Buying Your Home

Your purchase of property can be broken down into the following stages:

  • Before Exchange of Contracts

    In choosing to buy your property, you can purchase the property in a number of ways;

    • Private treaty – this is the most usual way in which to buy a property.
    • Purchasing at auction – there can be many pros and cons for purchasing at auction and we will discuss with you the various tactics involved when considering to buy at auction.
    • Purchasing "Off the Plan" – at RMB Lawyers we act for many developers and understand the pressure points that exist for the purchaser as opposed to the developer.

    Prior to exchanging a contract for the purchase of your property, you will need to consider three main elements in your purchase:

    (1) The Contract

    We will check with you many items in the contract including that the front page of contract clearly captures the essence of the deal struck between you and the seller, the legal terms and the significance of those on your purchase, and the searches that are contained in the contract will be discussed and reviewed with you in detail.

    We will discuss the following documents with you:

    • The title search and plan for the land, along with copies of any documents restricting use of the land, easements, rights of way or covenants. If the property is a strata property we will also discuss the strata plan, common property and by-laws relating to the complex.
    • The zoning certificate from Council.
    • Sewerage diagram.

    We will ensure that the contract is tailored to your particular circumstance and structured in a way that is beneficial to you and your purchase.

    (2) Investigation of the Physicality and Legality of Structures

    A key provision of your contract says that you must make yourself aware of what you are buying and that you buy the property "as is". We will discuss with you the various reports that you may need, and these can include:

    1. Pest and building reports;
    2. Strata inspection reports;
    3. Survey report;
    4. A building certificate from Council;
    5. Home Owners Warranty insurance;
    6. Occupation Certificates relating to either a new dwelling or any extensions done to the property;
    7. Pool Compliance Certificate.

    (3) Finance

    Prior to exchange of contracts you will need to ensure that you have formal loan approval to purchase the property.

    We will also explain to you your obligations under your loan contract and mortgage.

  • Exchange of Contracts

    Once we have reviewed the contract with you, received satisfactory reports and you have received formal loan approval, we will arrange exchange of contracts with the seller's Solicitor. At this point, you will need to pay the deposit (usually 10% of the total price). This can be done via electronic transfer or cheque. Following exchange of contracts, the contract is binding, subject to the statutory cooling off period which is five (5) working days from exchange (in some cases you may elect to waive the cooling off period).

  • Finalising Your Purchase

    Between exchange and settlement we will undertake various governmental department enquiries on your behalf to ensure that you purchase the property free of any affectation. We will also raise with the seller's Solicitor requisitions on title which will ask the vendor pertinent questions in relation to the property. If the vendor has failed with their disclosure requirements and warranties, we will discuss with you your options to either rescind the contract or seek compensation from the vendor.

    We will calculate and arrange payment for your stamp duty obligations along with providing assistance to claim any stamp duty exemptions that may be applicable at the time of your purchase.

    We will remind you of your rights to a final inspection at the property prior to settlement. The property must be in the same condition (subject to 'fair wear and tear') as the property was as at the date of exchange. The vendor cannot remove any of the inclusions or agreed items as stipulated in the contract.

    In the week leading up to settlement we will discuss with you the finalisation of the settlement figures and liaising with your bank and the seller's Solicitor to meet on the day of settlement. We will then attend settlement on your behalf and call shortly after settlement has taken place to give you the good news.