We never charge for Contract review! You don’t always buy the first property you see, and this is why we will never charge you to review the Contract.
1. Contract Review
Before Exchange our office will look over the Contract for you and advise you of any non standard terms, we will also discuss with you inspection reports which you may wish to have carried out, these are usually Pest & Building reports, and in the case of Strata Buildings, an Inspection of the Strata Records, you may be able to use the information in these reports to negotiate the purchase price. Our fess are always all inclusive, any inspections reports are charged by the inspecting company.
If you decide to proceed with the purchase, we will negotiate any required changes to the Contract for you to ensure it is tailored to your needs. We will then ask you to confirm to us that you finance is ready to go.
2. Exchange of Contracts
Sometimes the selling agent will carry out the ‘exchange of Contracts’ before our office see’s the Contract, this is not uncommon and we have no issues with the selling agent doing this as long as they have your instructions to do so.
What is ‘Exchange of Contracts” – This is when 2 copies of the Contract, one signed by you the Purchaser and the other signed by the Vendor(s) are physically exchanged, swapped over, this means that each party holds the Contract signed by the other party. Depending on the negotiations of the sale, the Contract will either be exchanged unconditionally or exchanged with a cooling off period. If the selling agent Exchanges the Contracts they will have a Cooling Off Period.
- Unconditional Exchange
An unconditional exchange means that both parties are bound by the terms of the contract immediately, the full deposit is to be held by the selling agent before Contracts can be exchanged, once they are exchanged it is deemed ‘unconditional’. Our office is usually advised of the Purchase before this type of Exchange, however we strongly suggest you contact us before you Exchange and Contract in this way.
- Exchange with a Cooling Off Period
A normal cooling off period gives you 5 business days to arrange your finances and carry out any inspections you wish to. You will be required to pay a holding deposit at the time contracts are exchanged; this is 0.25% of the purchase price. The balance of the deposit must be paid on the final date of the cooling off period. Once the deposit is paid and the final date of the cooling off period you become ‘legally bound’ to complete the transaction. If for some reason during the Cooling Off Period you decide to ‘rescind’ (pull out) of the Contract before the end of the Cooling Off Period you will forfeit the 0.25% deposit to the vendor, and they place the property back on the market.
A normal settlement period is 42 days; 6 weeks from the date of exchange, but settlement periods do vary. During the usual 6-week period we will prepare a number of things:
- If you are getting money from a Bank to complete your purchase we will begin to liaise with them directly, or any broker that you may have been dealing with to ensure that loan documents are issued quickly to avoid any delay on the settlement date.
- We will prepare the required documents for settlement, in particular the ‘Transfer’, which will be signed by the Vendor, this document passes ownership of the property from the Vendor to you once it is registered after settlement.
- We will order the required searches on the property as disclosed in the cost agreement, this is usually, Council Rates Section 603, Water Rates Section 66 and Office of State Revenue Land Tax Section 47, these Certificates are required to be ordered and they allow us to prepare draft settlement figures.
- The draft figures and the certificates are then sent to the Vendors Conveyancer or Solicitor for approval, sometimes we do not receive the approved figures and ‘direction to pay’ from them until the day before settlement, however we will work with you if we are concerned about any potential issues.
- All council and water rate levies are adjusted as at the date of settlement, you pay for the rates from the day you will become the owner. If the rates are unpaid, these will be drawn from the money you must pay the Vendor.
- On the day of settlement, we attend on your behalf. We will attend to processing of the Stamp Duty on the Purchase; this usually needs to be paid within 3 months of the date of exchange, or at settlement. Once settlement takes place, the selling agent will be authorised to release the keys to you and you will be congratulated on your new property!