Basic Legalities to Understand when Buying a Property

Not everyone is fortunate enough to be a lawyer so when it comes to reading and understanding the fine print for all the contracts associated with buying a property, it’s understandable that one may become overwhelmed. To keep it as simple as possible, we’ve outlined in layman’s terms, the legal steps you’ll need to take through the process.

  1. Find a good conveyancer - Conveyancing is the branch of law which specialises in the preparation of documents for the purchase of property however not all conveyancers hail from a legal background. Some conveyancers have undertaken special tertiary education in this area. Conveyancers will consider factors such as local or national planning controls, permitted uses, heritage overlays and body corporate constraints. DIY Kits are available however for such a big investment, it doesn’t make sense to penny pinch at the end stage.
  2. Understand the Sales Process - It pays to educate yourself on the process of buying property and what it means to buy via auction or private treaty and the differences between the two. Avail yourself of information which pertains to the terms of sale as well so you know what you’re agreeing to when it comes time to sign on the dotted line.
  3. Research the Title - Strata Title is a form of ownership created for multi-level apartment blocks and horizontal subdivisions with shared areas which means, if you’re buying an apartment, villa or townhouse, it’s important to do some research first to make sure you’re familiar with how it works. These are the types of questions your conveyancer should be able to assist with.
  4. Death by Paperwork - Yes, there is an incredible amount of paperwork to be completed when buying a property but it is something which must be done properly so educating yourself on what needs to be completed and how is very important. Documents will include a Contract of Sale which includes a zoning certificate, drainage diagram, a plan for the land and Certificate of Title. There is also the land transfer document and financial paperwork if applying for a loan which is fairly standard.
  5. Pay Attention to the Inspection - A Building Inspection is an essential step in the buying process as it allows the purchaser to engage a qualified Building and Pest Inspector who can identify any structural, electrical, plumbing or pest issues within the property. Ask for referrals to find a good Inspector.

So while it may feel overwhelming initially, making a plan and approaching the legal steps one at a time can make it a lot more palatable. And as always, when in doubt, ask for help! We’re always here so get in touch at [email protected] or by calling 03 9529 4955.