To conclude our three part educational blog series on conveyancing, lawlab legal director Richie Muir explains tips for a stress free conveyancing experience.
Regardless of whether you’ve sold the family home, found a new dream apartment or just negotiated a great price on a new interstate investment property – there is a multitude of organisation that lies ahead of you before the deal is truly done and you can enjoy your new property.
The conveyancing process of buying or selling property can be complex and confusing. With so many parties involved in a transaction, keeping an open line of communication is a tough job.
As a law firm in the real estate sector, we’ve started using innovative technologies such as the Rundl network as a central platform to communicate and work together to secure our customers’ property transactions – taking the pressure off the buyer or seller.
Here are some tips to help you prepare for every step of a property transaction and a smooth conveyance.
Before you buy
- Get your finances in order and obtain finance approval with your lender before you go house-hunting. This is especially important if you’re buying in a state where it is common practice for the contract not to be conditional on finance approval.
- Decide what you can afford and stay within your budget so you’re not over-extended and under financial pressure. In addition to the purchase price, buyers need to budget for stamp duty, conveyancing costs, inspections, lenders mortgage insurance (if borrowing over 80% LVR), registration and lender fees.
- Consider ongoing costs such as council and water rates, strata levies (if the property is an apartment or townhouse), home and contents insurance, utilities (e.g. electricity, gas, telephone and internet).
When you’re ready to sign
Once you’ve found the right property for you, negotiated a great price and you’re ready to sign the contract…. STOP!
You should never sign a property contract without first seeking legal advice from your conveyancing lawyer. Real estate agents, property developers and mortgage brokers all have their own vested interest in your purchase, unlike a conveyancing lawyer who is there solely to protect you.
Your conveyancing lawyer should check the contract in detail, including any prescribed documents or disclosure statements help you understand what you are signing.
Your conveyancing lawyer can also negotiate contract terms on your behalf, including important conditions like the settlement period.
Between contract and settlement
Be available: While it’s fine to celebrate your new purchase, it’s really important to be available to sign original documents or at least be contactable by your conveyancing lawyer - so heading overseas on holiday isn’t a good idea.
Engage a building and pest inspector: You should do this before you sign the contract or in some states it’s common for the contract to be conditional on satisfactory inspection reports. If you’ve bought off the plan, make sure you have the property inspected before settlement and make a list of defects so the developer fixes these during the defects rectification period. Do a thorough review of the inspection results and discuss any concerns you have with your conveyancing lawyer.
Complete and return all relevant documents to your conveyancing lawyer as early as possible to ensure all deadlines are met. Make sure your conveyancing lawyer has the information needed to complete the transaction, including details of your broker or lender.
Don’t forget to arrange insurance cover on the property so that you’re protected as soon as the property is at your risk (in some states this is from contract exchange and in others from settlement).
Arrange a final inspection of the property as close to the settlement date as possible. If settlement is in the afternoon, do a final inspection that morning. This will ensure you aren’t faced with any nasty surprises and are happy with the condition a property has been left in.
Be available on settlement day so your conveyancing lawyer can get in touch with you for any last-minute queries that might come from the other party.
Your conveyancing lawyer will contact you as soon as settlement occurs so you can then hold the keys or cash in no time. Finally you can relax as owner of your new home!