12 Steps to Buy a New Home

Step 1
Always have your solicitor/conveyancing service review the Contract of Sale. Some things to consider include:
* If you are borrowing to purchase the property make sure the contract has a clause “subject to finance”.

If you are buying a newly built property make sure settlement occurs only upon the issuing of a “Certificate of Occupancy”

If buying a newly built property make sure your contact includes a inventory of all fittings and items to be included in the property.

Your solicitor/conveyancing service can explain in detail what issues you should consider in your contract.

Step 2
If your Solicitor/Conveyancing service approves the contract sign the contract, and pay the deposit. Note you have a 3 business day cooling off period from the date you signed the contract unless you buy at auction, you buy commercial or farming land, or you received independent legal advice or you are an agent or a corporate body.

Step 3
If you are borrowing to purchase the property your solicitor should send relevant documents to your lender.

Step 4
Your Solicitor will do a title search of the property to identify any encumbrances over the property. A check will normally be made with State Revenue, Council and other authorities with regard to outstanding rates and taxes.

Step 5
Your solicitor/conveyancing service should ask you to check the boundaries of the property to match them against the Title of the property to determine if there are any discrepancies.

Step 6
Your Solicitor/Conveyancing service should provide the seller with a set of common questions referred to as requisitions on title. These are routine questions only and do not include questions about disputes with neighbours, illegal structures or planning matters relating to adjoining properties. You must undertake these investigations yourself.

Step 7
Your solicitor/conveyancing service should prepare and provide the buyer with the “Transfer of Land” documents. The buyer should sign this document and return it to the your solicitor/conveyancing service. They should double check the documents you have signed and pass it onto the other parties in preparation for settlement.

Step 8
You should now start thinking about arranging insurance for your new property. Many lenders require proof of appropriate insurance before proceeding to settlement.

At the very least you will need home insurance, but based upon your specific requirements you may also require contents insurance, rental insurance etc. Speak to your insurer for more information.

Make a note of the property features for your insurer, who will then determine your premium.

For example, features such as:

  • what suburb or town is the property located?
  • is it a house, apartment etc.?
  • is it brick or timber?
  • what type of roof does it have?
  • does it have deadlocks, and window locks?
  • if there is a pool is it fenced according to government regulations?
  • does it have smoke alarms? etc.

Step 9
Your solicitor/conveyancing service should now determine what the ongoing expenses are for the property (land tax, water, council rates etc.). This information will be detailed in the document called the “Adjustment Statement”.

Step 10
The settlement date should now be confirmed by your solicitor/conveyancing service. This may be specified in the contract of sale, but can be negotiated by the parties because of other factors such as finance approval, granting of Certificate of Occupancy and the completion of other paper work.

Once your solicitor/conveyancing service has confirmed the settlement date with you, you should organise a final inspection of the property to ensure that all is as it was when you signed the contract of sale.

Step 11
Settlement is organised by your solicitor/conveyancing service. You do not have to attend. At settlement final payments are made for the property (the remaining balance) and the Title documents are transferred between the parties.

You now own the property – It’s yours.

Step 12
Your solicitor/conveyancing service will now forward you an account for their services. Remember to confirm the cost of their services before engaging the solicitor/conveyancing service. A break-down of specific costs should be included together with details of stamp duty and Titles Office fees where applicable.

Disclaimer
Note these steps do not constitute legal advice and are provided here for your general information only. You should always consult your solicitor or conveyancing service for specific advice about your circumstances.