There are a number of simple things you can do before you purchase a property, to make sure that you are getting what you pay for.

This conveyancing checklist for buyers or purchasers can help you understand a bit more about what is involved, and what you should have prepared.

Contract of Sale Review

If the vendors have prepared a contract of sale, then you may wish to contact Hendersons Legal for our quick, fixed price “Contract of Sale Review“.  In this review, we check the Contract of Sale from head to toe to let you know if there is anything unusual or out of the ordinary in the documentation and alert you to all critical issue items.  Call our office now on 03 9629 2211 to speak to a solicitor about this service.

Conveyancing Checklist For Property Buyers

If the contract of sale is not yet available, then there are a number of items that you can check to make sure that the property is being properly sold and remains of interest to you.  Hendersons Legal strongly recommends that you complete the checklist for purchasers below if you have a genuine interest in purchasing a property.  Completing the checklist may confirm your decision to purchase or may alert you to problems that will direct you away from the property.  If you have any questions about any of the matters on the checklist, then please call our office to speak to a solicitor about your concerns now.

  • Measure the property
    Get a tape measure and accurately measure the boundaries of the property, even if it’s an apartment. One of the most common occurrences is that properties have old laneways at the rear of the property which are not on the title. If there are any discrepancies, then see a solicitor!
  • Check the certificate of title to see if there are there any easements or convenants affecting the property?
  • Are there any other restrictions affecting the property?
  • Check that the plan on the certificate of title corresponds with measurements of the property you are thinking about buying?
  • Are there family court orders, caveats or other interests registered on the title which will impede or stop settlement from occurring?
  • How much are the council rates?
  • What amount has the local council assessed the property at? Does this correspond with market value?
  • Do you have to pay land tax? How much?
  • Are there planning or zoning controls affecting the property? This is also very important for commercial property.
  • Are there any heritage listings or overlays which may affect what you might do with the property?
    Please note that a listing or overlay may stop you from demolishing all or part of the property.
  • Are all of the services (water, sewerage, gas, electricity & telephone) connected to the property?
  • Does the property have any contamination?
  • Does the property have heating and cooling?
  • Has there been any unlawful or illegal building over the property?
  • Have there been any renovations to the property?
  • Was a permit issued for the renovations?
  • Is there a certificate of final inspection relating to the renovations?
  • If the building is a new home, is there an occupancy certificate?
  • Is there any builders warranty insurance or owner-builder insurance over the property?
  • Are there any building defects?
  • Is the property affected by termites?
  • Is the property affected by owners corporation or strata title?
  • How much are the owners corporation charges per annum (not quarterly)?
    Also, does the certificate or minutes of the last AGM indicate any prospective special levy which will increase the oc charges that all lot owners will have to pay? Enquire with neighbours in the same lot, if there is some doubt.
  • Does the property have any other charges such as growth area infrastructure contribution (GAIC)?
  • Are your finances in order?
    Do you have the money to pay for the deposit and to pay for the balance of the completion of the purchase price? Has your bank given you unconditional approval of finance or is it subject to conditions such as valuation, completion of your taxation return, a clean credit reference etc? If you cannot pay for the property, then don’t buy it and don’t sign the contract.
  • Is the purchase price OK?
    Have you considered recent compassions of sales in the area? Have you considered recent sales? Check the website: for those comparisons.
    Have you considered any differences or any impediments to those sales and your prospective property?
  • Who is going to be the purchaser?
    Have you considered the right entity to buy the property? Should it be you; your partner; a company; or other person?
  • Check the terms of payment
    Is the settlement period long enough? Settlement within, say, 14 days is unrealistic, unless you have cash to pay for the full deposit and the balance of the purchase price. in the current market it is difficult to get banks to complete settlement within 30 days let alone a period less than that. Although difficult, Hendersons Legal have completed conveyances within 14 days!!

If there is any doubt about any of these issues you should get legal advice immediately. Once a contract of sale is signed, it is extremely difficult to walk away from if things aren’t what they seemed.

Need some assistance with conveyancing?

For conveyancing advice from qualified conveyancing lawyers, call Hendersons Legal. By engaging Hendersons Legal to carry out your conveyancing work you have the peace of mind of having immediate access to solicitors already involved in your property matter should the unexpected occur.

Contact us today for friendly advice or a quote.

This checklist is intended to provide a summary and general overview. It does not intend to be comprehensive or specific to individual circumstances.  All attempts have to been made to ensure that the contents are correct and current, but this is not guaranteed and you should seek specific legal advice from a qualified practitioner in relation to any legal issue of concern.

To learn more about our conveyancing services in Melbourne, simply click here.

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