Mayne Realty – Property Management & Sales

Brisbane, Gold Coast, Ipswich, Caboolture

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Buying Tips

The better prepared you are in life, the smoother things flow. When it comes to buying property, the more homework you do beforehand, the more likely you are to make a decision you’ll be happy with in the years to come.

Here are some key steps in the process and some things to think about:

Determine your borrowing capacity, and if possible, obtain pre-approval for your loan. (You can read more on our Finance page).

When you’ve chosen your new neighbourhood, research the area’s property sales history and get information about median prices.

Conduct as wide a property search as you can, using agents’ offices, property websites, newspapers, listing magazines, and other sources.

When inspecting properties, make notes as you go. Clarify inclusions with the agent (eg fixtures such as a dishwasher or air conditioner).

When you find something you like, run a sales history search on the property to find out what it last sold for and when, and the recent sale prices of surrounding properties. Several providers sell this information, including the Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy and CITEC.

Consider getting an independent valuation from a professional. You can call the Australian Property Institute on 07 3832 3139 for a list of licensed valuers.

Obtain from the selling agent a PAMD Form 27c Disclosure to Buyer and the REIQ/Qld Law Society Contract of Sale with a PAMD Form 30c Warning Statement attached (which outlines your 5-business day cooling off period). Contracts that are entered into which do not have a Warning Statement, or contain a Statement that is not in the approved form, will be of “no effect”.

Put in an offer and sign a Contract of Sale, noting Special Conditions making the Contract subject to building and pest inspections, as well as finance if required. Pay a deposit to the selling agent and receive a trust account receipt.

If you did not waive this right through a PAMD Form 32a Lawyers Certification, you may terminate the Contract under the cooling off provision within 5-business days of signing. But be aware that penalties apply.

Advise your lender of the purchase. Arrange building insurance to protect yourself and to satisfy your lender.

If your Contract of Sale is subject to a Pest & Building Inspection, ensure you carry it out within the specified timeframe. The building inspection report should cover issues such as the soundness of structures, the legality of existing structures on the property, existence of termites, and so on.

Under Queensland law, a Building Inspector must hold a Completed Building Inspection Licence and a Pest Control Operator a Termite Management Licence. You can verify that an operator is properly licensed by logging on to www.bsa.qld.gov.au.

At this stage, it’s time to get started on conveyancing – the act of transferring property title from one person to another when buying or selling. Conveyancing includes: title searches, checking for encumbrances and restrictions on the property, ensuring any special conditions mentioned in the contract are met, making sure rates and water consumption charges are paid by the appropriate party, arranging for the payment of fees and charges, and preparation of legal documents.

Unless you have some relevant training and experience, it’s a good idea to use qualified solicitors for your conveyancing. Solicitor’s fees are negotiable, so do shop around. Good referrals and past experience are useful criteria.

If you do decide to do it yourself, CITEC offer an online conveyancing search package.

Once the Contract is unconditional, keep in touch with your solicitor with regard to any issues approaching the settlement date.

When a firm date has been set for settlement, book a removalist, arrange power and phone connections, newspaper delivery and house contents insurance. Notify your change of address to Queensland Transport, RACQ, car insurer, medical fund, union or association, electoral roll, etc and get Australia Post to re-direct other mail.

Conduct a final inspection with the selling agent the morning of the settlement to ensure the vendors are moving out and that the inclusions in the contract are there.

Collect the keys from the agent and start enjoying your new home!

Further Reading:

  1. The Queensland Government has a property transactions page covering everything from title searches to the First Home Buyer’s Grant to Building Codes at this address.
  2. The Archicentre has produced a useful DIY checklist for home buyers which you can download at this address.
  3. The Queensland Law Society publishes a helpful guide to the legal issues around buying residential property which you can download at this address.