1) What is the Contract for Sale?
The Contract of Sale is prepared by the Vendor’s Solicitor, and contains the title search, deposited plan, local council zoning certificate and drainage diagram, as well as any restrictions and easements on the land. Your solicitor or conveyancer will discuss the details of the contract with you once a sale has been negotiated
2) Our offer has been accepted – what happens next?
Once your offer has been accepted the Contract for Sale will be drawn up with the agreed terms and conditions and forwarded to you solicitor/conveyancer. You will need to make an appointment to sign the Contract for Sale with your solicitor/conveyancer as soon as possible.
3) What are pre-purchase pest and building inspections?
Most purchasers decide to obtain these reports once their offer has been accepted. We can assist by supplying you names of appropriately licenced tradespeople.
Building Inspection: a written account of the property’s condition by a licensed builder. It will include any significant building defects or problems such as rising damp and movement in the building.
Pest Inspection: a written report by a qualified pest inspector which will identify any visual damage that may have been caused by termites or other timber destroying pests.
4) What if our purchase is “subject to finance”?
Although you would have pre-approval for your home loan, once you have negotiated a sale you need to advise your lender and submit a formal loan application. We can assist by providing the appropriate documents to your lender, such as front page of sale contract and sales advice if required.
5) What is a bank valuation?
If you require finance to purchase your property, a bank will engage an external valuer to provide an unbiased valuation on your property. Valuers must act independently and should not be influenced by the party seeking the valuation or concerned with the reasons why a valuation has been requested. Access for the valuation is usually arranged through the agent.
6) What is “gazumping”?
Gazumping occurs when you have a verbal agreement with a Vendor (or their Agent) to buy a property at an agreed price but the property is not sold to you in the end. This happens when the Vendor decides to sell the property to someone else, usually for a higher amount.
7) What is “exchange of contracts”?
Exchanging contracts legally completes the process of buying a home. Up to this point, both parties have the right to change their minds. There will be two copies of the sale contract, one for you and one for the Vendor. After discussing and signing the contract with your solicitor, the contracts are swapped or “exchanged”. This is usually arranged by your solicitor or the agent.
8) When do we pay our deposit?
At the time of exchange you will be required to pay a deposit. While it is standard for a vendor to request a 10% deposit, a different amount may be agreed upon and recorded on the contract. The deposit is payable to the agent, to be in the agents trust account pending settlement. Your deposit may be paid by bank cheque or electronic funds transfer.
9) What is the “cooling-off period” and how does it affect me?
There is a 5 business day cooling off period after you exchange contracts. During this period you may rescind the contract provided you give written notice.
If you use your cooling-off rights and withdraw from the contract, you will have to pay the Vendor 0.25% of the purchase price. This works out to be $250 for every $100,000.
A cooling-off period does not always apply (at auction, for example) and can be waived by providing a “66W certificate” to the Vendor.
10) What is a final inspection?
We will contact you a week before settlement to arrange a final inspection of the property. This usually takes place the day before or the morning of settlement, and is best to be done once the property is vacant. The main reason for a final inspections is to ensure the property is in the same condition as when you originally purchased, and that all negotiated inclusions have been left at the property.
11) What happens at settlement?
On settlement day, your solicitor will meet with the Vendor’s solicitor and representatives from the bank. Each party will exchange the necessary cheques and documents for the title of the property to be transferred into your name.
It’s always a good idea to maintain regular contact with your solicitor to make sure your property is on track to settle.
12) When do I pick up my keys?
You are entitled to possession of the property as soon as settlement has taken place. In most instances our office will be holding a set of keys to the property. Your solicitor will confirm in writing once settlement has taken place, and then we are able to release the keys.
13) What if I want access to the property prior to settlement?
Gaining access to a property prior to settlement can be a legal minefield with many legal conditions attached, so these enquiries should definitely be referred to your solicitor.
14) What about insurance, electricity, gas and phone connections?
Most solicitors would recommend that you organise your building insurance for the property as soon contracts have exchanged, but definitely before settlement. Electricity, gas and phone connections should be arranged for settlement day.
Source: 12 tips to Make Moving Day Stress Free (http://www.realestate.com.au/blog/12-tips-to-make-moving-day-stress-free/)