Please select from either list below the area in which you have questions:


I’m selling my property – what do I need to do and look out for?


Before you start marketing the property, if it is a residential property, you must have a contract for sale prepared to give to potential buyers. Even if it isn’t residential property, it is best to get a draft contract prepared at the earliest opportunity. This can pick up on any potential problems that may not become known until the contract is prepared.
If you are going to sell your property through an agent, you will need to select one to do the work. It is best to get more than 1 agent to inspect your property and to give you a sales proposal. Commissions and costs charged by agents are negotiable. Therefore, make sure you shop around before you lock yourself into an agency agreement. If you have any doubts about the agency agreement that agent asks you to sign, get your lawyer to check it before you sign. At the very least, you should try to reserve the right to sell the property yourself if an opportunity arises.

Are you living in the property or do you have tenants to consider? What settlement period do you need?

Will you be buying another property and need to:

use the funds from this sale to be able to purchase the other property?

try and settle this sale and your purchase on the same time?

Have the improvements on the property recently been built or renovated? Do you have a copy of any required building insurance?

Have all the improvements been constructed in accordance with Council regulations?

Do you have a current survey report and should you get a council a certificate of compliance to attach to the Contract?

Taxes – will GST and CGT be payable and do you pay land tax on the property?

Where is the original Certificate of Title for the property?

If your property is financed, will you have to pay any penalties or charges if you are going to pay out your loan early?


I’m buying a property – what do I need to do and look out for?


Finance, if required, for your purchase should be approved before exchange of contracts.

Your loan will not normally be available for expenses that you need to pay before you complete the purchase, such as:

reports you require (for example building and pest, survey and building certificate, strata record inspection)

the deposit (normally 10%) which is paid on exchange of contracts

stamp duty

There are grants and stamp duty concessions available to first home buyers. Information can be found on the Office of State Revenue website www.osr.nsw.gov.au

Have you thought about what name you will buy the property in? This can be important for asset protection and tax purposes.

Visit the local Council to check what is happening in the area, what development consents have been granted for the property and whether all the conditions of any development consent for the property have been met.

What reports do you want to get for the property before you exchange contracts – including pest, building/construction report, survey, council compliance and if it is a strata unit, a strata inspection report?

Do you understand the contract for sale?

Should you be asking for amendments to the contract to ensure that your interests are protected? The contract is prepared by the seller’s lawyer to protect the seller, not you.
If you buy at auction, you cannot change the contract after the auction has finished. Therefore, the contract should be reviewed by your lawyer before the auction.