Purchasing a property
When should I employ a Conveyancer?
As once you sign a Contract or Contract Note (or as some agents call them an offer) the conditions on these documents are binding on you, therefore it would be prudent to engage the services of a Covneyancer prior to signing these documents to ensure that the Contract reflects your needs. It is better to sort things out before signing the documentation rather than trying to negotiate new terms once the Contract is in place.
When should I apply for my finance?
Generally speaking it would be prudent to have made preliminary enquiries of a lender before entering into Contracts. This would then give you the comfort of knowing approximately how much you can borrow and what requirements your lender will require. If you need help with finance, then Homecall can assist you by recommending a number of efficient, competent and reliable finance borkers.
Should my Contract be subject to finance?
If you will need to borrow funds for the purchase then it is of paramount importance that your contract be subject to finance. You should ask the agent to specifically point this clause out to you before signing the Contract.
Will I pay the deposit by cash, cheque or deposit bond?
The normal form of deposit is either cash or cheque paid to the agent, normally a small holding deposit can be paid with the balance of the 10% when your finance is approved. In some instances you may not have the full 10% available to you and in this case you should negotiate with the agent at the initial point of making your offer for the property that you will pay your deposit by way of a Deposit Bond.
A Deposit Bond is an insurance policy that you purchase from your bank once your loan is approved and guarantees the vendor payment of the full purchase price at settlement.
How do I apply for the First Home Buyer Grant?
Normally your bank would provide you with an application form which you would complete and return to your bank and they would attend to lodging this with the State Revenue Office. However, there are some lenders who do not do this and should you choose one of these lenders please contact us and we can supply you with the application.
Am I entitled to an exemption from Stamp Duty?
There are exemptions and partial exemptions for stamp duty on purchasing a property if you are eligible.
General overview - for a full exemption the value of the house and land should not exceed $250,000.00 for a partial exemption the value of the house and land should be between $250,000 and $350,000.00 - no exemption or partial exemption applies over $350,000.00 - you can check out the full elegibility criteria at the State Revenue Office Website on www.sro.vic.gov.au.
When do I pay my stamp duty and registration fees?
Government stamp duty and registration fees are payable at the time of settlement of the property. Usually your bank will ensure that you have these funds in a nominated account for them to draw on at settlement, or alternatively they will retain these funds from your gross loan advance at settlement.
What are Disbursements and are they included in my quoted fee?
Disbursements are items such as Rate and Zoning Certificates, Form 3 Certificates, Licence Agreements, Searches, Lodging fees etc which your conveyancer will pay out for during the course of your property transaction. In some cases these are not included in the price of the conveyance but are extras. This is a point you should clarify with your conveyancer as to exactly what disbursements are included in the costs quoted to you.
What are Rate Adjustments?
At settlement Council and Water rates must be adjusted between the vendor and purchaser. Your conveyancer will take care of preparing these adjustments on a daily basis. The vendor pays up to the day of settlement and the purchaser pays from the day of settlement to the end of the current financial rating year. At settlement both parties contribution to these rates will be paid in full.
Should I have a final inspection before settlement?
Yes it is important to have a final inspection of the property within the week prior to settlement. Normally we would recommend this is done two/three days prior to settlement to allow negotiation with the other parties if there is a problem. When having your final inspection you are looking to ensure that the property is in the same state and condition as it was at the time of signing the Contract to purchase the property.
What else do I need to do before settlement?
About a week prior to settlement you should contact your choosen service providers -Gas, Electricity and Phone and arrange for the meters to be read and the services transferred into your name as of the day of settlement. You will also need to provide any extra funds required for settlement to your conveyancer on the business day preceding the settlement date. These funds will be required in the form of a "BANK CHEQUE". Your Conveyancer will advise you if any funds are required and if so to whom.
Due to banks only providing payout figures on vendors loans within 48 hours prior to settlement usually, it is therefore sometimes the case that you will only be asked for these funds within 48 hours of settlement.
What happens on the settlement day?
On the settlement day, your conveyancer, your bank, the vendors conveyancer, the vendors bank and any other parties included in the transaction will meet at a nominated place at an agreed time. Your attendance at settlement is not necessary. The parties will exchange all necessary documentation and cheques. Once this is completed, it usually takes around 20 minutes, then the selling agent will be called and advised that settlement has been effected and they will then be able to hand over keys to the purchaser.
It is suggested that if possible you should not make arrangements to move into the property at the time of settlement, just in case there is any delay in the settlement or if there is a problem with any of the paperwork or cheques which might need to be rectified and therefore delay of keys could happen.
Selling a property
The most important stage in selling your property is once you have listed it with an agent, you should engage a conveyancer and arrange for the Preparation of Vendors Section 32 Statements.
This is a document which sets out clearly to any prospective purchaser the details of the property i.e., Ownership, Planning, Council and Water outgoings on the property, services available or connected to the property such as gas, whether there have been any building permits issued for the property and other generally information.
This document is very important as if it is not comprehensive and does not cover all details, then the purchaser may have the right to avoid the Contract up to the time of settlement.
Once Vendors Section 32 Statements are completed and forwarded to the agent the agent can then take offers and deposits and have contracts signed for the sale of the property.
Your conveyancer will arrange for early release of deposit funds to you during the transaction if this is necessary. YOU SHOULD BE AWARE THAT RELEASE OF DEPOSIT TO THE VENDOR IS NOT A MANDATORY REQUIREMENT OF THE TRANSACTION. It is up to the discretion of the purchaser and their conveyancer upon information supplied by you and your conveyancer.
Your conveyancer will arrange for discharges of any mortgages and caveats which might affect the property and will arrange settlement and advise you of the details of same.
Your obligations on the settlement day are to be out of the property by the required time advised by your conveyancer, and to leave keys to the property with the selling agent. Your covneyancer will arrange for your funds to be banked into your account after settlement or for you to collect same on the next working day from their office.
You should always check with your bank as to the availability of funds once banked, most banks have a clearance time for settlement funds.
Further and more comprehensive details can be provided upon request.
Owner Builder Structures
If your house is under 7 years of age and was built by you as an owner builder you will need to provide an Owner Builder Report and Owner Builder Warranty Insurance before Vendors Section 32 Statements can be prepared, as these two documents are required to be incorporated in the Statements.
There are other circumstances where you might need to provide these items or at least the Owner Builder Report, if you have done work to your property which may not have required a permit from the council but would still be classed as being done as an Owner Builder, such as - construction of a carport, verandah, shed, ect. In some of these circumstances you will need to provide the Owner Builder Report.
Please contact our office for further information on this issue.