?

Conveyancing is the legal process of transferring real estate from one party to another.

The role of a conveyancer is to manage the administrative and legal requirements for a property transaction and to ensure you rights are protected throughout the process until such time as settlement is effected.

Buying residential property in Victoria

Before looking for a property, you should ensure that you will have sufficient funds to complete your purchase, allowing for stamp duty, legal costs, loan establishment fees, and other associated expenses. You should also understand the terms of any loan contract.

Getting professional advice when you are buying property helps to ensure that you understand your rights and obligations under the contract for sale of land and the effect of any cooling-off periods.

When considering the purchase of a property, you should be provided a written contract. The contract contains details of the seller, the legal description of the property, the inclusions or exclusions, and amongst other things, sets out the rights and obligations of each party.

A section 32 statement must also be provided by a vendor when selling residential property in Victoria. The statement discloses additional information about the property that may not be obvious on inspection, for example, particulars of any mortgages, covenants or easements on title, the zoning, details of rates and any notices which may have been received by the vendor in relation to the property. It is important to understand the information contained in a section 32 statement, so you know exactly what you are buying.

You may be able to negotiate certain terms in the contract with the seller or seller’s agent and a lawyer or conveyancer can help with this. If you do agree to changes, these need to be reflected in the contract.

In most cases pre-purchase building and pest inspection reports from a qualified expert should be ordered and your conveyancer can assist with this process. These reports comment on the condition of any structures on the property, flag significant defects, identify issues and may be used to negotiate a reduction in purchase price.

We will help you make informed decisions regarding your investment and assist you throughout the entire conveyancing process.

Getting ready for settlement

After contracts are exchanged, we carry out further tasks to ensure that completion of the purchase proceeds as smoothly as possible. Some of these tasks include:

  • arranging for payment of stamp duty or assisting with an application for first home owner’s grant or transfer duty concession;
  • providing information to your lender so the mortgage can be prepared and liaising with the lender to ensure funds are available on settlement;
  • liaising with the agent and the seller’s lawyer or conveyancer;
  • obtaining rate and planning certificates
  • calculating and preparing settlement figures to submit to the seller’s lawyer or conveyancer;
  • preparing documents required to transfer title and ownership of the property;
  • preparing for online settlement through PEXA.

Completing your purchase using e-conveyancing

Before settlement, you should arrange for a final inspection of the property through the agent to ensure that it is neat and tidy and is in the same condition as it was as at the day of sale.

Traditionally, property settlements involved the physical meeting of lawyers and bankers to check and swap documents and bank cheques, and the lodgement of various documents with government authorities to transfer the title and change ownership details of the property.

E-conveyancing has transformed this process through an electronic platform which enables lawyers, conveyancers and financial institutions to transact online. Online settlements remove the location and time barriers of physical settlements, visually track the progress of each stage of the transaction and facilitate online lodgement of documents with land registries and authorities and faster access to sales funds.

The online property exchange known as Property Exchange Australia (PEXA), operates nationally to provide a standardised platform for the completion of online property transactions.

Whether you are buying or selling, a property transaction can be financially and legally risky if due diligence is not carried out and the matter is not professionally managed. We are conveyancing professionals and are passionate about all things property. Our clients benefit from our years of conveyancing and property law expertise and receive dedicated, personalised service throughout every step of their property journey.

If you need assistance, feel free to email us at [email protected] or call 03 9726 9569 for a no-obligation discussion and for expert conveyancing advice.