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.