Property Law

Buyer's Guide

Your Step-by-Step Guide to Buying Property

Seller's Guide

Your Step-by-Step Guide to Selling Property

Buying & Selling Property

Buying or selling property is often the biggest single transaction that most people will ever make. And when it’s your money, lifestyle and comfort that are at stake, you need to know the transaction is in the hands of specialist property lawyers and support staff who are responsive to your requirements. The property law team at Clinch Long Woodbridge are dedicated to ensuring that when you buy or sell property, the transaction proceeds as smoothly and efficiently as possible.

We are the property lawyers of choice to a number of developers for ‘off the plan’ transactions. Our property law services include:

  • A complete property conveyancing service in relation to the Purchase & Sale of all residential, commercial and industrial property including Torrens, Strata and Company Title properties
  • Buying & Selling of vacant land and development blocks
  • Assistance with financing, including reverse mortgages
  • Buying & Selling of retirement village accommodation
  • Advice and support in relation to joint venture agreements and more

Contact one of our Property Law Team today for fast and knowledgeable service in relation to all aspects of buying and selling property.

Frequently Asked Questions

What costs are involved in buying a property, other than the purchase price?

There are several costs involved in buying any real estate. It is vital that you know what they are before you commence the transaction in order to budget for them. Please make yourself aware of the costs involved.

  • Stamp duty on the contract;
  • Title search fees;
  • Governmental enquiries;
  • Agency fees for settlement;
  • Fee for attending to loan and mortgage documents, when necessary;
  • Solicitor/conveyancer’s fees;
  • Registration fees paid to the Land Title Office;
  • Fees and charges of obtaining a loan;
  • Mortgage insurance, where applicable;
  • Adjustment of rates and taxes for the period you own the property;
  • Insurance; and
  • Removalists and other costs.
When should finance be arranged?

This must be organised before you commit yourself to the purchase contract. The contract is not normally conditional on finance approval and once you are committed to buy you must complete the contract regardless of whether you have finance to do so or not. If you are unable to complete the purchase you stand to lose the deposit stated in the Contract and also to be sued for any loss that the seller may incur.

When and how do I pay the balance of the purchase price?

We send settlement figures to the Vendor’s solicitor/conveyancer about a week prior to settlement adjusting all rates/levies and any other fees. Then the Vendor’s solicitor/ conveyancer advises us how to draw the cheques for settlement. These cheques can be a number of cheques i.e. paying out their Mortgagee, paying any outstanding rates/levies, other interested parties.

There are generally about four cheques. We will email you all the figures and request a bank cheque for the balance plus our fees and stamp duty if it is payable on settlement. Usually this is finalised a few days prior to settlement as the Vendor is usually awaiting a payout figure from their discharging mortgagee.

What does the Contract for Sale of Land contain?

The Contract contains:

  • A description of all inclusions that are to be sold with the property;
  • A title search confirming ownership of the property;
  • Any dealings affecting the land, ie. restrictions, easements, covenants;
  • A Deposited Plan or Strata Plan, as applicable;
  • If the property is in a strata – a copy of the relevant Strata By-Laws;
  • A Section 149 Zoning Certificate provided by the local council;
  • A sewer diagram, showing if, and or where the sewer main crosses the property;
  • A service location print showing the location of the main sewer line;
  • If the property has a swimming pool – a Certificate of Registration and a Certificate of Compliance or Non-Compliance;
  • Any other document that affects the property
What is a Certificate of Title?

It is a certificate issued by the LPI which records details in relation to specific land including ownership, boundaries, limitations of title and mortgage. If there is a registered mortgage on the Title, the original of the Certificate of Title is held by the Mortgagee and will be issued to the registered proprietor once the mortgage has been discharged.

If there is to be no mortgage we will attend to the registration of the transfer and all other relevant documents and once registered, the original Certificate of Title will be returned to us. We can arrange to keep the Certificate of Title in safe custody on your behalf or make arrangements for it to be returned to you.

What is Title?

The title is the right to occupy and use specified land but subject to any limitations of Title set out on the Certificate of Title.

What happens if either party cannot settle on the due date?

If before settlement, the Purchaser is aware of a delay in settlement, they may request an extension of time. Whilst extensions of time are not uncommon, they are not granted “as of right” and we will discuss with you if you consider the extension is reasonable.

If an extension is not granted, the Purchaser may be liable for interest on the unpaid purchase price or at least the cost of their own and your additional legal fees incurred as a result of the extension.

Generally, most contracts have a special condition noting that if a party does not comply with the settlement date, the party that is ready, willing and able to settle is entitled to serve on the defaulting party, what is known as a Notice to Complete. A Notice to Complete requires the defaulting party to settle within 14 days of the notice, making time of the essence of the Contract, otherwise the ready, willing and able party is entitled to terminate the contract and sue the defaulting party for breach of contract.

What happens if a party breaches the contract before settlement?

If a party finds themselves in breach of the contract, they will face a number of consequences (including but not by way of limitation) forfeiture of the deposit and being sued for damages or specific performance.

I'd like more information

To learn more about the process of buying or selling a property, download our useful step-by-step guides:

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