Now that I have found the property, how do I make sure that I don’t lose it?
Once you have found a property and agreed on a price, the real estate agent might ask you to pay a holding deposit. This is an indication of your good faith and will not normally bind you or the seller to the deal. Until the contract becomes binding the holding deposit will be fully refundable. Usually, if a holding deposit is paid, the seller and the real estate agent will agree to take the property off the market. This will time to exchange contracts. Neither party is bound unless and until contracts are signed and exchanged.
Check It Out!
The law requires that you receive a certain amount of information about the property you are interested in. However, the general rule is “let the buyer beware”. It is your job to make sure that the property physically is what you expect it to be. Most buyers do not have the qualification or experience to properly assess the structural condition of the property or whether it complies with relevant standards. For this reason, we advise that you have professionals inspect the property on your behalf. There are a number of services available and these include:
Pest And Building Inspection
A report is provided to advise you of the structural soundness of the property and shows any maintenance that may be needed.
Shows exactly where the boundaries are in relation to any buildings or other improvements on the land.
This is a certificate issued by the local council to show that it is satisfied with the improvements on the property.
Inspection Of Records
Where you are buying a strata title property we would recommend inspection of the records of the owner’s corporation.
Some of these reports can be carried out before exchange of contracts but some can be completed after contracts are exchanged. We will give you further information about these services when we discuss the contract with you.
In addition, there are a number of checks that you should perform yourself. You should satisfy yourself that you have all the relevant information about any proposed developments or changes in the area surrounding your property. For example, a nearby road may be about to be widened or closed down, or a major shopping centre or other development might be planned for the area. The local council should be able to help you with these enquiries.
If you have any special plans for the property it is vital that you discuss these with us, the local council and any other relevant authorities before making a commitment. It is also vital that you ensure that all of the services you need are available to the property.
What happens at settlement?
It all happens!
When you are notified of the settlement date you should attend to the following to make sure that everything runs smoothly:
- Arrange in advance for the connection of telephone, gas and electricity services in your name from the settlement date. The authorities will arrange for the meters to be read and the vendor will pay their bills up to the settlement date. You will then be responsible for those services from that day onward.
- You should arrange with the real estate agent to make a final inspection of the property on the morning of settlement preferably, but if not convenient, on the day before. This is to make sure that the seller has moved out, that they have left the property complete and undamaged and that they have not taken any items that should be included in the sale.
On the day of settlement we meet with the seller’s solicitor or conveyancer and your bank or financier to arrange for payment of the price and the transfer of the title. As soon as this takes place we will notify the real estate agent so that they can release the keys to you so that you or a future tenant can move in. Settlement is now effected electronically, through a electronic lodgement network operator, such as the PEXA.
After settlement the council, the water supply authority and the valuer general’s department are informed that the property has been transferred into your name. We will arrange at settlement for council, water rates and any strata or community title levies to be adjusted between you and the seller and ensure that all arrears are paid.
Registration of the Transfer, mortgage or any other registrable dealing is facilitated through electronic lodgement network operator. The same method is used if you do not borrow money to assist you in the purchase of the property. A certificate of title no longer issues as all titles are located on an electronic register at Land and Property Information.
Should you wish to discuss any aspect of buying real estate, please contact our office to arrange a consultation.